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Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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Devin Townsend Terria album cover
4.16 | 712 ratings | 70 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Olives (3:21)
2. Mountain (6:32)
3. Earth Day (9:35)
4. Deep Peace (7:34)
5. Canada (6:53)
6. Down and Under (3:43)
7. The Fluke (7:18)
8. Nobody's Here (6:54)
9. Tiny Tears (9:13)
10. Stagnant (5:25)
11. Humble (hidden track) (5:29)

Total Time 71:57

Bonus Enhanced CD from 2001 IOM double disc edition:
1 Universal (5:55)
- CD-ROM section :
A - Devin Townsend Live in Tokyo 1999 :
Video 1 Intro (Unity)
Video 2 Seventh Wave
Video 3 Regulator
Video 4 Truth
Video 5 War
Video 6 Hide Nowhere
Video 7 Bad Devil
Video 8 Christine
B - Audio Commentary from Devin on the Making of Terria

Line-up / Musicians

- Devin Townsend / guitar, vocals, keyboards, samples, producer & mixing

- Jamie Meyer / piano, keyboards
- Craig McFarland / fretless bass
- Gene Hoglan / drums
- Mark Gordon / ? (11)
- Matteo Caratozzollo / ? (11)
- Byron Stroud / bass (2.1?)
- Jed Simon / guitar (2.1?)

Releases information

Artwork: Travis Smith

2LP Inside Out Music IOMLP 080, 0501181 (2012 Germany)

CD HevyDevy Records ‎- HDRTE9 (2001, Canada)
2CD Inside Out Music America ‎- IOMACD 4024 (2001, US) Bonus Enhanced CD
CD Inside Out Music IOMCD 080 (2001 Europe)
2CD Dope Entertainment, HevyDevy Records DM-77005 (2001 South Korea)
CD HevyDevy Records HDRTE9 (2001 US & Canada)
CD Sony Records Int'l SRCS 2536 (2001 Japan)
2CD Inside Out Music IOMLTDCD 080 (2001 Germany)
CD Soyuz Music IOMCD 080 (2003 Russia)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- 0501060 (2010, Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DEVIN TOWNSEND Terria ratings distribution

(712 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DEVIN TOWNSEND Terria reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars The Canadian artist Devin Townsend keeps on surprising with his experimental and uncompromising music. His career started as a vocalist and guitarist on Steve Vai's "Sex & Religion" album. Devin's fourth solo album "Terria" is as diverse as his previous releases. The music varies between guitar pop, industrial-, progressive- and speed metal. It can change between quiet ballads to complex musical passages on to distorted guitar outbursts. Sometimes it can be described as total lunacy. Imagine a mix between Adrian Belew, Dream Theater, Frontline Assembly, King Crimson and Skinny Puppy.

Devin's music can easily be "too much" if one listening to it extensively. In small portions it can be really funny to listen to though. A talented musician, complex songwriting and overall a very good album indeed!

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is Devin's masterpiece. The following album has more hooks and catchy tunes, but this one is truly majestic, epic and utterly wonderful. I give it 5 stars without any hesitation. This is a complex work of art.

This albums is also so unique - it defies categorisation. Although this is metal, there is no other Prog Metal band that comes close to what he does. Earth Metal, Epic Progressive Metal ... that begins to describe it.

The most unique thing about the Devin Townsend albums is that he uses a very large number of tracks during recording, which are layered on top of one another to create a wall of sound. He does this for individual instruments as well as the whole tracks. This results in a incredible level of detail - with a good hifi system, you can hear lots of different instruments "below the surface".

This album doesn't have a story as such, but a topic: Nature - Canada in particular - and spirituality. The song titles and lyrics excerpts give you a good idea of what you can expect.

Olives: This is the weirdest intro to a prog metal album that I ever heard. I don't want to spoil anything, you'll have to listen for yourself.

Mountain: The track starts kind of usual, but after 2 minutes a cool laid back section starts, which slowly climbs and works it's way towards the peak. Listening to it, you literaly feel like a mountaineer. At about 5:30, the song suddenly stops and you hear something like a radio, playing some tune, with faint sounds in the background.

Earth Day: This song starts quite abruptly, after the silence of the preceding track. This is a typical Devin Townsend song, with haunting rhythm, thriving guitars, and crazy lyrics:

Man Overboard (I'm so far away)

Man Overboard (I'm so far...)

But [%*!#] it! ...I really don't care

Fuck! Listen to me! Just shut the [%*!#] up!

Peace, Love, Joy

Man overboard (I'm so far...)

Hate, hell, war

Hate, love, love, hate, love, hate...destruction!

Deep Peace: Beautiful song, you might even call it a ballad, although it's almost entirely based on heavy instrumentation. About halfway through the song, a beautiful guitar solo kick's off a heavy waltz (3/4), which is sort of a trademark for Devin.

Canada: One of my favorite songs on the album. It starts with a absolutely divine guitar riff. The song is as majestic as "Soul Driven" of his previous album, and it's about driving down a Canadian freeway. Again, there's crazy lyrics:

It's oil, It's wheat, It's soil, It's meat

It's beef!

The road, it's home, the mountain high, river low...

Wake me, please wake me,

When it's my turn to drive

Only the lonely (and maybe John Denver) know the Canadian freeway.

Down And Under: A french radio/TV excerpt kicks off this song, and while it's not as majestic as the previous song, it's flowing nicely and acting as a segue, to prepare and set things up for The Fluke.

The Fluke: Nice up-tempo track, with two completely different parts. The first is very similar to the kind of music Devin wrote for Biomech. The second part is introduced by some nice breaks and signature changes ... and then it's 3/4 time again, this time in a shuffle feel. Then, after a short repetition of the first part, some crazy keyboards/effects loop starts, fading into a heartbeat sample which morphs into the sound of rain.

Nobody's Here: Wonderful melancholic track, really slow and laid back, with absolutely fitting lyrics:

Hello, it's good to see you here

Come in, can I offer you a beer?

This song has some similarities to Roger Waters lyrics and songwriting - just a little bit.

Tiny Tears: I guess this is the closest thing to a ballad on this album - it's a

romantic song that deals with relationships. It flows nicely, and again I'd like to quote the


I see you

I need you

I leave you behind

I've learned my lesson

O.K I'm bored now.

About half way through the song, a guitar solo kicks of a song within the song - a 2 minute build up of a different motive, with the lyrics that I quoted.

Stagnant: Crazy Devin ... who would think of using pizzicato strings in this heavy setting? This is one of the really joyful tracks on the album, and please forgive me - I have to quote the lyrics one last time ...

It's beautiful, the way it's meant to be...beautiful, but it 'don't do [&*!#]' for me...

So peel away a little skin and choke upon the bone

And ain't it funny how, after trying to find my way home,

I'm in the middle now, and I won't get lost again.

Review by The Crow
5 stars Only one word is necessary to describe this album: MASTERPIECE!!!!

This album has the incredible capacity to give you so many feelings... You'll feel great peaceful and good feelings in Deep Peace, Down and Under, Nobody Here... And you'll contemplate great rage and contamination on Earth Day, Canada, The Fluke... Chaos, mountains to climb, human silliness, hate, love... This record it's all feeling!

Devin Townsend is one of the best singers on earth, his voice is unique! And he is an outstanding composer too. Nobody whould miss it!!!!! Every song here is a wonderful travel...

Finally: Gene Hoglan, he's a beast on drums. His playing is simply incredible!

Review by FishyMonkey
5 stars This is one of those albums. One of those albums that doesn't hit you right away with the sheer beauty of itself until you've opened yourself enough to handle it. Or at least that's what happened to me. I was originally one of those The Fluke/Life/Christeen/ Traveller kids that liked Devin Townsend for his easier to get into songs. Earth Day also did quite a lot for me, as did Stagnant. I thought I was ready for the whole album ...but honestly, I wasn't. Deep Peace, Tiny Tears, Canada, Mountain, Mobody's Here, I didn't quite get them. Sure, Tiny Tears was real emotional, Mountain had a cool beginning, but I didn't get it.

Then, like any prog record, after enough listens, I got it. In a big way. I got what this record was all about. I wasn't forcing myself to like it, like I did with Close to the Edge (fortunately, that hit me with its genius not too long after). I already liked it, but when I understood it, I loved it. Loved it. This album could inspire a man to start his life anew, make an emotionless prostitute cry, calm a raging man down, and basically help you in life. It is that powerful.

After Physicist, which was more or less SYL lite, Devin sat down and decided not to rush the next album, and let the songs come naturally. That's what it feels like these songs came from, right from Devin's soul, and his guitar playing and especially singing complements the songs perfectly. The other musicians do their part perfectly as well, although nothing to write home about. This album isn't about amazing musicality, it's about inspiring songs and layers and layers of....well, song. These songs are deeper than you could ever imagine. Devy himself said he'd stay up late many nights in a row just adding little effects to songs you could hardly hear, but were quite cool. And if you pay attention, you can hear them. And they work.

The songs themselves are all excellent. Deep Peace and Nobody's Here are similiar in structure, Nobody's Here having some amazing emotional singing halfway through and Deep Peace having the most amazing breakdown in the world halfway through the song. These are the songs that took the longest to get for me, because they don't jump out at you to proclaim themselves as good, they work quietly, waiting for you to appreciate them. And when you begin to appreciate the songs, then they start showing you what their made of. Stupid comparison? Yea, but it's true.

There are four uplifting songs on this album. Stagnant is the first (and the last track), and this track has some amazing singing. The melody is simply amazing, and Devy's vocal work is perfect. Summer's here...the sunlight greets the day...very memorable stuff. The next uplifting song is Canada which is all about cruising down the Canadian freeway with no worries and no real anxiety or troubles. There's not a sad or angry moment to be found on this track, and some of the lyrics are quite funny. You really do feel peaceful listening to this. Canada flows nicely into Down and Under, which is a short instrumental. This piece builds wonderfully into something amazing with Devy softly humming in the background. Lovely. I listen to this whenever I start feeling down. The last uplifting song on this album is The Fluke, which is really similiar in structure to the type of music Devy did for Ocean Machine. It's just a really fun, uplifitng piece with solid songwriting and some really nice sections around 3:00 minutes in.

The next two tracks I wanna talk about are the tracks that are kinda just... introductory. The first two, of course. Olives is extremely strange and not a listenable piece. Mountain starts with a bang, then kinda fades out and doesn't demand your attention until the end, where Devy starts screaming again. It's a nice piece, but really, its only purpose to me when I listen to the album is as an introduction to where the album really begins...which is Earth Day.

Earth Day is one of the two big knockout tracks on this album. I'm not saying that they all aren't killer, but if you were to turn on the emotional tracks of this album, this would be one of them. This song is loud, obnoxious, angry, and in-your-face the whole way. I feel like it's just about proclaiming, "HEY! LISTEN TO ME! YOU ****!". It succeeds in delivering that message, oh my it does. Great great track. Difficult to describe, you'd just have ot hear it.

The other knockout emotional song is Tiny Tears, which is the polar opposite of Earth Day. This song is one of the most emotional, beautiful pieces you'll ever hear. I don't wanan try to put words to it, but it's so amazingly beautiful. Listen to it.

This album is perfect. Even the first two tracks I wouldn't change. This is one of the best albums I've ever heard, and one of the most inspiring. Devy's work is almost divine sometimes.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This music describes the best what is a monolithic electric guitar! I have never heard a more monolithic electric rhythmic guitar than on this record: that's completely ridiculous! This brutal guitar is so distorted and polluted with tons of useless effects that it takes all the available room! As if it was not enough, the musician seems to take a huge pleasure to exaggeratedly sustain each note, a painful torment for the ears! The rhythmic guitar is COMPLETELY unmelodious. The lead vocals are just simply too angry and aggressive for me. When the lead vocals are more mellow, they amazingly remind me David Gilmour and James LaBrie. There are some good acoustic guitar parts. There are some unconvincing TV or radio sounds, a much worse copy of Roger Waters' effects: they seem too coarsely produced. You can hear some whales-like sounds. There are some rare good passages, so that, globally, this record is not worth a complete listen. The only track that retained more my attention is "Deep peace", starting with an imitation of David Gilmour's voice; an Oldfield-esque guitar solo then begins, followed by an Hillage-esque one, featuring his spacy ambience from the "Green" album; then, it changes to a VERY modest & much slower attempt to emulate the symphonic Yngwie Malmsteen himself. This VERY rebel music is probably perfect for the young people who like disturbing moods.

Rating: 1.5 star

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Amazing album. This i own and Infinity. I must say this is an axtraordinary view over music by this gentleman named Devin Townsend. Very interesting and catchy tunes. I think is one of the most important musician in the last 20 years. Every track is damn good, to the Olives, 'till the last one. This man plays for some time with one of the biggest drummer in the world, Gene Hoglan. All in all, you must have this one, because worth all the money. I like it very much.
Review by 1800iareyay
5 stars Devin Townsend is one of the most prolific artists in modern music. Fans can expect at least an album a year from one of his projects, quite often two. With every release, critics hail his brilliant lyrics, superb musicianship, and flawless production. However, Devin took some time off from his projects at the start of the century and simply waited for songs to come. The result is one of the greatest albums in prog metal, alongside DT's Scenes and Ayreon's The Human Equation. It's difficult to define Terria, which almost automatically makes it progressive. It isn't a concept album, but it's unfair to say the album has individual songs. Essentially, you are listening a recording of a man's stream of consciousness; it displays as much emotion as The Human Equation but with the crushing force of a man filled with rage (incidentally Devin's role on The Human Equation). Devin uses themes for his albums; the theme here is normal life. Unlike THE, Terria doesn't grab you at first. Like every Townsend release, it takes several listens to figure out just what you've listened to. When it clicks, you'll never experience greater euphoria.

As usual, Devin augments his musicianship with some of the finest instrumentalists around. Behind the kit is Strapping Young Lad drummer Gene Hoglan. His drumming is more restrained from the death metal he's used to, but he still unleashes some thunderous force on songs like Earth Day. Craig McFarland lays down some inventive fretless bass. Jamie Meyer's keyboards give this album almost as much atmosphere as Devin's voice.

It's impossible to select highlights for this album. You simply must listen from start to finish. Every time I listen something new grabs my attention. Devin layers his songs with so many hidden elements that you'll never grow tired of his work. Even the more straight-forward SYL material is filled with nuances. The music stops on a dime and heads off into completely new territory. It will pound with metallic force on "Mountain" and "Earth Day" then suddenly give way to a Gilmour like solo over lush keys on "Deep Peace." The freeway soul-searching of "Canada" empties into "Down and Under," which segues into the fierce and complex "The Fluke." "Nobody's Here" and "Tiny Tears" are rather melancholic and deal with the emptiness we all feel at some point. The melancholia is cured by "Stagnant" and its upbeat sound. "Universal" closes the album as weirdly as "Olives" opens it.

This album is without a doubt one the top five releases in progressive metal. It's hard to say if this is a good place to start with Devin since everything he makes is complex. It's like Pink Floyd turned up to 11, with terrific and unique vocals and genius yet nonsequitor lyrics. Fans of metal might want to start with SYL's City or Alien to introduce yourself before braving this masterpiece. It isn't quite a flawless A+, but it comes close; on a numeric scale, I give it about a 97 or 98.

Grade: A

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars The metal version of Adrian Belew.

In his most acclaimed release, Devin Townsend produces an album with immense detail - Terria. The amount of layering of tracks involved here is so much so that it's highly doubtful one will have found every detail even after numerous listens. Much of this borders at the fringes of Prog Metal, delving into industrial concepts, RIO, electronic sampling, and many other influences.

My biggest complaint with the album is how forward the drums are in the mix, almost to the point of completely overpowering certain tracks because of the loudness in the mix. In contrast to negative reviews mentioned, I wouldn't call this aggressive or angst-filled at all, moreso it's an artist having fun doing crazy off the wall stuff that the listener wouldn't expect, because after all, "It's just entertainment folks" as Devin says on track 3. Devin's music is certainly not for everyone, but I believe it has little to do with him being angry at the world and more him being comfortable in his own skin and just putting something out there to have fun with. And with this record, if you have an open mind, you certainly can have fun. No, he doesn't always make normal transitions as a song might seem like it should progress, but ultimately I don't think he cares, which I feel is an admirable trait for an artist to possess.

Those who are looking for a PC album that they can play to appease their friends and show their keen musical taste should avoid this record by all means. However, if you're looking for a wild ride that will keep you on your toes and some excitement, you should get this.

Review by Prog Leviathan
5 stars An immense, sweeping experience, this Devin Townsend album will take the listener on a masterful journey through styles, emotions, intensity, and tenderness.

Be warned that it takes a long time to enjoy what's going on after the amazing "Earth Day", but the pay-off is incredible. Devin's savage/delicate guitar work and compositions are exceptionally enjoyable. His voice balances the two extremes nicely, but I enjoy his screams more than his tender stuff. The songs themselves have tremendous variety, which never makes for a boring moment.

"Terria's" scope and pacing is expertly handled, and the listener will find themselves flying through ambient and powerful extremes throughout. The experience is staggering, and I honestly cannot think of another band within the genre which reaches this level of sophistication and thoughtfulness. It's cerebral, playful, sarcastic, intense, delicate, and energizing all at once.

"Terria" is a must for all metal fans; a multi-faceted gem that will only shine brighter with more listens.

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars It's Hard to Understand and Digest . (for me)

I knew nothing about Devin Townsend but the rave reviews at this site kept me wondering about the music of Devin Townsend. When I saw this CD, I referred to people's reviews at this site and I decided to purchase it at local music store here. When I spun the CD for the first time I really did not understand the music at all. I pushed myself very hard in order to understand it. I failed to do it well as every time I spun it I did not understand the music. I did try it many times but still I could not digest the music very well. Based on my perception, the music is totally blended where each instrument does not seem obvious musically. Yes, I can hear there are riffs and some guitar fills at the very back of the music but the overall sounds are clutrtered together which make me hard to understand and digest.

I always try to review an album based on composition, musicianship and production. On composition, I put emphasize on melody and I don't think this album has good melody - in fact most of the music I hear do not sound like having a melody - they all sound like riffs and rhythm section. Another thing on composition is on arrangement, that is how each instrument used in the music delivers its contribution and how obvious its sounds. Again, I can hardly differentiate each instrument contribution so that I don't grab the whole music, overall. The other elements on composition are harmonies and structural integrity of each song which I think are lacking also with this album. So, on composition, I do not rate quite high.

On musicianship, it's also hard for me to justify as the composition has made me very hard to understand. I then come to a conclusion, why bother listening music that I do not understand? So I stop listening to it. My friends from metal scene down here mention that Devin Townsend Band and Devin Townsend himself are totally different music. Oh then my memory brings me to Manfred Mann and Manfred Mann's Earth Band while I mostly do not understand the first but I love the latter. Is it the same case with Devin Townsend?

Overall, I know that I do not favor this music but I do not say this is poor because if so, why so many people like the album? That's why I categorize this album under "For Collectors / Fans Only" because for sure I am NOT the fan of Mr. Devin. If the music is categorized under progressive metal, I do not understand also why I cannot digest it even after one year I have owned the CD with many times I try to push myself very hard to digest it. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by LiquidEternity
5 stars Devin Townsend hits the peak of his creative output (a considerable statement) here in Terria.

Terria sits somewhere in the middle of Townsend's solo creations in terms of sound. It's not nearly as heavy as Physicist or Ziltoid the Omniscient, nor is it quite as flowing and atmospheric as Ocean Machine: Biomech. The music also rests at some indefinite point between very heavy metal music and very slow music, though it does not quite lean much either way towards death or drone. What we have instead is the paradigmatic post-metal album. Using powerful, massive walls of guitars and heavy, intense drumming, Devin lays a solid foundation of concurrent noise. However, it is the unusual amount of keyboard bits, sound bites, and guitar effects that provide the earthy ambiance to the album. Add on top of this odd combination (indeed, one that must be heard at least once at some point in your life), throw in Devin's vocals: always unpredictable, sometimes a gentle full voice, sometimes a throaty scream, sometimes a melodic roar in the way that only Townsend can. But believe me this, Terria is Devin's masterpiece, and in terms of production, performance, sound quality, and songwriting, it stands a head and shoulders above any other album in its genre.

The opening track, Olives, is an odd quasi-song, filled with a variety of ambient noises from nature and building nicely. It would make no sense as a standalone song, but in light of the album, it introduces the maniacal wit of Townsend perfectly. Next comes the impressively loud Mountain. It starts out with about the heaviest moment of the album, riding the last traces of Olives. It does settle down, and most of the song is fairly mellow. The impressive vocal harmonies that characterize this entire work make their first appearance here. Earth Day wanders in next, pushing forward more smoothly than Mountain (and much more aggressively). Almost all of the anger of the album centers here. Gene Hoglan finally breaks out some intense drumming, especially in the pre-chorus. Of note to some is the use of obscenity in this song, which is markedly similar to that seen in Devin's other major band, Strapping Young Lad. Do not get me wrong, though. The harmonies again are well oriented to the song.

The album takes a dive in mood after the conclusion of Earth Day, dissolving into Deep Peace. Stunning melodies, soaring harmonies, and an infinity of layers of life sounds all permeate this track--as well as the center portion, which puts the guitar at the forefront, though even during the "solo" of sorts it is very melodic and very much just a small part of the complete sound. The fading beauty of Deep Peace suddenly finds itself backing a monolithic guitar riff: Canada. The high point of this song are the clear high point here, producing a synergy of human voices that is quite difficult to achieve. This is a very solid track, from the gentle screams about beef to the thickly sung lyrics about John Denver. Down and Under is a short, simplistic instrumental that comes right off Canada's heels. The introduction of a theme in acoustic form before turning it heavy and electric near the end is a trademark of Townsend instrumentals. The Fluke is, after Earth Day and Mountain, the final fully and continuously heavy track on Terria. In some parts, it feels almost like the straightforward rocker type of song; however, the middle section features more of clever harmony and wry vocal work. Again Townsend pairs beautiful melodies with an aggressive chorus.

In Nobody Here, Devin's mellow and clean vocals get a spectacular workout as he gently sings away. This time, the middle section of the song is fiercer than the rest of it, but still very melodic. Throughout its length, there is some gentle piano, something which is never very prominent in any of Townsend's work, at least not in his earlier albums. This song also features a full-blown guitar solo, which is also quite rare to hear from Devin. The solo is likewise mellow and striking, not rapid shredding or anything of the sort that is commonly associated with a metal album. Tiny Tears kicks off with a slow start, which seems to be similar in terms of overall feel to Deep Peace. The song continues softly for most of its length, though some heavy riffing closes the track out. Stagnant is the proper end to the album, more or less. There is not quite as much harmony in this track as in most of the others, but the vocals that are there showcase Townsend's range and flair. Despite some angst in the verses, the song ends up feeling like a refreshing and cheerful end to the album. The bonus track, Humble (not Universal as it says above), is an exercise in production and sound layering, but still with the feel of not really being a part of the integral album. On the second disc (yes, I know this is technically not the two disc version I'm reviewing, but I might as well discuss it here), Universal is a funny little metal ditty. Actually, goofy might be a good word to describe it, though it still holds itself as an actual song and not just one where the guys are messing around.

In the end, though, simply reading a review of the album or listening to a song sample streamed through a pair of speakers does not well explain the sonic quality of this release. In a set of good headphones, however, the intricate work Townsend poured into layering and soundscaping really shines. If you are interested in Devin's solo work and are a fan of deep, complex music that carries a lot of atmosphere with it, this is a great place to start. If, on the other hand, you are more used to a standard progressive metal sort of vibe, perhaps check out his release Synchestra.

Review by sleeper
4 stars Devin Townsend proves that prog metal isn't all about technical virtuosity and insane solo's (for those misguided few that are inclined to think that way) by producing an album that utilises the layering of sounds and electronic samples/soundscapes to create complex textures and an overall soundscape. That's not to say that the musicians are unskilled, they are very much competent players, and the solo's do find their way in to the music, they just tend to express themselves in different ways. The result is very powerful music, typified by the wall of sound and complex textures built around themes of nature, specifically Devine Townsend's home country of Canada. Though the album flows together as a whole, there are a few individual tracks that deserve special mention, namely Mountain, Earth Day and Tiny Tears which embody the best aspects of the album. Be warned though, there is a reason why Mr Townsend is known as Heavy Devy.
Review by Negoba
5 stars This is, without a doubt, a unique and beautiful collection of music. A being that clearly is pulling from such depths and then has the ability to say it's just entertainment folks, clearly is a very old soul. The range of emotion here is astounding, gentleness and maniacal anger, all expressed in their most bare and unfiltered forms. As a musician, this music is deceptively straightforward. It's complexity is vertical / harmonic rather than horizontal / melodic. It's about texture and color and the flavors you experience here are found nowhere else save perhaps another Devy album. To my taste, however, this is the album that does it best.

It didn't blow me away on the first listen. I had a bit of Ok that's cool enough But as with many good prog albums, this one grows with more listens. More of the separate layers of Devy's wall of sound come through, some of the lyrics make a little bit of sense, it just comes together a bit more.

My least favorite song is Fluke as it's a little too pop, a little too major. Aside from the transitional moments (I love getting Olives as a track on random play on I consider all of the remaining songs great. Deep Peace, Earth Day, Tiny Tears stand out to me but really they're all moving pieces.

IMO the best work of one of the few truly unique voices in music.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Terria' - Devin Townsend (9.5/10)

Devin Townsend is an artist known for his strange, yet undeniably original and unique music. 'Terria' is no exception. However, it's full beauty did not reveal itself to me until after a good many listens.

At first listen, one may be puzzled by the overtracked recording, surreal lyrics, and incredibly anti- commercial approach to myself. Townsend defies many conventions, and alot of the songwriting may seem 'odd' or anti-climactic to one that isn't used to it. However, as the sounds become more familiar, it starts to wash over you, and the true magic of 'Terria' unfolds.

'Terria' has such a magic power about it, bestowing upon the artist the power to transport you wherever he wants you to go. A very earth-based album (much alike Synchestra) there are many recurring themes of nature wound around the music. Possibly the most defining quality of Terria, and Devin Townsend's music (in my opinion) is his unparelleled recording technique. With the incredibly dense overdubs, there is a 'noisy' quality to it that contributes greatly to the 'organic' quality of the album.

'Terria' is one of the most powerful musical journies I've ever been on, and anyone willing to take a leap of faith and listen to something a bit 'out there' is more than recommended to try out this masterpiece. A top five record for me.

Review by horsewithteeth11
5 stars This album is absolutely jaw-dropping. I would say this is easily upper-tier Devin Townsend, along with Ziltoid the Omniscient and Ki. This is the cream of the crop for his solo work.

Terria has quite a pastoral feel to it. It is apparent almost immediately in the opener Olives, which starts with some almost electronic and lush acoustic noises before keyboards, guitars, and heaviness show up in the last minute or so. That heaviness continues into Mountain and Earth Day (which has some really humorous lyrics and is one of my favorite Devin Townsend songs) before the pastoral feeling returns in really heavy doses throughout the album. Even amongst the heavy moments, there's plenty of lush atmosphere and acoustic guitar work that makes the album cover seem to describe the music perfectly. Devin mixes his usual heaviness with almost pop-like structures. Well, at least Devy's take on pop sensibilities. Songs like Stagnant really add a bit of diversity to this album as well, being mostly gentle acoustic pieces. Stagnant is also one of the more accessible songs on the album, but it works well here. I happen to have the bonus track for the album, Universal, and while it doesn't fit in that well with the rest of the music (I understand why it's not a part of the regular album), it is pretty quirky in a funny way. I can see how some refer to this as a masterpiece of experimental metal, and I would have to agree. There's just a certain touch here at times that feels lacking at times on other Devy albums. Perhaps Terria has the diversity and more acoustic instrumentation that I wish Devin would employ more often in his other work. I'm not really sure what it is.

Out of all the albums I've heard so far in this site's experimental/post metal category, this is easily one of my favorites and one that will continue to be spun for years to come. Even though this album is from almost 10 years ago, the production is simply gorgeous. Giving this album anything other than 5 stars just feels wrong somehow. If you want to hear a master of experimental metal at work, I suggest you purchase a copy of this album.

As a side note, I initially thought Terria was one of the weakest Devin Townsend albums, but it's so multi-layered even by his standards that it takes repeated listens to truly capture the meaning of this record.

Review by The Pessimist
5 stars This album is a very diverse album, involving a lot of instruments, moods, tempos, harmonies and showcasing a lot of Devin Townsend's talents: singing, guitar playing and songwriting, and let me just say this: he is a master of all of those things. The one thing I love most about this album is the vocals. Devvy is a phenomenal vocalist at the worst of times; this album is one of his best moments, so just put it into perspective. He is truly mindblowing. His guitarwork and songwriting also match up, songwriting more so. A very creative artist in that field and if there is one thing that proves it, it's the fact that everything seems to flow so naturally, like the songs were already written before he'd even thought of them, and he simply delivered them into the world. So few people have given that impression, and in this case I will even compare Devvy to greats like Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder. All of his albums flow this way, but Terria in particular flows so nicely and fluently that it stands out amongst the rest (except maybe Ocean Machine). Yes, this really is a flawless release, as it just feels like everything is in perfect place and feels so... right.

Devin is the only thing that shines on this record. His choice of musicians is only sensational, a real class act. Jamie Meyer and Craig McFarland were previously unknown to me before, but they really do contribute a lot. Both are very profficient at what they do, and ultimately provide the perfect backing for Devvy. I'm utterly shocked that they are not very well known. Onto the drummer choice: what better player to have on Devvy's crowning achievement than his old friend, ex-Death member, ex-Dark Angel, ex-Strapping Young Lad and all time MASTER of the instrument Gene Hoglan? I personally don't think he could have chosen better, and I think his drumming is paramount in this record for one reason alone: Hoglan gives more beef to the music than any other could. Maybe because he's a big guy? Probably. But the fact is he hits those tin cans hard, and provides a good few megatonnes of energy to the music, which is another fantastic trait to Terria.

Now onto the actual tracks themselves. I will not rant too long because I can go on all day about the intricacy and beauty of each of them, but I will give a brief narrative of a few of my favourites.

Earth Day is one of Devvy's strongest songs, so you can expect a lot. To sum up what is packed into this marvellous epic, I will list the things he includes: soring harmonies, energetic melody, melodic guitarwork, clever and ultimately meaningful lyrics (you will get the message pretty quickly), tight, heavy drumming, great atmospheric synth lines, memorable riffs, uncommon modes, concise songwriting and a really strong sense of tightness thought put in. It's all in here people, and I will say it again: it is the epic to end all epics and everything feels so NATURAL, making it easy listening as well. And as with all great music, the more you listen, the more you get out. Just listen out for the minor details and you will be rewarded beyond measure. A very deep, emotional song that is only really challenged by B*stard of his debut as far as the best Devin Townsend song goes for me. Truly stunning.

Now what could follow such a glorious song played so early on in the album? Well Deep Peace is no pushover. It starts out really quite mellow, which is a lovely contrast, with just a solo acoustic guitar taking the lead. But don't worry, it's not just 7 minutes of this kind of atmosphere, because that would be boring right? Right. The heavy instrumentation kicks in for a kind of poppish number at a glance. But we are treated to a guitar solo (very classically influenced I have to say) and a fantastic bit of prog. Once again, the beauty of Devin Townsend's writing cannot be compared with anything else. The man is a genius, and I will let you uncover the rewards yourself, as I can't put this song into words.

The Fluke is glorious, if not almost as amazing as Earth Day. It is more upbeat than the previous songs mentioned, starting out with some accapella distorted guitar thrashing out some chords and then BAM: the song kicks in and we are treated to a poppish metal tune with some really phenomenal melodic hooks. That is, in essence, what this album is all about for me: melodic hooks. No real technicality here (except for the clever tuplet usage in the first triple time section, and even then it is never overdone), just otherworldly melodies. One of the strongest Townsend songs ever to come out of his skull.

Overall, this album is really a masterpiece, and I plan to coin it that once again, along with many other reviewers, in my rating. It deserves to be up the top with the greats in prog metal like Blackwater Park, Lateralus and Crimson, and so I will help to put it up there by giving it 5 stars, pure and simple.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 8/10

"Terria" is an immense album,thanks to its earthy, atmospheric moods that share the stage with gigantic heavy walls of sound that make Devin's music so unique.

It took me a while to appreciate this album in it's entirety. I always loved the first couple of songs, but I was never really into the last couple of tracks. I have to say this one was a grower, and boy, did it grow on me.

Devin Townsend with this album reaches to his highest peak, and also arrives to maturity, after a few albums. The only album that was able, after the release of this album, to equalize "Terria" was "Ziltoid The Omniscient", the other Devin Townsend masterpiece.

"Terria" is, in a way, the most experimental album by Townsend; strange atmospheric soundscapes, which remind of a remote, deserted, and foggy plain ( see the artwork cover), are alternated with heavy but melodic moments, strong, powerful vocals as well as soft, delicate ones. The album that mostly defines Towsend's crazy world.

The opening track, "Olives", is quite eerie, being a sort of sample of a man speaking with a very low voice, as well as an avant garde song with different, strange, and a bit creepy parts. Towards the end, the song explodes into a heavy, simple riff, which ends almost immediately, with the end of the song.

"Mountain" can easily be considered one of Townsend's best and finest songs. Mysterious, but epic, with haunting vocals by Devin, at times strong, at times delicate and suspended. Brilliant time changes, this is one of the artist's most progressive songs in my opinion.

"Earth Day" is much longer than the first and second episode, since the time clocks around nine-ten minutes. Another Devin masterpiece: alarmed atmosphere, many times changes, many excellent themes and riffs. Great chorus, great verse, and very well done experimentation. Another key track.

"Deep Peace" is very different; like the title implies, the mood is very calm and delightful, thanks to the surrounding atmospheres and the relaxing, simple guitar notes. It get's heavier and heavier, but it never becomes too hard. The experimentation is sublime in this piece.

"Canada" has a great melody, great passages and moments. Devin is in shape for this song, since he gives a brilliant vocal performance, and really makes the song. Even this song isn't as heavy as "Mountain" and "Earth Day", it's lot dreamier, relaxing, and cheerful. Brilliant song.

"Down and Under" is a great interlude, a pause, a parenthesis. Or, it can be considered a bridge, that connects the first and second part of the album. The riff is great, even though it's always perpetual, for the entire song. Still, awesome climax and great bridge.

"The Fluke" is a very catchy song, and possibly one of Townsend's best. Great vocals, great verse, too bad the chorus isn't as good. It is a lot faster than "Deep peace" and "Canada", as well as much heavier and technical, musically speaking. Still, it has it's delicate vocals, like during the verse. I love this song. "Nobody's Here" is another great experimental song, for it's deserted soundscapes. Great melody, in both the verse, which is between prog and psych, and the chorus, much more enlivened. I never liked this song much, now I love it.

"Tiny Tears" is the other very long song (9 minutes), although it doesn't reach the same levels as "Earth Day". It has an interesting melody in the beginning, it get's more plain after, when the electric guitars come in. Generally speaking, this is the dreamiest and spaciest song. In fact, it took me a while to fully understand it.

"Stagnant" is much more down earth. The melody is great, very cheerful and optimistic, like usually Townsend likes to end an album. I hated this song for a while there, now, of course I love it. Very catchy and memorable, I really don't understand how I didn't appreciate it earlier. Great way to end an album.

"Terria" is an immense album,thanks to its earthy, atmospheric moods that share the stage with gigantic heavy walls of sound that make Devin's music so unique. Certainly its the artist's masterpiece, a brilliant progressive album, that should be in every prog and metal fan's collection.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One incredible composition after another on one incredible album

Terria is perhaps the greatest thing Devin Townsend has done up to Ziltoid, which is masterful in it's own quirky way. Terria is a serious emotional album reflecting on life and it's source and the emotions of the earth. To capture such beauty Devin delves headlong into darkness and then shines with rays of hope to present some truly uplifting music that will resonate with some listeners in an unforgettable way. At first listen the album washes over and seems to just flow like waves over the listener and after the first two tracks I found myself forgetting I was listening to a particular song as it all seemed to blend seamlessly. Then Earth Day started and I sat up and simply was astonished at the structure, the time sigs, the musicianship and Devin's incredible vocal treatment and the anger that is invoked is unbelievable. A masterpiece track for Devin that will mark his music forever.

Then the album seems to pick up pace with one incredible composition after another. After the brutal confronting Mountain and Earth Day, Devin takes us on an emotional journey through the Canadian countryside and beyond into the very soul of a torn and broken man; there is melancholy solitude in Deep Peace, the freedom and exhilaration of exploring nature on a freeway in Canada, the reflective nuances of Down and Under, the ferocity of The Fluke, the sense of loss and alienation in Nobody's Here, the exploration of sadness in Tiny Tears, and the joyful exuberance of Stagnant. Then Universal takes us to another level again, just as Olives sent us into the realm of the imagination at the beginning of the album. At the end of the journey we are released into the bright sunshine; the ray of hope that lifts up the human spirit.

Terria is a masterpiece for all these reasons and the fact that Devin did everything right with this album. The songs are multilayered with various instruments and vocals, and it is a veritable wall of sound that lifts the roof off anything he has done previously. There are a lot of subtle hidden treasures to unearth to ensure repeated listens will not get laborious. I can assure you that this album is one you will return to and hopefully by the end of each journey you will feel lifted up and refreshed by a master of his craft; the great Devin Townsend.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Devin felt like he let down his fans with the previous release called "Physicist" and so set out to make up for that on this album. His inspiration came while driving across Canada with his band and witnessing the beauty and majesty of the land along the way.Yeah that will do it. And speaking of beauty and majesty those two words describe this album well.Travis Smith took care of the cover art and illusrations in the liners.

"Olives" opens with sampled spoken words and birds as a guitar is strummed once, then again before the music comes in. It backs off as spoken words and birds continue. It then kicks in at 2 1/2 minutes. Oh yeah it does. "Mountain" kicks in and we get a growl too before the vocals come in in a reserved manner. It settles right down at 2 minutes but the tempo picks up.This is so cool.Vocal melodies and heavy drums follow. A scream after 4 minutes then Devin starts to sing again. "Earth Day" kicks in right away and vocals join in quickly.They stop as the tempo picks up.This sounds great ! Vocals are back. "Deep Peace" opens with nature sounds and strummed guitar. Reserved vocals a minute in. A fuller sound a minute later.Vocals stop around 3 minutes and the guitar leads. A heavy beat after 4 minutes then vocals return 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Canada" opens with a good heavy sound as the vocals join in. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes but it kicks back in again quickly. "Down And Under" is eventually led by strummed guitar and a heavy beat and then it gets fuller. "The Fluke" kicks in quickly and vocals follow. It settles before 3 minutes then builds with vocal melodies. Rain comes in late.Great tune ! "Nobody's Here" is laid back yet so rich in sound as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes then settles back as contrasts continue. A very cool tune. "Tiny Tears" has so much atmosphere as the vocals arrive. Nice guitar 5 minutes in as the thick atmosphere continues with heavy drums.Vocals are back.This is gorgeous. It turns heavy late to end it. "Stagnation" is an uplifting way to end the album.

No doubt this is one of Devin's best, right up there with "Ocean Machine" and well deserving of a 5 star rating.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unfortunately, three GREAT songs ("Tiny Tears" [10/10], "Nobody's Here" [10/10] and "Earth Day" [9/10]) does not a masterpiece make. The rest is music that I don't care if I ever hear again. Yet Devin sure does have a following on this site. Other than the hilariously entertaining Ziltoid, I don't get it. His over-the-top HEAVY guitar sound never changes (is he using the same chord throughout?) and it's hard to figure out if he ever takes his music or lyrics seriously or is it all just meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Does he really want us to recycle or is he just melodramatizing the environmental cry? Does he really like being alone or is he just being facetious? Is this album really "essential"? I'm not even sure it's "an excellent addition." It may be a good album--or perhaps its just "for collectors only"? 2.5 stars for me. Recommended only for the above three songs.
Review by Wicket
4 stars It's funny how after 4 years, Devin Townsend managed to improve the formula on "Ocean Machine" to release an album that will go down in history, at least in my book, as one of the greatest prog metal albums out there.

Now, I'll admit, "Olives" didn't exactly get me pumped up for a great ride. I thought there would at least be some strings or something to build tension, but instead these awkward guitar chords that sounded like someone was curious, but by the end of the track, I'm anticipating a masterpiece, and "Mountains" does not disappoint. Instantly, the ears are barraged with some of the best growling I've ever heard on a DT or SYL disc. 3 minutes later, my head ends up swinging from side to side to Devin's descending croons. Add to that key and key signature changes, and the whole album suddenly opens up with a minute of excess noise filling up the rest of the track.

"Earth Day" begins in a triumphal, marching fashion but delving into a heavy two-step. Already the seeds have been planted and DT has discovered the secret to creating masterpieces, a formula he would repeat 3 more times ("Synchestra", "Ziltoid" and "Deconstruction") in different but similar fashions. However, those reviews will be saved for another time.

When one looks at Devin's solo discography, after "Terria", he released "Accelerated Evolution" in 2003, which may not be as progressive as "Terria", but what I call "epic rock", with guitars and feedback screaming and echoing throughout the disc. After that it's "Synchestra in '06 and "Ziltoid" in '07, excluding his sonic experiments "Devlab" and "Hummer". To me, it's odd that after Terria, DT release 3 more albums, 2 of which I hold in regard as prog metal masterpieces. Now, "Ziltoid" is more of a concept album than a "Metropolis, Pt. 2", and I find "Synchestra" as a "sedated Terria", little bit more bits and pieces to it, but it's subdued, quelled, calm, not as heavy, harsh and vicious as "Terria", but it seems to be structured very similarly to it.

"Olives" is the slow intro, the build up (Same as "Let Ir Roll" and "Hypergeek"). Then "Mountain" bursts forward into life with "Earth Day" backing it up, just as loud ("Triumph", "Babysong"). Finally, the action quells in "Deep Peace" (Even if only for a little bit on "Vampolka"). Yes, the structures branch out in different directions after that, but what's interesting to note is that "Terria" seemed to cement Devin's interest in grandiose entrances, loud, echoing guitars, and almost the slow, chugging pace, evidenced in "Mountain" and "Earth Day".

Once you understand the logistics behind the (in)sanity of Devin's genius, you pretty much know what to expect from his next album, while at the same time stuck guessing at what he's going to come up with next. Knowing the basis of the first few tracks, it's almost irrelevant to go through the rest of them.

Besides, surprises never hurt anyone. We all love surprises.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Devin Townsend is shaping up to be another one of those prog metal acts which I just don't get. I can appreciate the technicality of Terria, for instance, and I admit the task he poses himself of combining the prog rock approach and musical motifs of Yes with his own musical style represents an interesting challenge. But still, the album seems somehow fake and insincere to me, and I can't connect to it on an emotional level; nor can I get much of a handle on the atmosphere Townsend is trying to attain with the album. It just seems rather boring and irritatingly New Agey to me.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars Devin is definitely building a reputation for being one of the most uncompromising of artists, releasing music that is raw yet over-produced, simple but complex, easy to listen to but also bloody hard work! There is a bit more light on this album than on 'Physicist', but not much. Devin is still trying to change production as we know it, pushing Phil Spector into new avenues.

The times when he allows the music to shine through and his vocals to be unfettered is so unusual as to cause an interesting effect, obviously why he chooses to do so. This is much more than just music; it is how the songs can be treated so that they sound very different to anything else around. Remember, this is a man who first found fame with Steve Vai, then moved onto Front Line Assembly and The Wildhearts before forming his own band Strapping Young Lad. He is well used to volume, and how to use aggression but here it is behind a gossamer wall that only lets slip when he wills it.

This is never an easy to listen to and certainly will not appeal to the majority of either rockers or prog heads, but they are the ones missing out. Masterful.

Originally appeared in Feedback #64, Oct 01

Review by FragileKings
5 stars If the ratings on PA are any indication, then 'Terria' is the apex of Devin Townsend's solo career efforts before he went and formed a proper band, Devin Townsend Band, for his song-writing efforts outside of Strapping Young Lad. Disregarding the Punky Brewster band project of the mid-nineties, 'Terria' is his fourth solo album and it follows one of his most critically spurned albums, 'Physicist'. However, while 'Physicist' was for the most part a very thrash-based, aggressive album that suffered from a production that even the supporting band (the Strapping Young Lad dudes) disliked, 'Terria' delivers a greater diversity of sound in a warm, well-produced sonic atmosphere. It is as though the fruit went a bit sour with 'Physicist' but has reached perfect maturity here.

Typical of many of Devin Townsend's pre-Devin Townsend Project solo albums, 'Terria' integrates a variety of styles and influences. The opening track 'Olives' is very much post-metal / experimental with a spoken dialogue slowed down, sound effects, and a musical theme that takes time to build to a powerhouse of simple heavy chords. 'Mountain' begins with an intense pounding of heavy music with Devin singing in his softer, higher register. But the music then goes of exploring in a non-aggressive vein with a melody of 'whoa-whoa' before returning to the thunder of the beginning with a trademark scream. It's interesting to point out at this time that the guitar sound is not Devin's usual rich distortion tones but a simpler sound more like seventies proto- metal. If you are familiar with Captain Beyond's debut album then that is more like the guitar sound you will find here just with more bass backing it. It strikes me as having a very earthy feel to it, and in the song 'Canada', which almost has a slow and heavy country vibe to it, the guitar sound really suits the music.

Other styles to be found on 'Terria' include the unusual (for Devin) simple but classically influenced guitar solo in 'Deep Peace'; an 80's power ballad-styled number with 'Nobody's Here' which comes complete with an emotive guitar solo; an 80's hair-band song with 'Stagnant' that sounds like it could have been the closing track on an album by Cinderella or London Quireboys; and the pretty instrumental number 'Down and Under', which begins with some acoustic strumming and gradually moves to a heavier theme but not without returning to its upbeat sound at the conclusion.

For a Devin Townsend album (or Strapping Young Lad for that matter), 'Terria' includes an unusual amount of guitar soloing. According to the article on Wikipedia, Devin doesn't like shredding and only includes a guitar solo is he feels it can work within the musical framework of a song. Thus it is possible to find few if any proper guitar solos on many of his albums. Yet 'Terria' includes solos on five tracks, and Devin proves that he is capable of soloing in different styles that do indeed suit the music. In fact, listening to 'Accelerated Evolution', 'Deconstruction', and Strapping Young Lad's 'The New Black', Devin proves that he has worked very hard to be able to pull off some excellent guitar solos. But again, typical of him, he only employs any of his particular skills when he feels it belongs in a song or instrumental piece.

No early Devin Townsend album would be complete without nature sounds, radio broadcasts, background music, and other sonic decor. We can hear a Chinese radio broadcast at the conclusion of 'Mountain', a French-Canadian radio broadcast at the end of 'Canada' and also in 'Canada', a curious slowed-down recording of the beginning of a story about a bird in a nest. This recording was included at normal speed and in a longer version at the end of the 'Detox' '96 demo, which appeared as a bonus track on the reissue of Strapping Young Lad's 'City'. I have read that this is actually a recording of a story written and read out by a very young Devin Townsend.

There are two additional points to mention about the music here. The first is the curious and for me disappointing conclusion to 'The Fluke'. The song begins almost in a pop punk / 90's radio rock style which veers more into a progressive metal direction. Then the guitar and band abruptly get cancelled and some ambient / experimental keyboard sounds take over for a moment. This gets supplanted by some quick notes that play like a seventies electronic album, and this in turn drops out to be replaced by a low pulsing tone. Static fades in over the low tone and a clean guitar sound over the static brings us to the end and leads us into the next track, 'Nobody's Here'. The other bizarre track is the hidden one at the end, 'Humble' which begins very promisingly with some strummed guitar backed by bass guitar and string synthesizer. It sounds like the makings of a demo, the early framework of a song. The music attempts to move in a new direction, there's a mistake, someone laughs, the recording breaks to silence for a second, and returns. The song is abandoned for another take but then a backwards recording runs on repeat until the end of the track. This lasts for about three minutes, and at one point some water drop sounds come in. Weird.

I gave the Devin Townsend Band's 'Synchestra' five stars and at first I was sure that I would give this album only four, in spite of it being Devin's most highly rated album on PA. However, with each subsequent listen, the album has really grown on me more. I now feel it makes for a very good companion album to 'Synchestra', namely because the albums both sound very earthy to me though different in guitar sound and overall musical approach. Still, they share a commonality in that they both feature some simple heavy music in a progressive vein and some more complex music at times. The vocals cover nearly all of Devin's diverse range of ability and the music styles also spread out. In fact, if these two albums share any direct bond it can be found in a riff in 'Earth Day' which sounds very similar to a riff that surfaces in 'Baby Song' on 'Synchestra'. In style alone, 'Synchestra' makes for a good logical successor to 'Terria' even though there is a five-year gap between the two that is filled with Devin's first ambient / experimental album 'Devlab', the Devin Townsend Band's first album 'Accelerated Evolution', and two Strapping Young Lad albums!

If you are interested in progressive metal that includes traditional metal, hair metal, experimental and post metal, with a bit of aggro-metal thrown in, topped off with a twinge of heavy country on 'Terria' and world music on 'Synchestra' then I recommend buying both of these albums together.

Review by Necrotica
5 stars There usually comes a time when an artist needs to freshen up or diversify his/her sound to make an appealing change to the public. Some attempts have worked better than others; a good change in pace was Floridian band Death's change from brutal classic death metal to progressive/technical death metal, and a less favorable change was Queen's use of disco and R&B in the poorly received Hot Space. Devin Townsend was long known for making extreme metal with the band Strapping Young Lad, a band which put some of the heaviest metal bands to shame. Here with Terria, however, Devy looked to be making an honest diversion from his main project's insanity.

Terria ditches the insanely fast extreme metal in favor of a more laid-back, atmospheric metal sound, while still retaining Townsend's "wall of sound"-style production. The result is a densely layered labyrinth of shifting tempos and pure honesty, clearly marking a strikingly different style than most of Devin's works. Guess what? It is easily one of Townsend's greatest achievements if not the greatest.

The album opens on an odd note with the track "Olives." A very deep voice is speaking throughout most of the song, ceasing for the metallic build-up that leads into the next track, "Mountain." "Olives" sets no clear tone for what the album is going to be like, deciding upon unpredictability to hit the listener. "Mountain," however, sets a better pace and rolls things along. The song starts with a mammoth riff with a growl from Devin, before one of the biggest surprises hits you: Instead of using insane screams like in Strapping Young Lad, Devy opts for a very soothing clean voice to layer over the pummeling sheets of guitar. After a minute or two of the heavy riff rolling along, a more atmospheric section starts up to give more room for Devin's musical diversity to shine with his bandmates. Overall, these two tracks present a very unique start to the record, but are fantastic either way.

"Earth Day" would have to be a highlight here, basically presenting a shortened form of all that Terria has to over; it shifts tempos and dynamics, it has Devin employing all of his vocal styles, and the backing musicians all do a phenomenal job of setting the brisk-but-varied mood the song invokes. The highlight of the song is the climactic chorus when Townsend yells out, "It's an EARTH-FU*KING-DAY" over the heavy-as-f*ck metal supporting his vocals. Another huge highlight of the album is "Stagnant," the closing track (not counting the hidden track, "Universal"). The song is an absolutely gorgeous ballad that can perfectly meld force and beauty into a seamless whole. The lyrics aren't the deepest on the album, but when coupled with the elegant melodies, they are elevated to a much higher plane.

As I said before, the musicians backing Devin Townsend do an excellent job of doing so. The all-encompassing metal drumming legend Gene Hoglan joins Townsend for a toned-down but effective and expansive performance. Craig McFarland (bassist) and Jamie Meyer (Piano/Keyboards) aren't featured as much on the record, but are equally as effective in exuding the album's intense-but-calming atmosphere.

Even the descriptions I've given to this album are just the tip of the iceberg. Terria is one of the best metal albums I've ever listened to, and while it may be a tough album to get into (which, for many people, it is), listen to it multiple times and it will probably grow on you, if not immensely. Just go hear the album for yourself; you won't regret it in the slightest.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Devin Townsend's fourth album "Terria" has been considered by many his masterpiece, and you can read all the reasons why in some of the reviews on this site. I completely agree that this is a masterpiece, but being one of Townsend's stalwart fans, it is just one of many of his masterpieces. However, I started exploring his music with this album, and I would recommend it as one of many starting points for others also. After hearing the extreme emotion, heaviness and beauty of this album, if you don't get it, then there probably isn't much of a point to explore further. But, if you love it, then you will definitely be inclined to listen to more.

No one expresses himself like Devin does. His music is heavy, usually described as a wall of sound, which is a good way to explain it. But that sound is full of beauty and emotion, it's just that it is expressed so loudly sometimes, and to me it is hard to do that with the power that Devin does and still make the music so amazing. There are plenty of great tracks here, but I tend to direct people to a few n particular, namely "Earth Day" which is an extreme song about recycling and birthdays and everything. This song is even more personal to me because I can consider it an anthem that Devin wrote about me since my birthday falls on Earth Day. Ok, so maybe it wasn't about me, but it gives me this perceived connection to DT. On the other end of the spectrum, there is the beautiful track "Deep Peace" which is so wonderfully atmospheric and immersive, and that guitar solo in the middle is to die for.

It's not just his extreme and emotional approach to music that I love, but it is his unique sound and the way he orchestrates everything to sound so much like a rock and roll symphony. I also love his powerful vocals, and yes he goes into screaming territory, but he does it right with emotion. On this album, everything has such an epic feel to it, like every note and every passage is important and Devin treats it that way. Devin wanted to make this album his tribute to his country Canada, and the music here conveys the love he has for it. It is an album that comes from his heart and to me, that is very apparent in the music here, everything so carefully crafted into powerful songs that are oftentimes very very loud, but also extremely beautiful and emotional. That is why I have no qualms giving this 5 stars, but also why I consider it one of my personal favorite and rare 6 star perfect albums. My words can't give it the justice it deserves, listen to it and see if it touches you like it touches many other fans out there.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Terria" is the fourth full-length studio album by Canadian artist Devin Townsend. The album was released through HevyDevy Records (Townsendīs own label) in November 2001. Itīs the successor to "Physicist" from June 2000. Drummer Gene Hoglan is still onboard, but the rest of Strapping Young Lad have not been invited this time around ("Physicist" was recorded by all four members of Strapping Young Lad). Instead Craig McFarland performs fretless bass and Jamie Meyer performs keyboards/piano. Townsend as always performs vocals, guitars, samples, and keyboards.

Townsend was never happy with the way "Physicist" turned out, and he decided that "Terria" should sound different and move in another direction, which is quite obvious when listening to the latter. "Physicist" was a homogene album, which maybe didnīt challenge Townsend nor his audience the way it was originally meant to, while "Terria" on the other hand is a highly eclectic, progressive, and challenging release. It also feels like itīs a personal statement and it features great emotional impact and Townsend in vocal top form.

"Terria" is actually a very hard album to describe properly as a result of the eclectic nature of the release, but through the 11 track, 71:59 minutes long album Townsend and his crew bring us through mellow beautiful parts, crushingly heavy and aggressive parts, ambient atmospheric parts, and great focus on unconventional song structures and progressive ideas. The detailed, clear, and organic sounding production job greatly enchances the listening experience, and this is a perfect example of production values going hand in hand with the compositions and providing the tracks with the best possible conditions to shine. Townsend truly shows his music producer genius side here.

"Terria" is not an easily accessible album, although itīs some of the time quite melodic and memorable, but the shifts between moods and the dynamics of the release sometimes catch the listener off guarde, and for some listeners itīll take time to learn to appreciate (and some will forever remain frustrated). Tracks like "Deep Peace" and "The Fluke" are perfect examples of this. Both tracks which evolve greatly through their playing time featuring many different atmospheres, dynamics, and music styles. "Terria" generally features a little more lead guitar playing from Townsend than most of his releases contain, and to my ears his choice of notes and the way he plays are strongly influenced by his former employer Steve Vai. This should not be misunderstood as if the overall sound of "Terria" sounds like the output of Vai, but there are several moments throughout the album, where the influence shines through.

Upon conclusion "Terria" is a completely unique release (although some influences shine through as mentioned above). The way the album is constructed, the songwriting, the performances, the exceptionally well sounding production job, all make "Terria" the high quality release it is. Thereīs really nothing like it neither on the scene nor in Townsendīs own discography. Itīs arguably one of the groundbreaking albums of Townsendīs career and a 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Terria marks a strong return to form for Devin Townsend after the pas faux of Physicist, an album that many today consider one of the low points in the Canadian artist's discography. With Terria, Devin leaves aside the asphyxiating heavy parenthesis of his previous album, and continues exploring ins ... (read more)

Report this review (#2586039) | Posted by lukretio | Saturday, August 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With Terria, Devin Townsend created what is often recognised as one his best, and it's no surprise. It's a powerful, personal, flowing journey of a style of progressive metal unique only to Devin - one that relies on feels over technical prowess. What helps make Terria stand out is, complimentary to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2382300) | Posted by The Genre Spanner | Saturday, May 16, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Considered by many to be the DT's masterpiece. I can't decide really if I agree, as DT has several strong even albums. This one is a step forward from the debut album and surpasses it also in terms of ambitions. The first ambient track puts you into an another world before human emotions on both ... (read more)

Report this review (#2043096) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, October 12, 2018 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I never considered myself much of a fan of this whole "experimental/post metal/tech metal" thing (I don't really understand what any genre of music with the word "post" in it means). I bought this album because it was cheap. I knew of Devin Townsend by reputation, but have never thought of mysel ... (read more)

Report this review (#1739523) | Posted by martindavey87 | Thursday, June 29, 2017 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Maybe there's some secret I'm not privy to but this album is totally boring in my opinion. I consider Ocean Machine and Infinity among my all-time top favourite albums released by anyone and I truly believe that if you rate this album higher than those that your ears are painted on. This album is sl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1463739) | Posted by Xenodimensional | Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Terria is the fifth solo album by Canadian musician Devin Townsend. As a progressive rock fan, I have taken chances on albums I have never heard of prior to investigating ProgArchives. In most cases they paid off in a big way, but some (not many) records leave me scratching my head wonderin ... (read more)

Report this review (#1066714) | Posted by Norbert | Saturday, October 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Having released what was a disappointment to most of his fans, Devin felt a bit lost. Then an idea hit him...why don't I make an album about myself and my native land of Canada. To most people, this idea would seem barking mad, but because it's Devin behind the wheel, he has made what I think ... (read more)

Report this review (#1029891) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Friday, September 6, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Terria is without a doubt Devin Tonwsend's best album. It seems Ocean Machine and Inifinity were excellent compositions and Devin saw the necessity to continue working on this vein rather than a heavier sound. He manages to get that combination of sounds: relaxing, ethereal, heavy, ambient, ro ... (read more)

Report this review (#1015503) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Friday, August 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Terria is for sure Devin Townsend's true masterpiece! This album covers a wide range of feeling and emotion, as well as staying to his Strapping Young Lad metal roots. "Olives" is a weird intro to the album. It starts with voices and birds, and then begins to repeat a riff, which then blends in ... (read more)

Report this review (#846391) | Posted by lmaorofllollmao | Sunday, October 28, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9.5/10 And another masterpiece is revealed to me ... Well, before you start this review I must say, this album did not surprise me as much as Ocean Machine, like so right away. But four more taps and I really started to love him (though he is my rating to 0.5 point lower than I gave her de ... (read more)

Report this review (#796910) | Posted by voliveira | Monday, July 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What an album! I first heard Terria about a year ago and didn't think much of it, but (thankfully) I decided to really listen to it. The album pulses with such high levels of beauty, anger, and peace that it's incredible it all works. But it does! The guitars switch between massively powerful and ... (read more)

Report this review (#501199) | Posted by Earendil | Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is one of a kind. Such diversity, such controll and yet such channeled rage. What a masterpiece. Devin Townsend really shows that beauty has a lot of different sides with this one. Tiny tears and Deep peace can be considered the mellow tracks of this album. The fluke a fairly humor ... (read more)

Report this review (#455608) | Posted by Anesthetize | Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For as much great music as Devin Townsend has written over the years, he will be hard-pressed to ever top Terria, which is just a perfect metal album. Devin's goal was to write an introspective album, following the difficulties he had gone through in his personal life, and, boy, did he ever. Inspi ... (read more)

Report this review (#450466) | Posted by Biff Tannen | Friday, May 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This is another one of the albums I really tried hard to get into it. Due to its high rating on this site it seemed promising to invest some time and dig thouroughly into it. Well, for me it seems that it was completely lost time. Even after repeated listens there was not much to enjoy. The arrangem ... (read more)

Report this review (#431935) | Posted by Mexx | Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Incredible album!This is an album about Earth and nature(Terria).It's angry,peaceful,quiet,ethereal,ambient,positive.There is a wall of sound and there are amazing guitar effects(usual fact in Devin Townsend's productions).Also there is good fretless bass playing by Craig McFarland,piano and keyboar ... (read more)

Report this review (#309783) | Posted by Prog Geo | Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A fan on Devin's message board says it best. Robvondoom writes, [F]or me, Dev is the only artist I've found to mix the subtleties of every emotion. I can't be satisfied with happy, sad, angry, dark or whatever. With Dev you can feel happiness with a hint of regret. Fear with a mocking t ... (read more)

Report this review (#208750) | Posted by The Progmatist | Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm not going to bother going into the details of every song on this brilliant album since I believe at least a few others have gone through the effort to do so. I'm just going to say that I truly believe this is a masterpiece everyone should have in their collection. Layered, beautiful, songs r ... (read more)

Report this review (#204289) | Posted by cmbs | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow.... All I can say is wow. Well, I can obviously say more, and need to say more to hit that 100 word mark so you people can read what I have to say. This is one brilliant album, and fills me with so many emotions. Devin is truly one of metal's most experimental and unique artists. If not the ... (read more)

Report this review (#200532) | Posted by Alitare | Sunday, January 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars There were a lot of people on this site spreading the word about this album a while I picked it up. It's not bad. I don't mind listening to it, but it really doesn't do much for me. The sound is very 'full' , meaning there are almost no quiet spaces at all. It almost sounds like a wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#170100) | Posted by digdug | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a very hard album to listen. I think that I have never listened Terria from the beginning to end within one listening period. There is huge layer of sounds and moods on this album and I have never got to the core of this album. There's something weird on this piece. I never get in to it, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#156462) | Posted by heikkiha | Monday, December 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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