- Both epic and loud
Few things get me quite as excited as discovering that Devin Townsend is working on something new. One of those things is getting an advance copy of the new Devin Townsend Project project to review.
My fingers trembled with anticipation as I slid the disc into my car’s cd player. I was hoping that this new album–Epicloud–would serve to magically transform what would otherwise be a long and uninteresting drive across Northern Utah and Southern Idaho into four hours of multiple eargasms (I should clarify that Devin Townsend did not release a four hour album, rather, my drive took four hours). It did!
As soon as the album opened with its gospel space choir, a smile spread itself across my face and took up permanent residence for the rest of my drive, as well as a considerable time thereafter. Right off the bat, I think one could compare this album with Addicted. For one thing, it is catchy…damn catchy! Additionally, Anneke van Giersbergen! When Anneke starts singing “I love you, I need you…” (words that I’m sure many metalheads would be ecstatic to hear spoken to them by Anneke), the hooks are set and there is no tearing free.
The album contains a diverse range of musical styles, drawing on elements from all four of the previous Devin Townsend Project albums. I’ve already mentioned the similarity with Addicted, but there are also songs with slower tempos and ambient awesomeness that would fit right in on Ki or Ghost, along with moments of metal madness that would be perfectly suited for inclusion on Deconstruction. But wait, there’s more! Do you like 80’s rock/metal riffs? Then the chorus of Lucky Animals has got your back. Do you like playing Dance Dance Revolution? For some reason I could not stop visualizing scrolling arrows over a background of shifting colors and dancing CG characters while listening to Save Our Now. There was just something about the beat, tempo, and general atmosphere of that song.
It may sound from my description like this album is a disjointed mishmash of genres and influences from all over the place. Well, rest assured, Devin didn’t just cut pieces off from here and there and tape them back together. He synthesized all these seemingly disparate elements into a coherently constructed whole, and the results are nothing short of glorious!
If you are a Devin Townsend fan, I’m sure you’ll be picking up Epicloud on release day, regardless of what I say. However, I will say that if you are looking for a total surprise the way Ghost was (well, at least it wasn’t what I was expecting after Deconstruction) or the same level of quirkiness–musically and lyrically–as Ziltoid, Deconstruction, or SYL, you might be a little disappointed. That being said, it is still definitely and distinctly Devin (while still managing to be fresh and new) and you will still probably like it. If for some reason you are unfamiliar with this musical mastermind, please do yourself a favor and give this album a spin (or two, or more). It offers plenty of Devin-y goodness encapsulated in appealing catchiness, perfectly suited for digestion by neophytes. If you like your music epic, and if you like your music loud, then you will love Epicloud!
Oh, and if you need anymore convincing that Devin is awesome, please consider this.