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


Devin Townsend


Experimental/Post Metal

3.84 | 322 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Brilliant New Direction for a Modern Genius

Ki is the first of a four album set from the newly sober Devin Townsend. This actually made me nervous, for though I am happy that a hero is pursuing a healthier life, other artists have sometimes floundered trying to explore their creativity clean.

I shouldn't have worried. Ki is the most innovative album Devy has made in awhile. Its sound, though recognizable as Devin Townsend owing to his voice and guitar tuning, is otherwise very different from anything he's done before. First of all, the mix is wide open, more spare and open than probably any DT album ever. The guitars are often clean for the majority of the song, and even distorted section lacks the huge wall of sound that had become a Devy trademark. Ironically, one of the descriptors that has come to my mind in describing the new album is "Chris Isaak on acid."

Others have criticized this album for being too mellow, but there is actually a very wide range of emotions on this disc. Early tracks like "Disruptr" and "Gato" are extremely intense with the latter being among Devy's scariest. At the other end of the spectrum, we have spacey ambient tracks like "Terminal" and "Winter." There are plenty of bluesy sections (which frequently start sounding very run-of-the-mill and then morph into something insane) and a female vocalist who actually ups the intensity and compliments Devin's voice quite well. There is also a nice dose of Devy's fun-loving humor, with the train-boogie riff and Elvis impersonation of "Trainfire" leading the charge. The title track is perhaps the closest to vintage Devy with a slowly building stack of musical layers climaxing in the ocean of sonic bombardment we've come to love.

On first listen, there are multiple times I found myself thinking "What the hades is he doing?" Every time, the song would evolve or turn into something strange and beautiful in a way that only Devin could have done. On repeated listens, my regard for the album has steadily grown and grown. I definitely advise giving the album some time with an open mind, for the rewards are great. I don't think it reaches masterpiece level (some of the ambient bits are overlong), but overall it is a brilliant CD and highly recommended.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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