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Devin Townsend

Experimental/Post Metal

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Devin Townsend Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud album cover
3.92 | 389 ratings | 16 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Effervescent! (0:43)
2. True North (3:53)
3. Lucky Animals (3:21)
4. Liberation (3:20)
5. Where We Belong (4:33)
6. Save Our Now (4:01)
7. Kingdom (5:29)
8. Divine (3:17)
9. Grace (6:08)
10. More! (4:04)
11. Lessons (1:06)
12. Hold On (3:57)
13. Angel (6:00)

Total Time 49:52

Bonus CD from 2012 Hevydevy edition:
1. Believe (demo) (4:05)
2. Happy Birthday (demo) (4:35)
3. Quietus (demo) (5:33)
4. Heatwave (demo) (3:36)
5. Love Tonight (demo) (4:48)
6. The Mind Wasp (demo) (4:39)
7. Woah No! (demo) (4:11)
8. Love and Marriage (demo) (4:02)
9. Socialization (demo) (7:21)
10. Little Pig (demo) (4:49)

Total Time 47:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitars, synths, gang vocals, mixing & producing
- Anneke Van Giersbergen / vocals
- Dave Young / guitars, mandolin, keyboards, gang vocals
- Brian Waddell / bass, gang vocals
- Ryan Van Poederooyen / drums

- Graham Ord / trumpet, saxophone
- Marcus Mosely Chorale (members) / chorus vocals
- The Delisle Vocal Project (members) / chorus vocals
- Lonnie Delisle / chorus arrangements & conducting

Releases information

Artwork: Anthony Clarkson

2xCD HevyDevy Records ‎- none (2012, Canada) Bonus disc w/ 10 demos
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 364 (2012, Germany) Different cover art

Thanks to peccatum for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy DEVIN TOWNSEND Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud Music

DEVIN TOWNSEND Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud ratings distribution

(389 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DEVIN TOWNSEND Devin Townsend Project: Epicloud reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Negoba
4 stars Effervescent Quality

Devin Townsend is nothing if not prolific. After completing a four album project within a 3 year span, he was working on possibly three different ideas (including Ziltoid 2) at once. But apparently despite his best intentions, happy happy pop metal kept entering his bald noggin'. As part of his new middle age ethic, Townsend decided to just go with it. The result is EPICLOUD, an album that probably does something that Z2 could not. It adds yet another facet to Townsend's immense array of looks into the human condition.

EPICLOUD obviously looks back 3 years to ADDICTED, which was the debut of Townsend's use of ex-Gathering lead siren Anneke Van Giersbergen. That collaboration was a spontaneous experiment that was a rousing success, and the choice to bring her back makes great sense. Indeed, her presence still adds much to EPICLOUD but perhaps the biggest disappointment of the disc is how muted her presence is. In fact, there is nothing here you haven't heard before from Devy. Except something beautiful. Unapologetic happiness.

Ironically, one of the centerpieces of the album is a remake of Kingdom from PHYSICIST. That album saw Devin at one of his darkest, angriest, and least focused parts of his career. And with only a few actual compositional changes, the song goes from anxious freakout to angelic deliverance. The pissed off kid from Strapping Young Lad's CITY is gone. The tripped out manic depressive from ALIEN is gone too. Instead, we have an adult musical genius just figuring out what it means to be happy. Even on ADDICTED, Townsend wasn't quite here yet.

But from the opening choir of "Effervescent" through te camp stomp of "Lucky Animals" do the Space Metal Spiritual "Grace," Townsend is emoting from somewhere new. In many ways, it's just as risky as the monstrous DECONSTRUCTION. But it's alot more easy on the ears. Like that album, I am simply delighting in my end over end first listenings. But like that album also, I suspect there will be about 3 songs that become part of the long term Townsend legacy, and the rest will be fond but perhaps faded memories.

High points: Grace, True North, Kingdom

Low Points: none

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Back in 1998 I was sent an album to review called 'Infinity' which was by a Canadian who I knew had previously been with The Wildhearts and a metal act called Strapping Young Lad, but I hadn't actually heard any of his music. As soon as it started blasting out of the speakers I was totally blown away, and since then have tried to get hold of everything he has been involved with (if you have never heard SYL then grab 2005's 'Alien', I can promise that you won't regret it). The mad Canuck has many talents, one of which is that whatever style of music he is playing at the time appears to be the one that he is born to play, combined with a very distinctive production style which is the closest thing you'll ever come across to a real wall of sound, whatever fans of Phil Spector may think.

After hearing "Ziltoid The Magnificent" I decided that nothing that Devin would do could surprise me anymore, but even I never expected the album to start with a short a capella number where he has again joins forces with singer Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-the Gathering). She also takes the lead into the next number, with her pure clear vocals quite at odds with the force that Ryan Van Poederooyen (drums), Mike Young (bass) and Dave Young (guitars) bring to bear on the rest of the song. Devin moves between genres from one song to the next, sometimes bringing them all to bear at once (he of course provides vocals, guitars and keyboards). There is an intensity in Devin's music that is often missing from bands who purport to be much heavier and aggressive than he, and the use of Anneke provides yet another dimension that adds light to a very dark place indeed.

This is a stunning album, and amazingly with the bonus demo songs (which don't really sound like demoes to be honest) it is nearly 100 minutes long with nary a filler in sight.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Epicloud' - Devin Townsend Project (8/10)

Although I don't think Devin Townsend's Project series has ever come close to matching the jaw-dropping quality of his masterpiece "Terria", it's exciting to hear the man being so prolific with his art. With five studio albums released over the past three years, it's clear that Devin is enjoying a sense of revitalized spirit and inspiration. Most importantly, Devin now seems to be at the point where he is most open and unrestricted with his musical expression. There's no telling whether he might do a theatrical metal masterwork next, a soothing ambient record or, as is the case here on "Epicloud", a peppy and melodic album to showcase his cheerier side. Although initial reactions may have left me yearning for something more creatively ambitious from the mad scientist of metal, Devin's latest offering has a much longer lasting appeal and charm than the 'pop' label would suggest.

It's obvious that Devin Townsend is picking up on "Epicloud" where he left off on "Addicted", his pop-oriented and danceable chapter in the original four album Project. Although it didn't leave as strong an impression as the atmospheric "Ki" or the balls-out mania of "Deconstruction", I ended up listening to "Addicted" more than the others, if only because it allowed for the enjoyment of Devin's unique style without having to invest the undivided attention necessary for his most adventurous albums. Although "Addicted" was about as poppy and commercial as I could have imagined Devin would go, he seems to up the ante here. The proggy arrangements and signature dense 'wall of sound' production are still here, but the songwriting is an unabashed celebration of everything catchy and fun. Townsend's guitarwork still occasionally brings out the best of his talent, but the focus here is on the vocal side. "Epicloud" has fewer 'standout' tracks than "Addicted", but an overall greater sense of consistency and flow to it. Overall, this is some of the cheeriest Devin's music has ever sounded, possibly rivaled only by the hyperactivity on "Synchestra".

By this point in Townsend's career, a killer, unique sense of production and bombastic atmosphere are pretty much granted. Indeed, "Epicloud" sounds incredibly vast, especially considering that most of these tracks revolve around a familiar verse-chorus structure. Although the mix can get a little overwhelming at the album's loudest moments, it really fits the album's 'epic' approach. Although the larger-than-life instrumentation is sure to impress (especially if you haven't heard anything by Devin before), the real highlight are the vocal performances. Drawing upon his work on "Addicted" once again, Devin continues to enlist the talents of Anneke van Giersbergen (of The Gathering and Ayreon), whose unique and wonderful voice works really well with Devin's quirk. Although Devin's over-the-top and versatile voice has always been a highlight of his music, some of his vocal parts here are out of this world. The undeniable highlight "Kingdom" features possibly the greatest operatic vocals he has ever put to record.

Although the execution here is top-notch, "Epicloud" leaves the impression that only a few songs here really stand out. Among them, the epic "Kingdom" is the one that will stand the test of time, although the sugar-coated "True North" and atmospheric "Save Our Now" also distinguish themselves. Although I wouldn't say it's quite an inevitable by-product of Devin's 'accessible' approach here, many of the songs lack the shock factor to create a memorable impression in their own right. Especially considering that some of the tunes here are jaw dropping, I would have loved to hear an album that manages to hold up that amazing level of quality throughout. Seeing how much Devin has improved the pop metal approach on "Epicloud" over "Addicted" however, it's very possible that we'll hear something even greater from this end of Devin's music in the future. For the present, however, it's doubtful progressive metal has ever been catchier than this.

Review by Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Devin Townsend set out to record 'Ziltoid II', another dark and brooding story about an egomaniac alien running amuck through the universe. He failed. To paraphrase an interview, he went into the studio with something in mind and came out with something entirely different. Well lets all be glad that he did because "Epicloud" is many things throughout the course of the CD, none of which are Ziltoid (though there may be some slight similarities).

Right off the bat we know that something special is on the way by the a cappella leadoff track. "Effervescent" is all that the name suggests. While the choral arrangement of the song could easily and predictably smash into a heavy Devyesque wall of sound, he passes on the easy out and instead continues the uplifting vibe. Anneke Van Giersbergen's crystal clear voice leads the way for a moment into "True North", one of the highlights of the album chock full of riffs, beautiful melodies and a Devin sonic attack.

"Lucky Animals" is one of the more awkward songs on the album. I thought he was saying "Animal Malarkey" (thank you spell checker for the proper spelling of malarkey) the first few times I listened to the song . . . I long for those days. "Where We Belong" shows Devin's voice in a softer setting, and it works really well here. His gravelly tone is perfect for this acoustic ballad.

My song of the year is "Save Our Now". When I heard this song on Spotify, it inspired me to order the CD that night. While the song is not horribly progish, it shows how beautifully Ms. Van Gierbergen's pristine voice can combine with Devin's screams. When she sings "Happy now?" her voice cuts through the clatter demanding the listener's full attention. The keyboards and the vocals in the chorus are, in fact, perfect. The keyboards give all the majesty of a Nightwish epic without the cheese while Anke's voice holds a trancy top over Devin's multiple harmonies. This is a beautiful, dancy tune that could easily top any chart if it was given the chance. It would be a perfect song if only it didn't end so soon.

The downfall of the album though is the excessive clatter that pervades many of the tracks, "Kingdom" more so than the rest. This is a remake of an earlier song of his that I would classify as 'mostly noise'.

With all of that being said, there are some similarities to Ziltoid here, "Save Our Now" is somewhat analogous to "Hyperdrive" and many of the drum and noise sections sound like they'd fit right in with the java loving alien. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to the crazy of the planet smasher.

All in all, this is a pretty good CD, the high points soar while the low points aggravate. I gave this a solid three and a half star rating brought up to a four star on the merits of Annke. "Save Our Now" is truly a game changer in my book and the best song that Devin has recorded (in my not so humble opinion).

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "I love you, I need you, I've always been around you" - get out of my head!

Devin Townsend has some curious albums that include music ranging from breakneck thrash metal blasts to balladic serenity, and his vocals are incredibly diverse, moving from screamo growls to beautiful soft tones and melodies. On this latest album there are moments of Heavy Devy of course but it is mainly permeated with very melodic infectious soft rock songs. Some of these songs jam into the brain and are maddeningly infectious such as 'True North' that haunted me for days; 'I love you, I need you, I've always been around you.' The female vocals are absolutely angelic on this album from the golden tones of Anneke Van Giersbergen she is in fact one of the best things about this album; as she was so on Devin's 'Addicted' album. When she begins singing it is heavenly, and she balances the vocals of Devin masterfully. This is one of Devin's most accessible and enjoyable albums, as he refrains from growls and thrashy music on most songs. There are thrashy numbers though to keep us in touch with his SYL background.

'Effervescent!' opens proceedings with an a cappela harmonised vocals that have a strange religious atmosphere. 'True North' has Annneke jammoing that melody into our heads and then joined by Devin and the heavy distorted guitars; it is definitely one of my favourite tracks. The hypnotic melody and beat is perfect for the album after that odd start. It features repeated phrases such as 'where do we go from here' and some sounds that remind me of past DT albums, especially with that wall of sound generated, a bit like 'Terria' or 'Ziltoid'. It has a majestic soundscape that builds into a variety of melodies, ending with more a cappella.

This is followed by another catchy tune with the heavy guitars and vox of 'Lucky Animals'.
'Animals, animals and we're lucky hanging all around us all'. The hypno melody and rhythms are again guaranteed to lock into the brain. It took me a while to like this but now I look forward to it appearing on each listen.

'Liberation' has a powerhouse riff that grinds along with some odd Bowie like vox and then the aggressive Devy voice drives it along with more repeated phrases, 'one minute away from you.' This is as heavy as the album gets and it absolutely cranks with pounding drums and mega distortion, along with atmospherics.

So far the album is perfect and it moves to 'Where We Belong', an acoustic intro and very soft vocals from Devy, as beautiful as anything on 'Ghost'. The gentle delivery is something that Devy has become known for on his albums, ever since the softer side displayed on 'Synchestra' or songs on 'Ziltoid' such as 'Hyperdrive' or 'The Grays'. The melody is excellent and really grabs hold of the emotions, along with a blazing guitar outro.

'Save Our Now' begins with wonderful guitar chords and drums before the AOR style rhythm locks in and Devy's quieter mood continues to pervade. The sound is pleasant and when Anneke joins in the augmentation of harmonies is absolutely lovely. It is such a pleasant listening experience and a real surprise as I am used to a lot more heaviness from DT.

As if on cue there is a grinding distorted blastbeat on the intro of 'Kingdom', then a thrashy rhythm with some nice keyboard motifs. Devy goes for a high register vibrato on some of his more powerful vocals. This is a diverse detour into heavy rock, and Anneke adds her classy tones overlayed; they are a real force on this album that works with admirable proficiency. The song builds into speedy double kick drums and fiery guitar work, in signature thrash style as heard on songs of the past such as 'Ziltoidia Attax' or 'Earth Day'.

'Kingdom'is raucous but still maintains a strong melody; 'stay with me or play with me' repeated so as to log into the cranium.

'Divine' follows, with dreamy guitars and keyboard ambience. The pretty melody is well executed by Devin in his most romantic mood, 'loving you is the best thing and the worst thing in my life'. The atmosphere is ethereal and haunting with those sweet melodies and ghostly key pads. It is definitely as gentle as Devin gets, and works well to balance out the mayhem previous.

'Grace' has Anneke's crystal vocals echoing across clean guitars and key pads. It has a spacey sound wth crystalline production; astoundingly dreamy, and then extreme metal blasts crash through for the chorus that is one word 'Grace!' I love how Devin screams over the jumpy rhythm and orchestra sections. This track is a mixture of metal and Symphonic nuances. It builds into fast complex riffing and Anneke sounds more like her work on The Gathering. 

'More!' is another very heavy track, belting along with manic guitars revved to the max. The riff is killer and just screams along with loud vocals sung on a high note. It reminds me of the sound on Alice Cooper's 'Brutal Planet'. I love the heaviness that balances out the next tracks so well.

'Lessons' returns to dreamy ambience with acoustics and is followed seamlessly by very gentle vocals that build to a crescendo in the chorus. The song 'Hold On' is a highlight even at this late point in the album; Devy has a magnificent timbre in his voice, such a surprise after the boisterous yelling on past albums. Anneke again adds her voice and it is a dramatic effect, hearing the high and low parts of the melody balancing each other.

'Angel' ends the album release (not counting the bonus CD), and it ends on a wonderful sweet melody, with a majestic soundscape. Anneke and Devy trade off over a killer lead riff. The lead guitar is some of the best on the album, and the ascending and descending notes actually sound like a guitar exercise but it works magnificently. It closes with a choir with religious nuances, and the positive theme of 'everyone into forever, everything a part of me' bookends the album.

Being such a brilliant album I had to get hold of the double disc Deluxe Edition. I was not disappointed as there are some fantastic tracks on the bonus. These are demos but they sound great. 'Believe' is a quiet ballad with Devin's quality vocals and gentle acoustics. 'Happy Birthday' has the gorgeous vox of Anneke over a steady beat; simply sumptuous music. 'Quietus' is a pop song with odd quirky synth effects, sounding a bit like 80s Devo, right down to the twangy guitars. I like this one a lot as it is so different than any other Devin track. It builds to a heavy sound that is abrasive and feels like a new song.

'Heatwave' is just a fun exploration of country rock; not too bad but very much a curio with a truckie theme and some out of place choruses that have a spacey quality. 'Love Tonight' has a bouncy tune and bombastic musicianship and very good vocals. 'The Mind WASP' sounds like an Arabian melody with a tinge of psychedelica and is one of the heaviest demos on offer here. 'Woah No!' has an odd title and is basically a metal blaster with some great keyboards. The harmonised vocals are dreamy balanced over the distortion and some Devin screamo. It is great to hear some more metal in the vein of 'Ziltoid'. 

'Love And Marriage'
is an odd beast that throws in all styles including the kitchen sink of Sepultura growls and a smattering of burps and Anneke reacting to her imaginary husband with that's what she would have expected; it is a lot of fun really to hear them spar off. The odd mixture of pop synth and brash vocals over distorted riffs is Devin at his most experimental. Perhaps this would have worked on the 'Ziltoid' sequel better. 'Socialization' clocks 7:18 and its length flashes by with very heavy fast drums and guitars. The operatic vocals are weird over all this metal sounding more like Galahad or such gladiator metal. The frantic guitar riffs are incredible, as well as a Slayeresque lead break, and a smattering of Mortification style growls, making this definitely the heaviest song on the whole album.
'Little Pig' is last on the slab, and the worst for me meandering along a dull musical scape and over produced vocal layers. With silly bloated lyrics 'I need a Friend'; but that is Townsend having fun in the studio and he will try anything.

If this had been the anticipated 'Ziltoidia 2' it would have been a masterful followup but of course it was not to be and this is still one of the top 3 Townsend albums I have heard. Anneke is a revelation on this album and works well with Devin's screaming and gentler moods. She is always an augmentation to every track and makes this such a compelling experience. Devin is at his best in his structuring and composition of each song. The lyrics hit home perfectly that are positive and have an optimistic edge, and the catchy tunes are surely some of the best he has created over his grand tenure. Some of these songs are unforgettable and it is an absolute stand out album, far superior to his last few, and absolutely buries 'Deconstruction' and 'Ghost'for innovation and diversity. The Phil Spectorish production is crystal clear with a commercial friendly sound, and every musician is clear, especially Devin's Keys, and guitars. It has been a delight to hear such a wonderful uplifting album. It is epic, it is loud, it is one of the great albums of 2012; treat yourself to 'Epicloud'.

Review by Prog Leviathan
5 stars Whenever one of my favorite bands puts out something that doesn't live up to expectations, or worse yet, just plain stinks, I take solace knowing that somewhere in the world (OK, Canada), Devin Townsend is continuing his winning streak of powerful, energetic, artistic, and purely awesome albums. Epicloud makes his record 12-0, and things are just getting better.

As a whole, Epicloud demonstrates the trademark Devin feel: big songs layered with diverse vocals, guitar effects, heavy beats, atmosphere, memorability, cathartic power, and a touch of snarkiness, all bundled together in an exceptionally well-produced package. Epicloud begins with a faux hymn that gives way to a driving, uplifting anthem of an opener in "True North". Soaring vocals and heavy chords complemented by the well-performed guest vocals of Anneke Van Giersbergen start things off right. Welcome to the Church of Devin.

"Lucky Animals" is an unfortunate low-point in the mix, but it passes quickly enough into the jaunty (and heavy) "Liberation". Fun stuff, but light-weight. For me, Epicloud really begins at the 1:06 mark of "Where We Belong", where the tone of the album explodes into a mature, sensitive, and powerful series of songs that elevate, crush, renew, shatter, tranquilize, and uplift-- usually within the same song. "Save Our Now" might be Devin's most purely optimistic and beautiful song to date, while the follow-up "Kingdom" and "Grace" are hugely successful examples of Devin's amazing voice and walls of guitar sound. Fine work by drummer Poederooyen is also noteworthy, delivering complex pedal work that highly compliments the tone of these songs. Anneke delivers fine back-up vocals as well, her steady feminine tone filling a space which Townsend fans might not have noticed missing before.

Epicloud's closing trio, the etheric "Lessons", and suitably epic "Hold On" and "Angel" wrap things up in a very satisfyingly. This album makes a great starting place for Townsend's excellent music, and I highly encourage fans of heavy-prog, art rock, metal, or just about any other genre of rock to check it out. For fans of Townsend's work already-- be prepared to be rewarded once again.

As if this wasn't enough, we're given an accompanying disc of B-Sides, which, honestly, is good enough to be a stand-alone purchase in their own right. While not as heavily produced as the other material on Epicloud, the B-Sides are excellently diverse, showcasing Devin's evolving sound over the past several albums. In some ways it's more experimental than Townsend's standard sound, giving us lots of fun diversions-- light, heavy, hot, cold, crazy, sane-- it's gotten more play than all of my other "bonus" discs combined.

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

Review by Wicket
4 stars Addicted 2.0?

That's kinda what it sounds like. The unmistakable gospel choir "Effervescent!" heralds in a positively positive "True North", which literally couldn't sound more like the happiest song ever if you tried. Until halfway in where the choir and the reverb and the screams and orchestral samples come int. Then it sounds exactly like "Deconstruction".

Even just from this first sample of this album, it's obvious that multiple influences are in full force on this album, and yet have become so commonplace that it's part of Townsend's signature sound, and only oddball experimentations with the darker, more somber aspects of music (off "Ki") tend to be one-offs unto themselves.

When the catchy "Lucky Animals" kicks in, I'm reminded of "Bad Devil" off "Infinity", and this album really does seem to sound like a newer interpretation of the album, and thus the comparisons between the material on "Infinity" and this album are uncanny (except perhaps less reverb on here than on "Infinity", which is surprising). But a big difference does seem to come from a more focused attempt on songwriting over sheer "drown out your ears in a sea of reverb". "Liberation" seems like a perfect example. It sounds like another pop-rock song that's waiting for a huge dose of guitar reverb to drown out your soul, but the echo is more reserved for the vocals, perhaps in a more bombastic spectacle, but frankly more effective on this type of song than just pure guitar chords. Not to mention it's another happy sounding song.

"Where We Belong" takes the foot off the bombastic pedal for a bit and actually tries to ballad its way to your heart, and isn't a bad attempt at all. It's a little reminder of "Biomech", DT's first solo album, where the first half of the album focused on creating catchy, beautiful tunes and use a hint of echo and reverb to create an angelic atmosphere that just washes over you and completely sucks you in to the music and never lets you go. "Save Our Now" meanwhile sounds like Townsend's take on a modern day anthem rock track.

Then interestingly, we get to "Kingdom", a remake off DT's "Physicist" album of 2000, and frankly a surprise track to here following a cushy, radio-friendly song like "Save Our Now". While I personally love "Kingdom" (and frankly, the entire album of "Physicist"), it almost feels to reverb-y and too heavy chord wise for this album, although it absolutely makes sense from a bombastic point of view, which is definitely the theme of this album, I've decided. But perhaps it's just for the contrast, as "Divine" which follows it is a mellow ballad accompanied by Townsend's voice, along with backing vocals and some synth electronics.

And while "Grace" starts off mellow as well, it's not long before the distorted guitar chords and drums kick in and create another bombastic and brutal spectacle, once again headlined by DT's classic dissonant progression (which is actually a major seventh, in music theory terms.Not necessarily dissonant, but with the constant emphasis on the dominant, which is B natural on this track, the major seventh following the "Grace" chorus sounds dissonant until the progression decends a half step each time before the choir hits the major fifth, and the cycle repeats again).

And frankly the bombast continues, with the rip-roaring "More!", while "Lessons" channels a bit of neo-classical Tenacious D acoustic picking, while "Hold On" begins as a down-tempo retreat from the bombast before the big chords open up just in time for you to pull out your lighter to sway with the rhythm, finally closing out the album with "Angel", another big loud, bombastic track built for the finale of the album that it closes, which actually surprised me. I figured it'd be as underwhelming as "Addicted", but in that vein, it actually succeeded my expectations by actually being tighter and more pronounced with the musical theme of the album, which as I've said all along, has been big, bombastic, choir-filled arena songs. So that said, I enjoy this album thoroughly and is another one of DT's many great albums to reside in his catalog of insanity and genius.


I also have the opportunity to go through the bonus disc of tracks as well (titled "Epiclouder", I believe? fitting) and frankly, this is just a collection of demos with enough material to constitute as a whole new album, but seeing as these probably weren't originally meant and recorded to be played together, I'm going to look at them as single track offerings and not group them together from an album specific viewpoint unless there's some dots I can connect between them all, so erase the pretensions of the previous album and look at this with an open mind, as it needs to with the acoustic ballad "Believe" that starts up this bonus disc.

"Happy Birthday" takes that acoustic sound and kicks up the tempo with Anneke Van Giersbergen once again providing some outstanding vocals as she has for this entire album. "Quietus" would've sounded right at home on "Ki", with the muffled drums, rhythmic plucking of the guitars and mysterious tone behind it all. "Heatwave" is a refreshing, nostalgic take on old time, rock 'n roll from the mad scientist himself, and "Love Tonight" is another bombastic track.

"The Mind WASP" is an unusual standout, an acoustic led track with a heavy foot, trudging through an exotic scale and key signature with hints of haunting synths and string samples setting the tone for a big showdown. Surely enough, halfway in, Townsend lets his pipes open up, and creates another huge spectacle, with screams and strings pounding their way to your ears.

"Woah NO!" is another interesting track. It opens with spastic guitar and sax solos ( a la John Zorn), before the traditional trudging guitar and drum combo punches its way to Devin screaming about something, probably about a rock that stuck in his shoe or something, before it turns into another big spectacle.

"Love And Marriage" stays on the softer side despite moving at a fairly brisk pace, but dynamically echoes "Ki" while also displaying some mad bits, including bell tones from backing vocals, more screams, and an impressive guitar solo. "Socialization" is the big epic off this bonus track, with hints of neo-classicism bathed in drums and noise a la "Deconstruction", while "Little Pig" finally ends in a very Pink Floydian acoustic waltz.

So, while the main album is worth getting, this bonus disc isn't worth sneezing at, either. While it's not exactly a must-have stand alone, thing, if you have the chance to get the bonus disc, get it, because it's got some own unique tidbits every Townsend fan should listen to.

Review by The Crow
4 stars After the brutal Deconstruction and the much mellow and ambient-oriented Ghost, Devin Townsend returned to the Addicted! formula.

Devin himself produced the album achieving again his typical wall of sound style. Maybe a bit over-produced, but it is a take it or leaving thing, you know. The band was the same as in Addicted! and since this Epicloud the line-up has been more or less the same with the exception of the great Anneke Van Giersbergenbeing, being the most stable line- up of musicians that Devin has had in his career, leave alone the Strapping Yound Lad project.

So Epicloud, like Addicted!, is a mixture of pop-prog-metal songs with extreme and experimental glimpses and some new elements like the Simon and Garfunkel-influenced (and horrible) track Divine, which is maybe the worst song in the entire Devin's career. Nevertheless, the rest of the album is splendid in general terms being catchy, compelling and very complex at the same time, with some memorable tracks, which are perfect to be played live.

Best tracks: True North (a bit cheesy at the beginning, but with a brutal and complex instrumental development), Where we Belong (just beautiful, with a chorus greater than life), Grace (a good return to the Synchrestra's style) and Angel (I love the guitars melodies in this one)

Conclusion: Epicloud is maybe a bit commercial, but just like Addicted! is a catchy, diverse and very well written record with some flaws, but with enough brilliant moments to be considered excellent, being resistant to tons of plays before getting boring or worn-out.

Therefore, if you are new to Devin Townsend's work, Epicloud is an excellent point of entry!

My rating: ****

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars In 2009, Devin Townsend started his series of albums released under the Devin Townsend Project. This project still rotated through a changing list of personnel, not really being a project with a regular line up. The 5th album in this series was released in 2012 and entitled "Epicloud". It all came about as Townsend was attempting to write a follow up to the "Ziltoid" album, but everytime he attempted to, he would end up writing what he called a poppy-metal track instead, and realized he still had to get some of these songs out of his system. Soon enough, he had plenty of tracks to fill an album that would come across as a sequel to "Addicted" with many tracks left over to fill up another disc. Townsend is just an amazing song writing phenomenon. You would think that his well would be running dry, but once again, he proves he is a master at music and making every single song an epic sounding track.

This is also what he proves with Epicloud, another bunch of excellent tracks that feature his signature thick and stirring songs that always manage to lift my spirits and rejuvenate my spirits especially during times of being "shut-in" for whatever reason. The album starts off with the first group of tracks definitely sounding a bit more "accessible" than his usual signature sound, but it is still obvious you are getting a dose of the usual "heavy Devy" sound as layers of glorious sound turn what would normally be a pleasant rock song into a work with so many pieces that it sounds like a mega-work. As the album moves on, we also get a few songs that are "ballad-like" and pensive, but they always seem to build into a climax of epic proportions. Things also seem to get more progressive and heavier as the album continues until, by the end of it all, you have no doubt that you are experiencing another major production from Townsend. The use of Anneke Van Giersbergen's vocals by this time has become an expected staple to Townsend's music, giving the songs their needed softer side, though she also holds her own quite well in the heavier tracks also.

Epicloud is not Townsend's best, but it is still an album that most bands would be very proud of if it was done by someone else. In this album, Townsend also utilizes the Marcus Mosely Chorale and The Delisle Vocal Project to also help bring the usual level of exaltation to his music, giving even more personality to certain songs and to the album in general. It's hard to single out any tracks as being highlights as every one of them is something amazing and special.

Once again, not only does Townsend treat us to an amazing album, but he also offers a double disc option that contains a full bonus CD of over 47 minutes of additional tracks that were written and left off of the main album. These all are notated as demo songs, but most of them still sound completely finished and fleshed out. They also add more variety to the overall picture with some of them taking on their own personalities like "Heatwave" with its country-tinged sound (that sounds like it should have been saved for the "Casualties of Cool" album) and the extreme, djent style "Woah No!" As usual, Townsend is just full of surprises in both the regular album and the bonus disc.

The main problem with this album is that it basically seems like a lot of songs that are packed with sound and emotion, and while each one of them taken by itself is an epic track, when put together into an album, it almost seems overbearing that when so much is packed into each song, it is almost too much, and this album also lacks a bit of focus. Townsend's best albums seem to be the ones that have some subject or style to center around, while the slightly weaker ones have tracks that are not necessarily connected as much. Thus this album ends up with a 4 star rating, even though it is an album worthy of consideration among his many of amazing albums. It's not very often that you can buy a Townsend album and be completely disappointed (except in a few cases when he tries to be more ambient and experimental as on the albums "Devlab" and "The Hummer"). If you see this album, it is one you should not pass on in any event. Townsend continues to amaze as usual.

Latest members reviews

3 stars EPICLOUD Come for main album - stay for the bonus disc! From 2009 to 2011, The Devin Townsend Project (DTP) was originally intended to be just that - a Project. It was to be 4 albums, each a different style and line-up, and the overall goal being to separate and focus on the many sides of si ... (read more)

Report this review (#2409366) | Posted by The Genre Spanner | Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After 3 years, DT returns to his more classic sound with wall of sound behind the heavier tracks and flowing acoustic songs. Thankfully, he kept collaboration with Anneke Van Giersbergen whose vocal lights up every song. The first a-capella short ouverture informs the listener that he won't com ... (read more)

Report this review (#2045700) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, October 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album has grown on me a great deal since it's release. It's easy listening compared to most of Devins other work, Ghost excluded of course, and at first it was just a bit too easy easy listening. But it clicks, and while it is far from perfect, some of these songs are just too nice to hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1126018) | Posted by Billy Pilgrim | Sunday, February 2, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album basically came out of nowhere for me. I remember hearing him talk about this album at one point, and all of a sudden, it appears from nowhere out of the blue. I have to admit, even though this album is insanely different from anything he has ever done, I really love this album. I u ... (read more)

Report this review (#1033623) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've always been amazed at just how far Devin Townsend can push the limits of the heavy metal genre. A lot of his musical genius seems in part derived from internal conflict; his need for tender being at war with his need for ferocious, so to speak. This originally manifested as the crushingly i ... (read more)

Report this review (#902838) | Posted by The Blue Ghost | Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9.5/10 Loving you is the best thing and the worst thing in my life... The Devin Townsend Project represents the culmination of the career of this blessed man. He has offered us many masterpieces, but here is where he has the opportunity to innovate, be eclectic, to be himself. Why stop at Ghos ... (read more)

Report this review (#886877) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, January 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Devin Townsend Project - "Epicloud" 14/20 39th place album of the year 2012 "Epicloud" is the perfect name for this album. Epic and loud. And I still don't know if it's pronounced epic-loud or epi-cloud. But it doesn't really matter. This is Devin's 5th album under the Devin Townsend Project, ... (read more)

Report this review (#851271) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, November 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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