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Devin Townsend - Physicist CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

2.92 | 165 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars On paper, it seems like "Physicist is a terrible album from Devin Townsend. Yes, it's heavy, but it doesn't contain that spastic rage that made "Strapping Young Lad" so infamous, but it's also very unpredictable, which can easily turn newcomers away from his style.

Kinda makes you wonder what he was on when he recorded this album.

Yet as soon as I turn on "Namaste", I'm instantly inclined to get on my drumset and start thrashing away on the double bass and play as fast as humanly possible, which isn't really fast at all. Once I start taking this album into progressive context, this album isn't anything special, but there's something about this disc that I just absolutely adore, and I don't know why. Perhaps it's just the humorous side of DT's "rage-filled metal" kicking in, and I feel it with "Victim"'s heavy , side-step intro. The verses accompany this awkward two-step riff, while the pre-chorus reminds me of a motorcycle gang for some reason, while the chorus bursts in with the creepy orchestral swing that truly gives it color.

Now, while I wouldn't necessarily call this DT's best album, I see this album as a lighter, more progressive SYL, if that's even possible. I'm pretty sure Devin never screamed falsetto on any SYL to date, so I'm a already sold on "Physicist".

Now while my own research uncovered Devin's bipolar disorder, which explains the jump from SYL to "Christeen", I've pretty much come to the conclusion that most of his decisions regarding musical style from album to album came from drugs. It's simple enough to understand, anyway.

Jumping to other tracks, "Kingdom" sounds like it should be on "Accelerated Evolution"; a typical DT attempt at creating a heavy song in a major key while suppressing his attempt to scream and instead try to sing and croon his way onto radio airwaves. At this point, "Physicist" provides no new onset to a prog fan's interest, except for maybe a good excuse to throw his computer out of a window, especially when "Death" kicks in, which is probably DT's closest attempt to emulating SYL's angst-filled rage. *Skip*

"Devoid" begins with a loud bang, and it's only 1:28 long. *Skip* "The Complex" starts the same way, except Devin starts crooning at the same time. *Skip*

Then you get to "Irish Maiden". I'll admit, I shake my head to this song. It's a unique attempt on Devin's part, until he starts screaming again. Yawn.

I didn't even want to get into "Jupiter", until I realized that it was probably the closest thing to progressive on this entire album, but by then, I realized that this was nothing to be excited about. I prefer the first two tracks, but after that it's just snooze city. Nothing else to really stir the brain. Definitely not the first Devin Townsend album you should get as a newcomer, or otherwise, period. It's best if you get to understand Devin's insanity before you delve into this one.

Now, I'm not sure if that's quite entirely possible, but it's best to wait a while on this disc.

Wicket | 3/5 |


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