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Devin Townsend - Devin Townsend Project: Ghost CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.77 | 350 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars So Laid Back It's Horizontal

Devin Townsend, the so-called "Mad Scientist of Metal," decided to ditch his persona shortly after his first child was born. Cutting off his trademark skullet dredlocks, ditching drugs, pushing aside rage, he re-emerged with the Devin Townsend Project. Loosely following the course of his transformation, the 4 album work hit a chaotic climax with DECONSTRUCTION. The simultaneously released final album, GHOST, is the downhill afterglow. Combining soothing croons, new age flutes, strummy acoustic guitars, and some Enya electronics, the album is mellow with about 15 L's. And while ambient texture has been part of Devin's style since Ocean Machine, here everything else is stripped away. As a long time fan, I enjoy the change of pace. But it's clearly the weakest piece of work from Townsend I own. Just as Townsend's band Strapping Young Lad was trying too hard to be intense by the end of its run, this album is trying too hard to be its opposite.

There are some nice melodies, soothing textures, occasional clean electric guitars (Devin's clean tone on the DTP has grated on me since KI incidentally), and a fair bit of lilting female vocals. The lyrics are hippy and new agey. Sound boring? It can be. And it treads absolutely no new territory. For anyone used to ambient or even chillout music, there is virtually nothing alarming or surprising on GHOST. But that's not the point. Instead, the album is meant to evoke the scene of expansive contentment. I believe it achieves this goal. And I must admit that sometimes that's what I'm looking for. Furthermore, having a trusted voice delivering the message increases the sense of serenity.

After the crushing chaos and absurdity of DECONSTRUCTION, GHOST makes alot of sense. I'm not sure that it functions quite so well on its own. Unfortunately, I think that the album took a bit of a back seat when Devin decided to release both simultaneously. Some of the more varied tracks recorded for the project were put off, currently to be placed on a "Ghost 2." There are teaser clips that include several of these songs, and I got a promotional 4 track sampler with my pre-order. Several of these left-out tracks are still in developmental form, but their "vibe" is much more interesting to me than the tracks that made the album. Several clearly still point back to other songs in the DTP ("Watch You" includes a mellowed out version of "Stand" from Decon, and "Radial Highway" points back somewhat to "Trainfire.) Apparently Townsend created quite a bit of music in this mood, and I think he would have had enough material to make a very solid 50 minute album. Instead, contrasting DECON seemed to be a bigger priority than making GHOST as focused as it could be.

Though I am being critical of one of my favorite artists, this is a very pleasant album. It IS good. I like it. It just could have been more.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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