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Devin Townsend - Terria CD (album) cover


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

4.20 | 670 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's funny how after 4 years, Devin Townsend managed to improve the formula on "Ocean Machine" to release an album that will go down in history, at least in my book, as one of the greatest prog metal albums out there.

Now, I'll admit, "Olives" didn't exactly get me pumped up for a great ride. I thought there would at least be some strings or something to build tension, but instead these awkward guitar chords that sounded like someone was curious, but by the end of the track, I'm anticipating a masterpiece, and "Mountains" does not disappoint. Instantly, the ears are barraged with some of the best growling I've ever heard on a DT or SYL disc. 3 minutes later, my head ends up swinging from side to side to Devin's descending croons. Add to that key and key signature changes, and the whole album suddenly opens up with a minute of excess noise filling up the rest of the track.

"Earth Day" begins in a triumphal, marching fashion but delving into a heavy two-step. Already the seeds have been planted and DT has discovered the secret to creating masterpieces, a formula he would repeat 3 more times ("Synchestra", "Ziltoid" and "Deconstruction") in different but similar fashions. However, those reviews will be saved for another time.

When one looks at Devin's solo discography, after "Terria", he released "Accelerated Evolution" in 2003, which may not be as progressive as "Terria", but what I call "epic rock", with guitars and feedback screaming and echoing throughout the disc. After that it's "Synchestra in '06 and "Ziltoid" in '07, excluding his sonic experiments "Devlab" and "Hummer". To me, it's odd that after Terria, DT release 3 more albums, 2 of which I hold in regard as prog metal masterpieces. Now, "Ziltoid" is more of a concept album than a "Metropolis, Pt. 2", and I find "Synchestra" as a "sedated Terria", little bit more bits and pieces to it, but it's subdued, quelled, calm, not as heavy, harsh and vicious as "Terria", but it seems to be structured very similarly to it.

"Olives" is the slow intro, the build up (Same as "Let Ir Roll" and "Hypergeek"). Then "Mountain" bursts forward into life with "Earth Day" backing it up, just as loud ("Triumph", "Babysong"). Finally, the action quells in "Deep Peace" (Even if only for a little bit on "Vampolka"). Yes, the structures branch out in different directions after that, but what's interesting to note is that "Terria" seemed to cement Devin's interest in grandiose entrances, loud, echoing guitars, and almost the slow, chugging pace, evidenced in "Mountain" and "Earth Day".

Once you understand the logistics behind the (in)sanity of Devin's genius, you pretty much know what to expect from his next album, while at the same time stuck guessing at what he's going to come up with next. Knowing the basis of the first few tracks, it's almost irrelevant to go through the rest of them.

Besides, surprises never hurt anyone. We all love surprises.

Wicket | 4/5 |


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