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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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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Devin Townsend's 2009 album ranges from soft rock to grunge (and even rockabilly), with dashes of bizarre elements from time to time, but I don't get that this is even considered much of a progressive album. For the most part, the instrumentation is plain, with nothing really complex about it; in fact, some of it sounds like an aspiring teenager got a guitar for Christmas, and wrote a few songs by April. While there's a lot to like about this album, there's nothing particularly great about it, and honestly gets boring about halfway through.

"A Monday" Low-tuned guitar makes for a delicate and melancholic introduction.

"Coast" Soft vocals and an excellent groove over simple drums is what this second song is about. The rhythm guitar riff is excellent, and one of my favorite parts of the album.

"Disruptr" Funky rhythms and whispered vocals get this seemingly misspelled track going. The nasty, growling vocals don't appeal to me in the least, but at least are not overpowering, and the lyrics do say "master of the universe!"

"Gato" With a clean, almost amateurish guitar tone, stark drums, and repetitive bass line, this song sounds like it came fresh from a garage in 1990's suburbia. While the distorted guitar riff (which follows the bass) sounds a lot like "Godsmack" from Alice in Chains, the growling and incoherent vocals are present, giving this an edge, but of course an edge I don't care for.

"Terminal" This track sounds like a trip back to the 1980s, with soft clean guitar and gentle vocals; thankfully there are no cheesy electronic drums, but even the effects on the singing make me think of that awful decade for music.

"Heaven Send" Again, there's a simple drum beat and basic bass riff, making this song sound like typical rock of the 90s. The growling here is also annoying and doesn't help me enjoy the music.

"Ain't Never Gonna Win" This is a jazzy song with a slight funk and scat edge.

"Winter" A spacey outing with subdued guitar and more elementary drumming, the vocals are quiet and laid back. It's a drowsy track, but at least there's no outlandish growling.

"Trainfire" Now Townsend gets into a bit of old-timey rockabilly here, complete with an Elvis Presley impersonation. It soon becomes loud and irritating in the middle, but returns to the hokey, perhaps humorous boogie. The final moment, having no relation to what came prior, is simply beautiful, with a gorgeous feminine voice leading the way.

"Lady Helen" Unadorned guitar and piano are the main aspects of this quietly attractive song. While lovely, it nearly sends me to sleep.

"Ki" This is more like it. While the title track still has me nodding off, there's a lot of character here, with bright acoustic and electric guitar and handsome vocals. The instrumentation builds, layering heavier guitars, keyboard, and vocals. The machine gun percussion sounds unnatural and mars the track for me, but otherwise, it's an outstanding piece.

"Quiet Riot" This is very similar to acoustic Pink Floyd; it has a simple chord progression on acoustic guitar and a very straightforward melody.

"Demon League" A single electric guitar, pumping out one note at a time and a spacey pad in the background are all that accompany the somnolent vocal.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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