DEVIN TOWNSEND

"Addicted" (Inside Out; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Eschewing the lifestyle demands of the album, tour, and repeat cycle of metal warrior-dom by disbanding his musical projects, enigmatic guru of heaviness Devin Townsend took his time away from the grind to recharge, reconnect, and enjoy his family. Now achieving a balance which included getting fully clean and sober, an inevitable comeback was realized, and latest collection "Addicted," is the second installment of the four-part series of albums by this prolific metal artist, showcasing his newfound musical paradigm’s direction.

Discernibly throbbing and upbeat throughout yet fortified with the trademark Townsend soul-stomping wall of sound (think more Sevendust and Static X structures with parts of Swedish melodic metal strewn in), this 10-track disc’s affable approach flexes its melodic muscle with an electric energy that radiates an buoyancy illuminated by vocals from the stellar Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering, who lends her unmistakable charm and grace to a surprising majority of this affair, most notably on the pop-metal sensation “Bend It Like Bender!” and the rousing closer “Awake!”

While ending song titles with exclamation points seems a bit pretentious, it further accelerates an overall feeling of celebration, acting as an extra ingredient that assists the shared exhilaration of the heavy guitar, massive keyboard presence, and tremendous production value smorgasbord. Never predictable, Townsend’s flowing creativity coupled with a focused sense of clarity warrants the excitement that resonates from this album, giving adventurous metal fans everywhere something to sink their teeth into.

For more information, check out http://www.hevydevy.com.

"Ki" (Inside Out; 2009)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Devin Townsend, the man responsible for Strapping Young Lad (which I do not particularly like) and "Ziltoid The Omniscient" (which I really liked) now releases "Ki," which fits somewhere in between.

Townsend really knows how to craft a song and "Ki" has some really great tunes. I know that, like "Ziltoid," there is a story in there somewhere, but I have yet to fully discover it. The songs range from really cool rock'n'roll tunes to tracks that are something less than interesting. Maybe repeated listenings will unravel the story and allow the other songs to grow on me.

Either way, Devin Townsend is one talented man and I am just grateful that he continues to make really good music.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/devintownsenddtb.

"Ziltoid the Omniscient" (Hevy Devy / Inside Out; 2007)

Reviewed by Snidermann

This bizarrely entitled CD is the solo concept album by Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad. The story revolves around Ziltoid, an omniscient being, who has come to earth in search of the perfect cup of coffee. When the cup that is given to him is less than perfect, Ziltoid decides to attack Earth.

That's only part of the story; there's much more. And, if you are interested in science fiction and metal music, Ziltoid The Omniscient is right up your alley. The concept of this CD is way out there, and the music over the top, but that's actually what I liked most about this recording. The sci-fi aspect of Ziltoid appeals to my interest of the strange and the weird and this CD is both in great quantities. 

Devin Townsend has a mega hit on his hands and, frankly, who needs Strapping Young Lad? I'll take Ziltoid The Omniscient any day!

This CD will almost definitely make my Top Ten of 2007. 

For more information, check out http://www.ziltoid.com or http://www.myspace.com/ziltoidtheomniscient

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 09 Apr 2017 13:37:21 -0400 .