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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.65 | 123 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Townsend's 10-year streak of winning output continues with Transcendence, an album that, while somewhat lacking the artist's usual stamp of creativity and ambition, is never the less a worthy purchase for fans. This release sees Devin continuing in the niche that he's sort of created for himself--ultra modern, highly produced, dynamic, electric, and powerfully emotive prog-metal.

Taken by itself, I don't have any serious criticism for this album. Townsend is a consummate musician and songwriter. The layers of nuance are thick on each song of Transcendence, each song being a sort of standalone mini-epic. You'll be roused, smashed to pieces, left to drift back to consciousness, only lifted up through prog-metal catharsis that is uniquely Townsend and uniquely excellent. "Failure" especially stands out as a highlight throughout Devin's library; it's a showcase of his massive guitar sound, powerfully minimalist and effective lyrics, and sense of pacing.

As a serious fan of Townsend's music, I do have a few quibbles though. At this point Devin feels like he's coasting. These mini-epics that I describe don't flow well, and the album itself doesn't encapsulate a sonic narrative the way his previous works have. That, combined with predictability of the work, make Transcendence a 3-star release. It's hard to argue that Townsend is anything other than a top performer in the genre, but I think most will agree that this album represents him playing it safe.

In the end, I'm very thankful for artists like Townsend, who have given us a staggering large amount of excellent music. Few reading this will find anything in Transcendence that turns them off to the experience, and maybe some will find it as a gateway into Devin's excellent prog-metal output. The rest of us will eagerly await what crazy thing he comes up with next ... although maybe after a brief hiatus to recharge his inspiration.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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