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Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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Devin Townsend Infinity album cover
3.74 | 257 ratings | 25 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Truth (3:58)
2. Christeen (3:40)
3. Bad Devil (4:52)
4. War (6:28)
5. Soul Driven (5:15)
6. Ants (2:00)
7. Colonial Boy (3:04)
8. Dynamics (5:06)
9. Unity (6:57)
10. Noisy Pink Bubbles (5:20)

Total Time 46:40

Bonus tracks on 2000 IOM reissue:
11. Sister (live acoustic version) (2:15)
12. Hide Nowhere (live acoustic version) (5:03)
13. Man (1996 demo) (5:12)

Bonus tracks on 2023 IOM reissue:
1. Om (Demo) 06:18
2. Sit In The Mountain (Demo) 03:16
3. Processional (Demo) 11:42
4. Love-Load (Demo) 05:01
5. Sister (Live Acoustic) 02:16
6. Hide Nowhere (Live Acoustic) 05:03
7. Man (1996 Demo) 05:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, programming, producer

- Christian Olde Wolbers / upright electric bass
- Gene Hoglan / drums
- Andy Codrington / trombone
- Erin Townsend, Lyn Townsend, Dave Townsend, Naomi, Tanya Evans, Lara Ulhoff, Chris Valagao & Brad Jackson / vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Mille Thorsen with Aaron Mason (photo)

CD HevyDevy Records ‎- none (1998, Canada)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 071 (2000, Germany) With 3 bonus tracks

Limited 2CD Digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP + LP-booklet & as Digital album, Inside Out Music 24th November, 2023

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to kev rowland for the last updates
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Buy DEVIN TOWNSEND Infinity Music

DEVIN TOWNSEND Infinity ratings distribution

(257 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

DEVIN TOWNSEND Infinity reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
5 stars The Canadian guitarist and vocalist Devin TOWNSEND is a very original musician. His career took off in 1992 when he got the honourable opportunity to sing on Steve Vai's "Sex and Religion" album. His own compositions are truly original and you probably won't find any other artists with Devin's approach to the music. He's a brilliant guitarist as well as vocalist, and his music is often very complex and experimental.

Some may find the distorted sound that is very present on this album quite disturbing, but if you're familiar with, and enjoy bands such as FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, PEACE, LOVE & PITBULLS, MINISTRY and SKINNY PUPPY, you'll probably enjoy this album, even if it's quite not comparable to these bands. But if you're mixing the aforementioned bands with Adrian BELEW, PpZ30, SLAYER, Steve VAI and Frank ZAPPA, you're quite close to how it sounds.

Some songs may sound like a massive noise if you're taking a quick listening, but if you're listening closely you'll hear that there's a melody behind it all. Then there's the other songs that are catchy and almost commercial (Christeen), groovy (Bad Devil), funny (Ants), power ballad-ish (Wild Colonial Boy) and beautiful dreamy (Unity). As you can see there's a lot of variation to the material, so you won't get bored with this album in a long time.

A very interesting album that will grow on you with each listening. Highly recommended!

Review by hdfisch
1 stars I read that Devin Townsend's music is deeply rooted in grunge and industrial and that can be confirmed by listening, both styles are very much dominating his music. But I can't quite follow the link to progressive rock or metal. Certainly he's (ab)using massively keyboard textures, but LOTS OF doesn't mean all the times GOOD as well. He's probably in that way progressive that he might be the only one trying to mix all this rather noisy music done by industrial metal bands with some symphonic-alike sounds. But all this noise/music is just added up on top of each other, there is no real symbiosis, if you know what I mean. The result is really just noise more or less, of course there's still melody, but this kind of music is IMHO the real end of the rope. I mean you can't top this anymore, it's good for people who are already almost deaf because they are just listening to extreme loud metal music all the times. I listened three albums by him so far, from which I find "Accelerated Evolution" the only acceptable one, but even this one can't really fascinate me. The only track listenable here for me is "Unity", "Christeen" is a terribly commercial one and the rest terribly noisy. 1 star is the maximum I can give for this great piece of noisy art!
Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars As Devin notes in the liner notes: This album was a tremendous effort, extremely difficult to make. In order to fully appreciate it, you have to listen to it on a good hifi system. Many tracks were used, and on this album Devin really begins with his massive layering of sounds - dozens of instruments playing the same, creating a wall of sound.

The tracks are all great, and the ONLY reason for not giving this 5 stars is that Terria is even better ... so consider this a 4 1/2 star review. The tracks are all very different, every track sets a different mood.

Truth: This is a vocal oriented track, with a big choir in the chorus. I wonder where Devin get's his crazy ideas ... singing "Hallelujah" on top of these epic metal riffs.

Christeen: This is an up-tempo happy track which reminds of the Biomech album.

War: Bad Devil ends with a huge bang, which is also the begin of War. An amazing thing about this song is the sizzling keyboard layer that accompanies the whole song. And then there's some crazy 50s rock vocal lines: doo wop boddum... doo wapideewapideewapideedoo... and at the end of the song, some really amazing lyrics, which are indeed the beginning of the next track:

"Now that the love is gone

What's still holding on?

If all that was said was true...

What's still holding you?

If ever, you need someone there

Who's been there for ever

And ever, will waken the dawn

Awaken the dawn for you... "

Bad Devil: Outstanding. A swinging up-tempo track with a 8th shuffle feeling. Devin added tasty wind instrument sections and a crazy organ, and it's amazing how all these instruments remain clearly separated in the HUGE mix. About mid way through the song, there's this crazy break with a trombone solo, followed by some honky tonk piano bits. Awesome.

Soul Driven: This is the biggest and most majestic groove that I've ever heard, and again magnificent lyrics:

"The birth has occurred and the time has begun, it's the end of this age and the

preparations must begin for a new time that takes so much work and will hurt in the

beginning, change always does, and know strength is not something you buy or sell

through aggression and fear. Only love and acceptance of faith will convince you

that you're not alone and exist among friends so have patience..."

Ants: The most complex and weird track on the album. You'll have to listen in order to understand, it's just utterly bizarre.

Colonial Boy: love the majestic guitar riff of this track - it's essentially a waltz, which starts out as a 6/4 rhythm but occasionally shifts to a true 3/4 waltz rhythm.

Dynamics: This song starts fairly normal, but at 1:30 it explodes into a majestic groove similar to the one in Soul Driven.

Unity: A meditative track without distorted guitars. It just flows nicely, with lot's of activities going on within the layers of sound (beneath the surface, so to speak).

Nosiy Pink Bubbles: Another interesting song that's not so heavy as the others. It consists of two parts, the first resembling Pink Floyd's "Run like Hell", the second part more up-tempo with the typical weird Townsend vocals.

Review by FishyMonkey
5 stars I just got this album. No, I didn't just buy it, I just understood it...after so long of trying to comprehend it...I get it. And lo and behold, it is beautiful and amazing and majestic and badass and awe-inspiring and divine. Add another five star rating to Devin Townsend from me; this one is one of the most amazing releases ever.

While Terria feels like the story of the earth, Ocean Machine the story of the ocean, and Synchestra the story of all things good in life, this album is the story of the soul of mankind in relation to god. Yes, I will overinterprete that much. Maybe if you ever love this album as much as I do, you'll do the same. The journey of the human soul in it's purest and most raw form through life, that's what this is. From the birth to the midlife crisis to the calm at the end of life, this has it all. This is an epic voyage through life and the way god made the human soul.

The album opens up with the most majestic and amazing piece of music I've ever heard, simply entitled Truth. From the opening riff, you can tell it's gonna be majestic. Then Devy comes in with his high yells over those crazy guitar riffs, then everything turns perfect, and oh man, words cannot describe how perfect this song is. The absolute best opener ever. This is the revelation; the awakening; the birth of the soul, and all it is screaming is "OH HELL YES I AM ALIVE AND IT FEELS ****ING GREAT! HALLELUJAH!" You can feel that being cried out all throughout. Amazing. Truth turns into Christeen, easily the most accessible song on the album. It's more or less a pop rock song with tons of Devy-isms (such as lots of layering and odd touches everywhere). Great great song, lots of fun. This song, I feel, talks of early life, where the soul is free and full of life, and trying to find love, and looking optimistic and happy and finding love, even if there is none. The soul believes there is. Happy upbeat song to represent a happy and upbeat soul.

Next comes probably the most recognizable song on here from Devy fans, which is Bad Devil. This is essentially a big band rock song with awesome organ and a nice shuffle feel all throughout. There's a nice trombone solo interlude halfway through with finger snaps, a jazz keyboard solo. Good singing, and good drumming. What a fun song this is, haha. This song is when the soul gets older, around the teen years, where a person starts to learn of the risky and risque things in life...all the dark sides. It flirts with the dark side though, much like many teenagers. It hasn't been fully imbraced anything bad, but it knows it is all there. Following Bad Devil is another fan favorite, War. This has a shuffle feel as well, except slower. This is a little repetitive, but in no way bad at all. good vocals and lyrics, and the ending is very interesting. And how about that "doo-wap wawap, doo-wap wawap" section in the middle? Awesome. The end is kinda a preview for how weird the album is about to get, I think. This song I feel like is college years to about 25 years, where some hope for love is there, but it's more the soul is searching, trying to balance and stabilize their lives in the hectic life a young person leads...everything is being shoved on the soul and it screaming, "I DON'T WANT YOUR WAR!".

Next is Soul Driven, the first really "out there" song on the album. It's got a very majestic riff around it. It requires all the listener's effort to get anything out of it that's worth noting, and I still haven't gotten all of it. I have picked up on enough to love it though. It's super majestic all throughoutand the way Devy uses his voice is super cool. Something worth noting at 3:50-4:00 is that a melody from Stravisnky's Rite of Spring comes in softly and plays out a little bit. This is the part right before the deep voice comes in. It's just a real cool touch. I feel like this is the first breakdown of the soul, screaming out to whatever the soul worships and believes in, screaming, "WHAT THE ****?! THIS IS LIFE? HELP ME!". A cry to whatever one believes in. And the end I had trouble putting meaning to, but I feel like maybe it's saying how after this breakdown, life goes on as normal, frantic and whatnot for simple things, and the weird pop techno feel of what Devy is singing is how life happily goes on without you, breakdown or not.

Ants is next, and it is INSANE! You can almost see tons of little ants scurrying around to accomplish whatever they gotta do. So much layering here, it must have taken forever to produce. This song revolves around the frantic meaningless insanity of the human life and soul around the laundry! Make money! Make more money! It represents the soul running around like crazy trying to live, and they really have to go nuts to survive.

Wild Colonial Boy is another very good song. It takes some getting used to, as it's different in feel even for this album. This just feels like Devy is messing around a bit.'s not up to par with the rest of the album, but it's still good, and I like listening to it out of sequence with the rest of the album. If I had to interpret's the soul quietly on the side during the bussle of life, trying to say it still has some of that carefree freedom that we saw in's just muffled by the formality and retardedness of life. This is around age 40-50 now.

Dynamics is similar to Soul Driven, just done better and with a much nicer beginning. I like this song quite a bit...I mean, I already liked Soul Driven, and this is just a super-buffed up version of that song. The last three minutes absolutely tear my head off...this is the climax of the album, the last three minutes of this album. It's as hardcore and emotional and majestic as possible. This song is the second and final breakdown, starting to reach nearer to the end of your life, and saying..."My life has been one crazy as hell ride...holy CRAP! I'M ALIVE, BUT I'M LOST I'M LOST I'M LOST IN THIS CRAZY ****ING WORLD." It's another cry to god, more of a cry of asking what my life has been about, and the insanity of it all, and how nothing feels real and so on. The final screaming at the end of this song is the true climax of this album. It sums up the feel so well...just a mighty scream at the behemoth that is life.

Unity is the end of your life. It is the relaxing, the calming down..."I''m ok now...I'll make it, through this damned life of's almost over, and I'll enjoy what I have. It's alright...I'm home." I always feel like this is the grandparent stage of life, watching your kids grow, your grandkids, and just being happy for them, and relaxing yourself after working hard through the insanity all your life. It's a very peaceful song that could cheer anyone up. Wonderful relaxing feel. The end grows, symbolising how life is still insane, but the original peaceful melody and feel stays intact. Because it's alright. The soul is at peace. The song ends with a minute of silence..the fade out into death. But a peaceful fade out. Such a nice song, it's a little repetitive but so pretty I don't care at all. In fact it's one of my favorite songs on the whole allbum.

Noisy Pink Bubbles is plenty of fun, it's kinda a stoner-ish song, which is ok. It's well-done, and starts with some real funky stuff going on. The second half is more interesting yet. I can't even describe it or draw up comparisons, like I can't for most of this album because there's nothing else like it. It kinda has a Pink Floyd feel to it, almost. This doesn't fit into the story, because the story is over.

So basically, this album breaks down into two halves: the first four songs, which are the more accessible and more satisfying songs, and the next five having more focus on crazy layering and a rather divine feel. So divine the listener might not enjoy them, actually. But they are divine. For audio buffs a most here, and for anyone with patience, they will reward you greatly. Then...Noisy Pink Bubbles is in a class of its own.

I guess I more told of my interpretation of the album than anhything else, heh. But that's ok...just know it's a masterpiece. Very difficult to get into...very difficult. Thus, I wouldn't be surprised to see many people hate it. Those who get it, however...will not regret it.

Review by OpethGuitarist
2 stars Lively - but not that deep.

I can't help but feel this album as much too commercial for my tastes. The industrial and grunge -like overtones make me cringe in so many different sections. While he certainly has talent and it would seem like great stage presence (being a frontman for Vai), after a few spins I'm left wondering what else there is to discover.

I think this would be a great place to introduce people to diverse music (prog, etc.) but too much of the songs lack enough artistic quality for me to enjoy it. You can tell Devin had fun with this, which is admirable, and I can certainly understand why people would like it, but there's not enough substance here for me. Songs like Bad Devil are humorous and such, with its holly/jolly type of shuffle beat, but at some point I'm looking for something inspiring and I've never found it on this record.

There's enough creative juice here to look into other Townsend projects, but I'd prefer it if there was a more serious tone to the music. This kind of stuff is only satisfying to me at social gatherings and such.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars While it gets flak for not being as well-crafted as DT's later works, Infinity gets big points in my book for being very, very, fun to listen to. It's a many-layered symphony of technical metal with enough memorable guitar, vocal, trombone, and compositional moments to satisfy fans of heavy music, who will likely eat up Townsend's gigantic sound and effortless variety as a songwriter.

The opening number is a big, lush explosion of sound, giving way to a catchy, vocal driven number which will have the listener tapping their foot and singing along with DT's unique voice instantly. If you're not hooked by then, the haunted-house introduction and stellar riffing of Bad Devil will finish the job. Possibly one of my favorite DT songs, this one has so much crazy stuff happening I find it impossible NOT to get into-- nothing beats a bayou-trombone solo in the middle of a metal song!

The rest of the album is just as good, delivering a huge variety of sounds and songs to enjoy, with DT belting out memorable vocals and very unique guitar work; not to mention giving us a crisp, stellar production. A very fun listen and highly recommended to any considering checking out this exceptionally talented and entertaining artist-- a good first-buy.

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

Review by The Crow
3 stars Second Devin Townsend's opus... Not his best, but still really interesting.

After the solid debut Ocean Machine, and having stablished Strapping Young Lad as a strong band, Devin came out with his second album under his own name... Infinity. This album has two important facts: the developing of the typical Devin's wall of sound, and having the best Gene Hoglan behind the drumkit (this kind of drums would be in his entire career after this album...)

These facts made Infinity having the sound that Devin would completely develope later... This well named wall of sound, really present in songs like Christeen or War. This wall is just layers and layers of guitars, keyboards and some noises, being the Devin's voice diminished in such a terrible buch of sounds, usually played fast. And this is the Devin's trademark style! In Ocean Machine it was not really implemented (maybe because the poor production...), but in Infinity, the Devin's proper sound was born.

This wall of sound would later evolve in the ultra-fast and very funny Physicist, a criminally underrated album, and in the environmental masterpiece Terria. The Accelerated Evolution pop-metal style is also based on this wall, and so is the phenomenal and variated Synchestra. In the Strapping Yound Lad's albums this sound is also present... And you can hear it in the wonderful Ziltoid the Omniscient too. But in Infinity, back in 1998, this sound was created by the grace of this genious.

But this album is different anyway... Christeen, War, Dynamics... This tracks are typical Townsend's tracks, not really different of that he would later make in Physicist, and some parts of Terria. But songs like the Broadway/cabaret oriented Bad Devil, the crazy Ants, and the weird Noisy Pink Bubbles, make this album being different of all the other Townsend's albums. Every release of this man has a clear direction, while being different from all the others. But in Infinity, I think Devin's was a bit dissoriented... Because the direction of the album is not clear. It goes to different places, and nowhere at the same time... It's not really coherent, and it loses strenght towards the end.

The first half of the album is just great, with a Devin in full form, making great songs, and showing an evident evolution from Ocean Machine. But the second half is not so good... Ants is funny, but I can't say this song is good. Colonical Boy has also some broadway feeling, like Bad Devil... But is far in quality, despite the great Devin's vocals. Dynamics is good, but a bit repetitive, and the same goes to Unity, a song wich follows the ambiental feeling of some parts of Ocean Machine. Noisy Pink Bubbles is a sort of strange acoustic rock track, really weird and different from all the other Devin's songs... It's not bad, and Devin sings wonderfully here, but it doesn't really fit in this album, I think.

So this is a good album... But far from being a masterpiece, because some too strange and dissoriented songs. I think that Devin tried to make a variated album... But in my opinion, he losed a bit of inspiration in the process.

Best songs: Truth (the heavy wall of sound is here... A punch in the face), Christeen (commercial and catchy pop-metal song...), Bad Devil (the highlight of the album... Broadway music filtered by the progressive-extreme metal point fo view. A genious's work!) and War (another catchy song... With repetitive riffs and great vocals. Terria's Earth Day was a progression of this song, I think)

Conclusion: being not the best Devin Townsend's album, Infinity is another interesting, different and catchy little jewel made by this genious... Funny, with crazy lyrics, incredible vocals, powerful drums... And the unique Devin Townsend's style. Not so good like the previous Ocean Machine, and far from the Devin's masterpieces, Infinity is interesting because here we can hear the born of the Devin's wall of sound, his trademark. So every fan of this man should hear it... The rest of mortals have better choices from this man. But Infinity is a very worthy album... And knowing that this man has many better albums, you will not regret from purchasing this crazy piece of metal anyway.

My rating: ***1/2

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Infinity" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian artist Devin Townsend. The album was released through HevyDevy Records (Townsendīs own label) in October 1998. Itīs the successor to "Ocean Machine: Biomech" from July 1997. Townsend sings most vocals and instruments on the album, but did bring in his Strapping Young Lad bandmate Gene Hoglan to play the drums on "Infinity". The album features other minor session/guest appearances, but "Infinity" is predominantly the work of Townsend and Hoglan.

While "Ocean Machine: Biomech" (1997) certainly is both a progressive and quite adventurous release, "Infinity" takes it a bit further and adds more musical experiments and elements from different genres of music. Itīs obvious that Townsend felt a need to branch out and try different things and "Infinity" arguably became the vehicle for that. The creativity and increased will to experiment came after Townsend had a mental breakdown in December 1997 and checked himself into a mental-health hospital, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The knowledge of having a diagnosis explaining his erratic and mood shifting behaviour gave Townsend enough energy and confidence to start writing material for "Infinity". Although he was prescribed drugs to balance his bipolar disorder, he did however continue his drug and alcohol abuse (which he would for a number of years, and he has often been cited that "Infinity" was created "under the influence".

...and the material on "Infinity" also sounds like it. Itīs not that itīs psychadelic or stoned, but itīs highly eclectic and thereīs not much of a red thread through the album. This is definitely the sound of Townsend writing songs which stick in every which direction depending on the mood he was in while composing (and those were obviously very different moods).

The predominantly instrumental "Truth" opens the album in great epic style but is succeeded by the infectiously catchy, melodic, and mainstream oriented "Christeen", which again is succeeded by the erratic, uplifting, horn driven, big band jazzy "Bad Devil". I struggled for years to wrap my head around "Infinity" opening with three so different sounding tracks, but I guess itīs a good example of Townsend very much being an aquired taste, and that his music for some people (including me) take years to learn to appreciate. "War" is up next and itīs another great heavy song, which features multible layers of keyboards/synths, guitars, vocals, and heavy rhythms. The vers melody is infectiously catchy and one of Townsendīs most memorable melody lines. The chorus part (in fact most of the song) is busy as hell, featuring many layers of sounds to digest for the listener. The song closes with an ambient part with Townsend singing a capella with only a lead guitar melody supporting him.

"Soul Driven" (titled "Soul Driven Cadillac" on the InsideOut re-release) is a slow, heavy, and ambient atmospheric composition. Huge synths, layered vocal parts, and heavy chords. To my ears itīs not the most remarkable track on the album and while it would be wrong to say that little happens on the track, itīs a pretty one-dimensional ambient song with little structural development. It is succeeded by the absolutely crazy, erratic, and almost childish "Ants". Itīs a highly energetic and fast-paced track which is almost avant garde in nature. Not exactly a highlight of the album. "Colonial Boy" (titled "Wild Colonial Boy" on the InsideOut re-release) is the next track on the album. Thereīs a dark carnival fair element to this song, which features multible layers of vocals, choirs, and harmonies. Itīs another one of the more erratic tracks featured on "Infinity".

So weīve reached the closing three tracks of the album. "Dynamics" (titled "Life Is All Dynamics" on the InsideOut re-release) is a grand epic slow building track which again features multible layers of guitars, synths, and vocals. It has a linear structure and just builds and builds in intensity and layers throughout the track. "Unity" follows and itīs a more mellow ambient track, which by this point also feels necessary to ease the listenerīs pulse after the four rather erratic songs predecing it. While I wouldnīt exactly call it a stripped down track, itīs still less busy and layered than most other tracks on the album. At least the first 3 minutes of it, because around the 3 minutes mark Townsend starts building layers upon layers of ambient synths/keyboards on the track, which continues in a crescendo fashion for the remainder of the song. "Unity" ends with around 1 minute of silence before "Noisy Pink Bubbles" kicks in to close the album. "Noisy Pink Bubbles" is a relatively bizarre track. Itīs predominantly another mellow ambient track, but the opening vocal section features a lounge jazzy feel, which sounds a bit strange in the context of the rest of the song. So itīs another pretty erratic moments on the album, but overall "Noisy Pink Bubbles" is an interesting and quite melodic and atmospheric track, which works well.

Upon conclusion "Infinity" is both a well produced and well performed album, but the songwriting will mostly appeal to those who enjoy Townsendīs most erratic/eclectic side. The tracks are very different from each other and the album doesnīt flow very well. To my ears the first four tracks are absolutely brilliant, while the remaining part of the album struggle to reach the same excellence (and never do really do). "Infinity" is still well worth investigating because Townsend is the musical genius he is, and the album therefore features loads of interesting songwriting ideas, production techniques, and mind-blowing musicianship, but as a whole album listening experience it is a bit lacking. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is maybe in the high end considering my personal opinion on much of the material featured on the album, but thereīs simply too much quality here to give any less.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by b_olariu
2 stars Intristing and boring in the same time

Dewin Townsend second album named Infinity from 1998. First, this is intristing post metal, experimental industrial noise, but in the same time some of the pieces here are absolute boring to death. No doubt he is among the most prolific and important musicians from metal field, but to me this album specially, is almost a desaster. I can't go with the crowd saying that this is a masterpiece or something close, because i can't stand this industrial sound combined with metal, simply i don't enjoy this kind of sound. So some good piece to me are Chresteen and Bad devil, but these two tracks doesn't help the album to be a total desaster overall. The rest of the tracks are pure industrial noise with some metal and symphonic elements here and there and i don't like ait at all. Sorry to diseppoint the fans but this one is 10 times weaker than Terria. Here is invited on drums one of the most talented and important drumer ever metal embrace Gene Hoglan from Death and Dark Angel fame. 2 stars fot Infinity, for fans only , i'm not one of them.

Review by LiquidEternity
4 stars This album isn't perfect, but it is criminally underrated in many circles.

What we have here with Infinity is Devin's most progressive record, his most unique contribution to the world of music. Instead of the inescapable flow of Ocean Machine: Biomech, Infinity jerks around from point to point. Part of the problem with that is that it still is an unfinished album, in a way. Devin suffered a severe manic low near the end of this album and checked himself into a hospital, to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some of the tracks, then, are unrelated songs situation into the gaps to make it a full-length album. I end up with mixed feelings about this, because these new additions (Bad Devil, Ants, Wild Colonial Boy, and Noisy Pink Bubbles) do not fit the mood of the rest of the songs, which are nearly perfect. However, I do rather enjoy these tracks, too, so I am glad that they are included somewhere. If you are interested, demos of the remaining tracks meant to be on Infinity can be found on Christeen (+4 Demos).

Infinity opens with Truth, a very deep and brutal track musically, throwing sonic booms and impossible walls of sound at the listener. Devin prefers to open his albums with something will really knock the listener around, and Truth might be the quintessential example of that. The album continues with Christeen, a single sort of track, fun but mostly unimpressive. This then segues into the wonderfully odd Bad Devil, a track that stylistic is nothing like the songs before (in truth, nothing like anything on the rest of the album--or anything else Devin's ever done for that matter). The song has something of a wild swing feel, with the added bonus of a creepy deep voice singing the verses.

War continues Infinity, riding forward very smoothly. The song isn't necessarily really upbeat, but somehow it propels the listener forward very effectively. At some point, a moment which is intentionally kind of vague, the song becomes Soul Driven Cadillac. This song isn't as much of a song as a good bit of atmospheric metal. Lyrics about most everything fill in this massive wall of sound. As a song, it's pretty weak, but as a part of Infinity, it is almost indispensable. It ends with a colossal voice rumbling something about bodywash. That won't make any sense until you hear it a couple of times. Ants comes right on the tail of Soul Driven Cadillac, Devin's most technical and spastic work to date. Wild guitars and even wilder vocal parts detail the sorriness of human obsession with doing things. It doesn't work very well with the album flow, but it certainly does stand as a fascinating piece of music.

Wild Colonial Boy comes next, a rather random Broadway sort of track. It's interesting but not great, though I must admit, the ending reminds me a lot of the ending of Ayreon's Ye Courtly Minstrel Boy (listen to them!). Life Is All Dynamics is one of Devin's most emotional and evocative vocal performances. It then flows into the soft and building Unity, a good album closer. Well, it was supposed to be the album closer, but the fun throwaway track Noisy Pink Bubbles shows up after a bit of quiet. Some bonus tracks wrap up the album.

All in all, a very flawed album, but despite those flaws a very, very strong one. If only Devin had really finished Infinity, we'd have likely his magnum opus. As it is, Infinity is a wonderful release I'd recommend checking out, although as a first taste of Devin it might not be the wisest course to take.

Review by horsewithteeth11
4 stars This was probably the Devin Townsend album that took the longest to grow on me. The first couple of times I heard it I thought it was only an average release with a few moments of uniqueness here and there. But like almost every other album the man has ever written, Infinity has certainly grown on me. What makes this album different from all other Devin Townsend albums is the variety of moods. While most of his solo work concentrates on one aspect or feeling of the Devin Townsend sound (and does so very well most of the time), Infinity seems to jump all over the place mood-wise. Although Devin was suffering greatly from a mental standpoint while he was writing this album, and did spend time in a mental hospital shortly after it was released, so that certainly explains why the mood is everywhere on the album. Although this might be perceived as a major flaw, it actually works perfectly...almost.

The first couple of songs really prove my point effectively. The opener, Truth, is a fairly heavy track filled with frequent sonic assaults and walls of sound that Devin often enjoys throwing at the listener. This is followed by Christeen, a song that screams pop metal Devin-style and would have worked quite well as a single. The third song, Bad Devil, is really enjoyable because it's a very unique song in the Devin Townsend collection. I can't really think of another song he's written that I can compare it too, both vocally and instrumentally. If the first 3 songs don't effectively show that the album moves everywhere, then I don't know what will. Another song I'd like to point out is Ants. Although it is fairly short, it's one of the wackiest songs Townsend has ever written, and it makes me laugh every time I hear it.

If Devin had actually finished this album, it would probably have been one of his best. But given that he technically didn't and that some of the songs don't fit the overall mood (as good as they may be), I have to limit this to 4 stars. Great for expanding your Townsend collection, but starting here might leave something to be desired.

Review by TheGazzardian
4 stars This album strikes me because of the creative textures that it creates, and how it manages to be metal without feeling overly cheesy, as some metal has a tendency to (Man-o-War anyone?).

The vocals are varied, and perhaps one of my favorite aspects of this album; the way Devin twists his voices into different sounds, from typical singing, to deep growls, to higher vocals that are difficult to understand and often sound like just another very unique instrument added to the mix. The guitars are heavy, without being blatant, which is quite pleasant.

The album starts of auspiciously enough with Truth, an interesting mix of noises that leads into 'Christeen' and 'Bad Devil', two more straight forward tracks that nonetheless are quite apt at getting the juices going, and contain enough of Devin's uniqueness to make them stand out. In Christeen, during the verses, Devin proves that he can use his voice to evoke a wide range of emotions, from fury to hopefulness (the way he sings the word 'running' sounds great to these ears).

War is another Devin track that uses a Wall of Sound over some fascinating vocals to really grab the listener by the ears, building up and layering additional vocal themes until the near the end, when Devin demands "Quiet, just a little bit of quiet please - just stop the noise for once, please!" (at which point the audio seems to implode upon itself), followed by some excellent, if difficult-to-understand vocals by Devin (although this album is not about the lyrics so much as the vocals, to me).

War leads into Soul Driven, which builds up from just vocals and guitar to another heavy track that is highly recommended for the same reason as previous tracks on the album. In fact, at this point, it's becoming obvious that this album is, more than anything else, about massive layering into walls of sound, which Devin is quite good at. At the end of this song is a moment that is too weird to happen in almost any other type of music, strange low range vocals with high vocals layered overtop, sounding almost monstrous and very frightening. It is excellent in the way that songs like Gentle Giant's Alucard, VDGG's Lemmings, Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man, and Yes' Close to the Edge are - new textures of sound that you had not imagined beforehand, but that leave you breathless with their ingenuity and how they just WORK. It is only a one minute section, and not quite as good as the aforementioned tracks, but it definitely evokes the same feeling (to a lesser degree).

Ants is the next track, and this is a track that MUST be listened to sitting or lying down, as the crazy vocals will make you dizzy and knock you down if you try to keep up with them any other way. The frenetic pace of this song alone makes the album worth the purchase, for there is not a lot of other music out there like this. Next is Colonial Boy, much more straightforward (relying more on guitars and the chorus) than the rest of the album, yet surprisingly catchy. I've put this album on simply because I had this song stuck in my head many times.

The next three tracks return to the heavy layering, and while each is great on its own, none of them quite rank with the middle of this album. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of this album, and the great experimental parts (especially Soul Driven and Ants) make this a highly recommended album, although the heavy layering may be troublesome too some, so I will rate it at 4 stars: an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. I will definitely be looking for more Devin to add to my library after hearing this album.

Review by Negoba
4 stars Devy At His Breaking Point

Warning: this review is about the entire INFINITY project, not just this album.

INFINITY was Devin Townsend's second solo release, and came at a time when he was mentally falling apart. Shortly after this album came out, he put himself in the hospital and was diagnosed with Bipolar illness. Besides his personal issues, there were reportedly alot of technical difficulties as well. As a result, the record company finally forced Devin's hand and he had to give them the songs he had finished rather than the full album he had envisioned. (He was already far behind schedule, and things were looking rough for completion any time soon.) As a result, INFINITY as it was released feels like exactly what it is, a collection of songs that were sequenced and linked after the fact. There are some great immense atmospheric pieces and some novelties, and they tend to bounce from style to style. As it happens, I love the more experimental quirky songs on this album as well or more than similar ventures on his other discs. However, they break the continuum of the soundscape. With the release of the Christeen EP, the remainder of the material was released, again in a kind of mishmash with an assortment of ideas.

The original track order was to be 1. Truth 2. Processional (parts 2-4 from the EP) 3. Christeen 4. War 5. Starchild Rise (part 1 of Processional from the EP) 6. Soul Driven 7. OM (from the EP, part of his current live set) 8. Life is All Dynamics 9. Unity. Reconstructing this using whatever music software at your disposal (as the demos are quite high quality) will result in a very different INFINITY. Like OCEAN MACHINE or SYNCHESTRA, this album flows, taking the listener on a inner journey that is simply beautiful. Several songs take on a completely new feel based on the emotions that went before. "Christeen," a poppish single that I never liked by itself or within the original album sequence, emerges from an intense brain melt as a cruise on a motorcycle with the wind in your face. The rises and falls of "War" work much better.

Four songs from the release version are omitted. The first "Bad Devil" is a great tongue in cheek, almost vaudeville song that is much better than the similarly conceived "Vampira / Vampolka" off SYNCHESTRA. "Ants" is an insane piece of experimentation that I'm sure is too much for some listeners, but I love. It almost evokes Mr. Bungle at places with manic circus-y sections alternating with free time chaos. "Wild Colonial Boy" is a slightly overbaked waltz that again is fun but forgetable. "Noisy Pink Bubbles" actually reminds me a little that Devin was once a bandmate of Steve Vai's, and points back toward FLEX-ABLE to a degree during its introduction. Along with "Sit in the Mountain" from the Christeen EP, these songs would have made a wonderful EP bonus to the album as Devin intended it to be.

The core songs (appearing on both versions) are epic, grand, ambitious works where Devin is clearly trying to understand the meaning of, well, Infinity. (He would make fun of thise aspect of himself almost 10 years later on Ziltoid.) The opener "Truth" alternates between a vocal that sounds like munchkins singing "Money money money" in unison with a heavily distorted guitar with a gang vocal of "Hallelujah." It takes Townsend's immense sonic landscape to support such a grand project, and INFINITY definitely sees Devy making huge strides in the development of his trademark wall of sound. "War" and "Unity" are the kind of songs that I love Townsend for - psychedelic, textured, often heavy, but the kind of music that takes you to another world.

I cannot give the released album a full five stars. But the INFINITY project as a whole is an essential part of the Devy legacy. The EP is a must, of course. Highly recommended for those exploring the world of one of metal's most gifted muses.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Devin's music is so much similar to a full orchestra playing at it's extreme, but it's all rock instruments. A lot of his music is very loud and full textured, a very thick mix, but somehow, in the loudness, all of the instruments come through. This particular album is one of the thicker ones, but don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of variety in Devin's music, including this album. Infinity, however, is also one of the less progressive ones, even though there are two extremely progressive songs here (Ants and Noisy Pink Bubbles), which is unfortunately too short. But, even when he is not at his most progressive, I love Devin's approach to music, especially his heavy music. It is so full of sound that each time you hear it, you hear something different.

I still love the straightforwardness of the album, many of the tracks really rock, yet sound so fresh because of Devin's approach to mixing. Nothing is under- or over-mixed here, it's all quite even, yet still very emotional music. But if you don't like your music unrelenting, then this album may be a little too much for you. Yet, there is a softer side to the album, and it is in the track called "Unity" which is a lovely song, more of a ballad, but it's still got that full loud sound to it. It's really hard to explain, that something so full sounding can still be so emotional and not get old. The best way to understand Devin's music is to listen for yourself. However, give yourself a little time to acclimatize yourself to the wall of sound and marvel at how all the different sounds and tones still manage to come through that amazing wall.

Devin can be more dynamic on other albums, and that is where there is a little bit of a slip on this album. At first listen, this one might be a little more impenetrable even if it is still more straightforward than normal for DT. The reason for this is because it is more heavy rock oriented than some of his others, though he is never afraid to scream at the top of his lungs, so be prepared....yes even when singing about recycling as he does on another album.

There are some bonus tracks available on one edition and 2 of them are acoustic. These are interesting to listen to because it breaks down the wall of noise, but only a little bit, because his acoustics still fill the space that is known as silence. It's still very heavy sounding and noisy in it's own right. Again, you have to hear it to know what I'm talking about.

I can still give this 4 stars because I love DT's approach to recording and the unique sound it gives his music and the level of emotion in his music, singing and playing. Yes, DT has messed up a few times, but you can usually count on his music to be high quality, and I don't care how loud it is or if some may consider it metal, it's still amazing.

Review by Wicket
4 stars Here's where Townsend's mad side gets some attention.

As with all Townsend albums, the keyword is reverb. And lots of it, as usual. "Truth" is essentially a 4 minute long overture pronouncing that fact, but differentiating itself from "Biomech", little samples of distorted voices and other instrument samples, bell tones here and there, massive choral "aahs". It's more of a pompous spectacle than his first album, predictable really, since first solo efforts are usually best to be played on the safer side, considering DT was still with Stapping Young Lad by this point in time. Then "Christeen" kicks in and that heavy metal-pop star mix that Townsend is so good at comes through. Not bad at all, but not out of the ordinary.

Then we get to "Bad Devil", and a glimmer of Townsend's mad side suddenly shines through. Amazingly, the chorus is still catchy as all hell, but the demonic verses may catch you a bit off guard, not to mention the almost satanic swing groove in the middle. It's absolutely refreshing, but definitely messed up on a few levels, but hey, that's Devin for you.

"War" is another one of those reverb soundscapes that just gallops along for about 6 and a half minutes, and then "Soul Driven Cadillac" cuts the speed in half and continues the same song and dance before fading into a weird soundcsape of noise and samples. Going straight into "Ants", a bit more hectic, before jumping into what sound to me like reverbed interpretation of a Jewish dance tune, but with all the musicians and dancers all on crack. It's a complete 180, even from "Bad Devil", blindsiding listeners for a good 2 minutes before it all settles and that brilliant ballad "Wild Colonial Boy" serenades and waltz its way into your heart.

"Life Is All Dynamics" also sounds a bit like a ballad going into it, before it bursts out, as usual, in reverbed fashion, filled with screams, ear-deafening synths and glorious pomp and circumstance. (So, if we're taking Townsend literally here, by use of the transitive property, that means life = loud, which according to Townsend it is). Or is it? "Unity" then takes another complete 180 and focuses more on synth atmospheres than completely drowning you in reverb and noise. It's not a lyrical ballad a la "Wild Colonial Boy", it's more ethereal and sublime than that. And then, in another 180, "Noisy Pink Bubbles" attempts another serenade(?) of sorts with bell tones all around, but the drum track is much groovier, a bit busier than that. Also, it's not very noisy, as roughly 2 minutes the rest of the song delves into a deep jam with occasional quips from Townsend.

All in all, this is the start of the Devin Townsend we all know and love. The catchy, reverb-tastic songs from "Biomech" are still present, but it's also much livelier than "Biomech", and much, much weirder. But then again, that's the appeal to his music. He isn't like any other musician. This is his style, it's what he does, and frankly, it's one of his better efforts, despite the fact it was released in the 90's (barely, ['99], but it still counts).

Review by Kempokid
4 stars Devin Townsend's second album proves to be a very different beast from his first, taking away the atmospheric, subtle, clean tracks, for outright madness and fun. The production is very strange, both sounding very clear, yet also having a degree of muddiness to it, the compositions are incredibly varied, sounding more like individual tracks rather than a cohesive album, and their is a sense of outright fun to be found here, rather than the extremely solemn 'Ocean Machine: Biomech'. Due to this being a Devin Townsend release, one thing that can be counted on is the absolutely perfect vocals for any case, ranging from beautiful and operatic, to aggressive screaming.

From the opening song 'Truth' it already becomes clear just how different this album is going to be, exploding into a wall of sound full of quirky, bizarre vocal noises and makes for a strange way to kick the album off. 'Christeen' is a much more pop oriented track, with a fun catchy chorus and more strange vocalisations, making for a completely different sound from the opener. Just to destroy any notions that 'Christeen' was going to be an outlier track, the clear highlight, 'Bad Devil' bursts in. These is easily one of my favourite songs that Devin has ever written, being an extremely entertaining, fun swing metal song that clearly went on to influence 'Diablo Swing Orchestra', particularly 'Balrog Boogie'. Everything about this song works absolutely perfectly, being full of energy and easily grabbing the attention of anyone listening to this album. The album continues strongly with 'War', being another massive, seemingly impenetrable wall of sound, with a fairly decent groove that is pushed to its breaking point, with a gradual increase of layers to the music, until it explodes with Devin screaming about stopping the noise, which I find to be interesting. 'Soul Driven Cadillac' is quite similar to the tracks 'Life if All Dynamics' and 'Unity', all conveying the more grandiose, atmospheric side of Devin's music. These songs all contain very powerful grooves to them, displaying his more serious side. 'Ants' is the single weirdest song in Townsend's entire discography, with some of the most unadulterated insanity I've heard in any band. truly a song that needs to be heard, and one that never fails to get a laugh out of me. 'Wild Colonial Boy' is a fun waltzy power ballad with some great melody, and an awesome chorus. The closing track 'Noisy Pink Bubbles' is a good one all around, having a psychedelic, stoner style to it, ending the album in the same way it started, strangely.

While the album is less coherent than any other Devin Townsend effort, it is also one of the most purely entertaining one, with a lot of diversity and fun involved. While I recommend other Devin Townsend albums over this one, simply because this doesn't have the same scope and maturity as albums such as 'Ocean Machine', 'Terria' or even 'Ziltoid the Omniscient', however, this is definitely a great album that I'll recommend to any fan of Devin Townsend, and I'll recommend 'Bad Devil' to anyone.

Best Songs: Bad Devil, War, Unity

Weakest Songs: None

Verdict: Fun album all around that is quite accessible, using various styles and genres throughout with very little restraint. While it doesn't reach the creative highs of other albums, it is nonetheless a fun listen.

Review by kev rowland
5 stars 25 years on from its original release, the cover has changed in that Devin has had a new photo taken, and the album has been remastered and also now includes seven bonus tracks including the songs from the 'Christeen' EP. I vividly remember the impact this album had on me when it was released, as while I knew Devin from Strapping Young Lad, he had only released one album under his own name prior to this one and when I heard this I was absolutely blown away by the production and his approach to prog metal. It was recorded after Devin had checked himself into a mental hospital where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and while he played most of the instruments himself, he also brought in SYL bandmate Gene Hoglan on drums, Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers plus Andy Codrington (trombone).

It was with this album that Devin really got to grips with his wall of sound approach to production: he later described this as "the parent project" of 'City' and 'Biomech', and anyone who knows those albums will agree this bastard offspring is far greater than what went before. This was the release which had me desperate to find out more about the mad Canuck and is still as fresh today as it was all those years ago. That he can go full on pronk on "Ants" is just wonderful but compare that to the anthemic bombast which is "War", still one of my very favourite tracks of his, and it is interesting to note just how close the 'Retinal Circus' version is to this. This album is where Devin really came of age and found himself, and the learnings he took on that journey has been the foundation for what he has achieved since. These days Devin Townsend is a household name to anyone interested in progressive metal, but back then he was a musician who had toured with Steve Vai and The Wildhearts (one of the tracks on 'Infinity' is co-written with Ginger), then formed his own band which gained critical but little popular acclaim, Strapping Young Lad. This album changed all that, and I loved it 25 years ago, and my view has still not changed. Awesome.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Released in 1998, Infinity has been dubbed by its creator Devin Townsend as the "parent album" of the two records he had released in 1997: his solo debut, Ocean Machine: Biomech, and Strapping Young Lad's City album. It is a fitting description, as Infinity borrows the sublime taste for catchy melod ... (read more)

Report this review (#2584461) | Posted by lukretio | Sunday, August 8, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Overly ambitious, immature, sublime, epic, aggressive, beautiful, pretentious, honest. These are just a few of the ways I can describe Devin's second solo release. Especially when compared with some of his recent work, which tends to be more subdued and accessible, Infinity stands out as epitomizi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1462519) | Posted by The Progmatist | Friday, September 11, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first time I saw Devin Townsend live, I had no idea who he was, I think I'd heard of Strapping Young Lad, but that was about it. When he took the stage, he busted out "Truth" with his band, commanding the audience with his powerful charisma, and I suddenly heard everything that was missing f ... (read more)

Report this review (#1372157) | Posted by HunterD | Monday, February 23, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7.5/10 A somewhat disappointing follow-up to the great Ocean Machine: Biomech, Infinity was released shortly after the mental breakdown of Devin Townsend that led to him being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I do not know whether this had any impact on his music, but the fact that this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#775499) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, June 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars On Infinity, Townsend struggles to control his technique of orchestration using mass digital layering. Tracks like Unity lack cohesion, lack any real sense of dynamic thrust or vector, and the whole experience is somewhat like an Aural equivalent of drowning. That being said, this is Townsend, s ... (read more)

Report this review (#155701) | Posted by La fraisne | Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ly ... (read more)

Report this review (#115213) | Posted by SamW | Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of the most amazing albums i heard in the last couple of years! Bad Devil is the first Devin Townsend song i heard when they played it on the radio in Belgium in 1998 (they gave Devin alot of airplay on Metalopolis on Studio Brussel in those days). Bad Devil just blew me away with it ... (read more)

Report this review (#57424) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a fantastic ride. Crazed Canadian master guitar smith Devin Townsend has a creative reserve that most of us would exchange a body part for. With Infinity, Devin serves up a gorgeous, powerful opener, followed by the mostly straightforward and very rockin' "Christeen". So far so good, ... (read more)

Report this review (#18026) | Posted by | Friday, July 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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