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Devin Townsend - Infinity CD (album) cover

INFINITY

Devin Townsend

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.69 | 220 ratings

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SamW
4 stars Devin Townsend fronts the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad, as well as being an in-demand producer of metal groups like Lamb of God. The singer/guitarist has put out several solo records, either as Devin Townsend or the Devin Townsend band. "Infinity" is perhaps his strongest and most lyrical, and certainly his most diverse.

Townsend brings in SYL drummer Gene Hoglan to lay down the slamming rhythm tracks on this album. The moods range from mid-tempo pop to aggro to ambient. "Christeen" is a brilliant pop-rock tune with a catchy chorus, while "Bad Devil," the hilight of the album, is part metal part jazz and part god-knows-what. This tune segues into "War," a slow shuffle with Hoglan playing a subdued triplet feel under lush keyboards. DT's vocals soar over the instrumentation. As a vocalist, Townsend has a large range, and unlike most metal singers, his words are almost always disntinguishable--definitely a plus.

If I have one complaint about DT's production, it's the massive layers of synth pads. Simply put, his music doesn't need it, as it would sound just as full without them. The sound bleeds into the guitar tone, which is probably the point, but the album would sound less Steve Vai-ish (DT sang on Vai's "Sex and Religion") with at least a few more breaks from the synth onslaught. But this is part of Townsend's signature sound, and a relatively minor complaint.

Altogether, a brilliant album from a brilliant musician. Drummers will love Hoglan's playing, while non-musiicians will still enjoy the ecclectric and eccentric songwriting and shifting moods of the album. There's something here for metal fans, but the album is the very definition of "progressive." Enjoy.

SamW | 4/5 |

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