Posts tagged ‘devin townsend’

April 6, 2014

Album 0446: Devin Townsend – Ocean Machine: Biomech

DevinTownsend-OceanMachine

Release Date: 1997
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Seventh Wave (06:51)
2. Life (04:32)
3. Night (04:45)
4. Hide Nowhere (05:01)
5. Sister (02:49)
6. 3 A.M. (01:57)
7. Voices In The Fan (04:40)
8. Greetings (02:53)
9. Regulator (05:06)
10. Funeral (08:06)
11. Bastard

    I. Not One Of My Better Days
    II. The Girl From Blue City (10:17)

12. The Death Of Music (12:15)
13. Things Beyond Things (04:47)

Total Length: 01:13:58

Seventh Wave begins with some modulated talking, speaking of the earth. It’s kind of annoying on repeated listens, but at least it’s fairly short. The riff that starts up is pretty great and this is pretty solid Devy goodness. A great sound and some cool moments that stick in your head, but the best on here is yet to come. Life is more uplifting and really great. It gets caught in your head, and though I think some of the mix is a little muddled, I love the changes with the electronic backing during the verse and the guitars pounding in during the chorus. Fantastic song.

Night isn’t quite as good of a song, but it is solid in its own way. It kind of keeps consistent, when I would have preferred a bit more variety. Hide Nowhere is kind of… standard until the bridge and things start going nuts with vocals all over the place and it gets awesome. This second half brings the song up considerably. Sister is a nice little soft track, and while I like it it never really hits the spot for me.

The same can be said for 3 A.M. because while I like the atmosphere, it’s fairly forgettable. Voices In The Fan is well worth the buildup that is allowed from the breather of the previous track. The rhythm and vocals in this are amazing and just stick with me. The last bit is kind of neat too, a random use of choir vocals. Greetings works more as an extended intro for this next song, it doesn’t really set itself apart and it’s kind of forgotten when the next track starts.

Regulator is a monster of a track, even though it’s shorter by a large margin than the three tracks after it. The opening riffs build up amazingly, and the whole song just relishes on the fun. Funeral is a bit different, but just as well done a song. It’s hard to even begin to explain what this song does, but it combines the heaviness with samples looping and building and it’s just unbelievably cool.

Bastard is a large track, I don’t really know where the two sections are in relativity to each other though. It doesn’t have as many highs for me as the previous song, but it’s still a solid track. The Death Of Music is a long ambient track, moving in and out of patterns and atmospheres. The song is just a bit long, and it comes at the heel end of the album and feels like it’s dragging things out. Things Beyond Things is at least a fitting ending, the calm feelings radiating from it work really well, other than the ending, which is a random bit of screaming for no reason. This whole album has grown on me more each time, and though I tend to skip the last few tracks, the rest make up for them.

Final Rating: 8/10

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September 18, 2013

Album 0350: Devin Townsend – Infinity

DevinTownsend-Infinity

Release Date: 1998
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Truth (03:59)
2. Christeen (03:41)
3. Bad Devil (04:53)
4. War (06:29)
5. Soul Driven Cadillac (05:15)
6. Ants (02:01)
7. Wild Colonial Boy (03:05)
8. Life Is All Dynamics (05:07)
9. Unity (06:58)
10. Noisy Pink Bubbles (05:21)
11. Sister (live acoustic) (02:16)
12. Hide Nowhere (live acoustic) (05:03)
13. Man (1996 demo) (05:12)

Total Length: 59:18

Truth starts off with some catchy guitars and cool riffs, before going into an insanely cool section where circus vocals kind of form the backing bit along with the guitar going down the scale. It’s simply amazing and the best part of the track. Christeen is more like a pop song done Devy style, it’s really fun and the chorus gets stuck in my head. Bad Devil kind of amps it up, with a bit of fun, Halloween flair to it. The organ and horns add a whole other dimension and it sounds like some joy is being had.

War is fairly good, but kind of a different beast. The song just kind of plods it on, though not necessarily in a bad way. It’s more like the song has a steady rhythm and kind of builds on that, until the odd ending. Enjoyable but strange. Soul Driven Cadillac is pretty similar. It’s not the best material Devin has but it’s fine, and again the ending is weird. Ants is absolutely nuts and kind of a pinnacle of how weird Devin can be when he lets loose. It’s fast and crazy and hard to keep up with.

Wild Colonial Boy again has a bit of that circus feel and is upbeat. I quite enjoy it, especially the little bits of percussion in the background. Life Is All Dynamics is a bigger song. Devin definitely does these better on later albums, but this is still an engaging track here. Unity has a fine intro, but it great once it gets going. The song gives off a nice atmosphere and is a fitting ‘end’ to the album, even though there’s one more track and then bonus songs.

Noisy Pink Bubbles is kind of odd and does whatever its wants, meandering along. There are some nice moments in it. Sister is a live track, done acoustically. The intro is kind of grating, but once the melody kicks in the song is really nice. There’s even a funny moment at the end, where Devin tells an audience member to shut up. Hide Nowhere is done in the same style, and it’s kind of loose but a nice change of pace from the original. Man is a demo track, it’s pretty cool and has some neat moments. This isn’t entirely one of my favorite Devy albums, but it’s got its own thing going on and some tracks that are absolutely memorable.

Final Rating: 8.5/10

February 10, 2013

Album 0243: Devin Townsend – Terria

Devin_Townsend-2001-Terria-cover-big

Release Date: 2001
Genre: Progressive Metal/Ambient

Tracklisting:

1. Olives (03:21)
2. Mountain (06:33)
3. Earth Day (09:35)
4. Deep Peace (07:35)
5. Canada (06:53)
6. Down And Under (03:43)
7. The Fluke (07:16)
8. Nobody’s Here (06:54)
9. Tiny Tears (09:13)
10. Stagnant (05:26)
11. Humble (05:30)

Total Length: 01:11:59

Olives is a good intro to the album, very atmospheric with an odd sample played throughout. It gets heavy in the last minute, and kind of in the span of three minutes shows you all the facets this album takes. Mountain has some great riffs, and I love the instrumental section. The vocal lines aren’t terribly great, but the rest of the song makes up for that. Earth Day has a lot of stuff going on through its whole run time, and the only part I don’t entirely enjoy is Devin yelling “recycle” over and over again, simply because it’s very plain and in your face.

Deep Peace has a calm intro, but the song really hits it stride halfway through. The classical-tinged buildup in the middle of the track is possibly one of the best things I’ve ever heard. It’s honestly beautiful, really this whole song is. Canada is a great track as well, but the slowed down vocal sample midway through always kind of bothers me for some reason. Down And Under is a great, shorter track. It’s mostly instrumental, and even the use of vocals is more like a cool instrument.

The Fluke is kind of a step down in quality, but not a bad song. It’s still pleasant, the ending atmosphere is nice. Nobody’s Here is a softer track (most of the time) and pretty enjoyable. Tiny Tears is a bigger track and I really like the use of keyboards throughout. It’s a great song. Stagnant has great moments in it as well, like a fun vocal performance from Devin. Humble is sort of a hidden track. It features a rough acoustic performance, and then some sort of sampled repeated sound with keyboards for the last few minutes. The acoustic part is really what takes me out of it though, so I tend to consider the previous track the proper end to the album. This is a fantastic with only a few weak points here and there, and the stronger parts more than make up for it in my mind.

Final Rating: 9/10

March 2, 2012

Album 0019: Devin Townsend – Ziltoid The Omniscient

Release Date: 2007
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. ZTO (01:17)
2. By Your Command (08:10)
3. Ziltoidia Attaxx!!! (03:43)
4. Solar Winds (09:47)
5. Hyperdrive (03:48)
6. N9 (05:31)
7. Planet Smasher (05:45)
8. Omnidimensional Creator (00:48)
9. Color Your World (09:45)
10. The Greys (04:15)
11. Tall Latte (01:03)
12. Messages From Ziltoid (07:35)
13. Travelling Salesman (02:14)
14. Another Road (04:31)

Total Length: 01:08:10

ZTO is just a nice little intro, completely sets the tone of the album. By Your Command is the first real song on the album and it’s big. There is fast and heavy parts, some calm parts, just basically everything I love about Devin Townsend. The production on this album is just really velvety and fun, it just kind of invites you in. Ziltoidia Attaxx!!! is an overall heavier song, and showcases all the different ‘voices’ Devin uses throughout the album, which is another huge point in this album’s favor. Whether Devin is calmly singing or screaming his brains out, it’s all fantastic.

Solar Winds is a song that builds up from a laid back beginning to one of the high points of this album. The thing about songwriting is that a song can be a minute long or thirty minutes long, if it’s written well you can enjoy every minute of it. Devin’s voice is still a highlight on this song. Hyperdrive is brilliant, the melody is just oozing out of the song, and the vocals are set back more than the other songs to accomplish this. It’s just haunting. N9 is probably my least favorite on the album. It has some cool vocal moments and a neat bridge, but tends to go on a bit too long.

Planet Smasher is one of the coolest songs on here. The beginning build up is cool as hell, and the ‘voice’ of the Planet Smasher is one of the heaviest things I’ve heard Devin sing and it works perfectly. I was obsessed with this song when I first heard this album. Omnidimensional Creator is just a little story piece, it’s kind of funny. Color Your World is really the centerpiece of the album, what everything has been building up to. It starts off fast and heavy, but eventually slows down to the softest part of the album, before getting right back into it to wrap things up. Just a cool song. The ending is especially great with the repeated line.

The Greys
starts off with one of the coolest riffs ever, and I just love the vocal line in the song. Tall Latte ends the story of the album, and isn’t that interesting upon relistens. Messages From Ziltoid is a bonus track with a faux interview with Ziltoid. It’s really long winded and was good for about one listen to tell the truth. Travelling Salesman is a rough demo of a song that could have been fun if interested. As it is it’s just more like a one note idea expanded into a song. Another Road is really the only worthwhile bonus track on here. It sounds like some cool ideas played to a click track and could have been really neat if made into a song or incorporated into some of the other songs.

This is just one of my favorite albums. I tend to skip the bonus tracks upon listens, so I don’t really factor them into the score. The album just hits so many good points, has so many memorable parts, and I don’t see how anyone couldn’t love it.

Final Rating: 9.5/10