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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.84 | 322 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars In 2007 (shortly after the release of Ziltoid the Omniscient) Devin Townsend decided to take a break (of indeterminate length) from the music biz. Now, less than 2 years later, we find that no less than 4 Devin Townsend albums are on the way with the possibility of all 4 seeing a release in 2009. If you've taken a shine to any of Dev's earlier releases, be it Terria or Ziltoid or Infinity or whatever, it'll certainly seem appealing that his "hiatus" output exceeds that of most other artists and that the quality is not lacking in any of these releases. In a way, Devin is the Zappa of our times.

Ki is a mixed bag of different styles of music, helped in a large part by the new crew of session musicians accompanying him on this release. Most noticeable was the conversion to a more rock/jazz-oriented drum sound/style. Gene Hoglan had become such a mainstay in the Devy sound that any deviation from his precise kick-drum style (or synthesised copies of) seemed unusual at first. Duris Maxwell's restrained performance added much to this album. He didn't hit the skins a lot, but had a good feel for the rhythm that would bring the most out of the song.

On first listen it would seem that this is a lower-content album than Devin's earlier efforts. Yet for any given song there is the undercurrent of post-production goodness that will reward the careful listener. You'll agree if you have experienced the joy of noticing a new element in an Ocean Machine or Terria song that had, heretofore, gone unnoticed. Ki found an understanding of the power of space and restraint that reminded me at times of Talk Talk's album The Spirit of Eden.

3 or 4 of the tracks feature the female vocals of Ché Dorval. On my first listen I was damn opposed. Damn, damn opposed. But she quickly warmed to my ears and I found myself enjoying her contribution very much (unlike the unwelcome intrusion of Anna Livingstone on Anathema's album A Natural Disaster). Her vocal style is not that far removed from Devin's and adds texture to an already more substantial effort.

There are interludes on Ki that would not seem out of place on the Devlab album although maybe not reaching the uneasy heights of oddity achieved by that album. There is an undeniable climax on this album during the song 'Ki' which will have even the most casual listener staring into space with awe. Think you can listen to this album as background music? Think again, mwaah ha ha ha!!!

In short, if you found some joy in some of Devin's earlier work be sure to vote with your wallet when Ki is released on 25th of May.

nickgibbon | 4/5 |


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