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Devin Townsend - The Puzzle CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.18 | 38 ratings

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3 stars "The Puzzle" is the eighteenth full-length studio album by Canadian artist Devin Townsend. The album was released through HevyDevy Records (Townsendīs own label) in December 2021. It was released on the same day as its companion album "Snuggles - Beautiful Dream".

Stylistically the material on "The Puzzle" is ambient/atmospheric music, which is a continuation of the ambient/drone music experimental Townsend albums "Devlab" from December 2004 and "The Hummer" from November 2006. Compared to his previous ambient/drone music albums, "The Puzzle" is generally a much more inviting, melodic, and structured release, featuring 20 relatively short tracks (with exceptions of a few longer tracks) and a total playing time of 65:25 minutes. All tracks seque into each other to form a whole conceptual listening experience. Thatīs not to say that "The Puzzle" is an easy listening experience, as itīs still quite experimental and ambient, but itīs actually pretty entertaining most of the time (the occasionally jazzy touch is pretty nice). Some tracks go by almost without the listener noticing, and they sometimes sound like rough unfinished ideas, which become part of the whole, but thereīs still enough dynamic tension and drama in the music, for the listener to not loose his/her interest. The sudden appearance of extreme metal elements (distorted guitars and growling vocals) on "StarChasm" is for example quite surprising, and helps keep the album interesting.

Upon conclusion Iīve been pleasantly surprised by "The Puzzle". Itīs a very different sounding ambient/experimental release to "Devlab" and "The Hummer", and I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit more than I had expected. Thereīs purpose here and structure, which means that the accessiblity of the album is much higher for those of us not used to listening to ambient/experimental music. The fact that the album is packed in a detailed, layered, and well sounding production, doesnīt exactly make things worse. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |


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