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Devin Townsend - Lightwork CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.25 | 79 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Slow Exhale

Devin Townsend has always had multiple types of music swirling in his head and during the pandemic this came to a swirling storm resulting in the quite good but inherently limited audience of The Puzzle (and it's mellower companion Snuggles). Townsend abandoned any intention of pleasing record company or masses and made the chaotic ambient record that was driving his muse.

So there had to be a rebound. Percolating at the same time were a number of poppy fun songs (some of which DT released as youtube singles). After completing the monster project, Townsend knew he quickly had to put something more palatable out. By the time the new project, Lightwork, was completed, even Devin knew he may have swung too far in the other direction. He often remarked in interviews that he had no idea whether his fan base would like the record but (as per his usual) it represented what his life was like in those moments.

When the first few promo singles came out for "Moonpeople" and "Lightworker" I was a bit worried. The songs were very stripped down, simple, and even as an enormous Devhead, I wasn't connecting. Luckily, when the full album came out, it was clear the album was going to have a lot more range that Devin had hinted at. "Heartbreaker" begins with heavy guitars in odd rhythm and the complex layers many of us have come to love. "Dimensions" has an almost industrial vibe (that I totally love) and is one of Townsend's most driving songs to date. I am very excited to see that one live. There is also an update of "Celestial Signals" from the B-side of Transcendence that I prefer though not everyone does. "Children of God" is the kind of soaring anthem Townsend seems to enjoy doing more and more as time goes on, but is too long. Luckily he gives a shorter version on the B-sider called "Children of Dog."

As usual, there are some tasty nuggets on the B-side, including some very heavy bits. Many fans including myself have created their own track lists taking their faves from the 2 discs.

All in all, this was a satisfying collection of new Devin Townsend material. But with his enormous catalog, this is never going to be one you recommend as a starting point or even early in someone's journey. There are less prog elements in this one than many of his discs. I will say, however, that of all the 2022 releases, I've listened to this one more than perhaps any other.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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