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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 Devin Townsend has always been one to experiment with different styles in his music, especially in his own Devin Townsend Project. Ranging from crazy extreme progressive metal to pop, atmospheric rock, and now ambient, this project has shown the eclectic and multi-faceted musician that "Hevy Devy" truly is. Ghost, the fourth and final installment in the Devin Townsend Project, is radically different than anything else the man has ever done - even by Devin Townsend standards, this album stands out substantially from the rest of his work. Rather than using rock or metal influences, Ghost is almost entirely based in extremely calming and tranquil ambient/new age - quite a contrast to the wacky extreme prog metal of Deconstruction! This album is filled with lush atmospheres, pastoral instrumental passages, and soothing vocals, topped off with an excellent production and calming soundscapes. Ghost isn't flawless by any means, and I think Devin Townsend could've succeeded a bit more at an approach to ambient music, but this is generally a beautiful album that I'd recommend.

Musically, Ghost is focused on long, drawn-out ambiance, rather than complexity or technical prowess. For the most part, I think Devin succeeds tremendously at creating lush atmospheres and beautiful compositions. The spacey synths, pastoral acoustic guitars, jazz-oriented drumming, airy vocals, and flute passages give the listener a feeling of relaxation, and the light-hearted compositions make the relaxation even more inevitable. Although Devin Townsend's ability to create fantastic arrangements is ultimately the finest asset of Ghost, the songwriting does take a bit of a dive about halfway through the album. It may be partially due to Ghost's insanely long running time - over 70 minutes of music this simple and relaxing is bound to get a bit boring - but it also seems that some of the later tracks lack the memorability of "Fly" or, my personal favorite, "Feather". Ghost feels a bit too drawn-out for my tastes, and occasionally induces boredom towards its second half - something that could've been easily eliminated if the album were trimmed down by about a half-hour. Despite my complaint about the album's running time, the lush atmospheres and crisp production do remain excellent throughout all of Ghost, and keep any of the songs from coming across as completely disposable.

Ghost is probably the definition of an "acquired taste". People who love ambient and new age music will undoubtedly find plenty to love here, but I can't shake the feeling that it feels too drawn-out at times, despite being extremely beautiful and relaxing. Devin Townsend really took a risk with Ghost, and although it isn't perfect, the fact that he ended up creating a very high-quality album is applause-worthy. I wouldn't say this is a good entry point into Devin Townsend's music, but it has enough worth to justify a purchase from any fan of the "mad scientist of metal". 3 - 3.5 stars are well-deserved here. I'm glad I heard Ghost; I'll certainly take it out again when I'm in the mood for a well-produced new age album.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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