Devin Townsend Project

1. Effervescent!  
2. True North  
3. Lucky Animals  
4. Liberation  
5. Where We Belong  
6. Save Our Now  
7. Kingdom  
8. Divine  
9. Grace  
10. More!  
11. Lessons  
12. Hold On  
13. Angel  
14. Epicloud (vinyl bonus track)
15. Cry Forever (iTunes bonus track)
16. Take My Ego (iTunes bonus track)

Devin Townsend (guitars, vocals, keyboards)
Anneke Van Giersbergen (vocals)
Ryan Van Poederooyen (drums)
Dave Young (guitars, additional keyboards)
Mike Young (bass)

As Devin Townsend:
Punky Brüster – Cooked on Phonics (1996)
Ocean Machine: Biomech (1997)
Infinity (1998)
Physicist (2000)
Terria (2001)
Devlab (2004)
The Hummer (2006)
Ziltoid the Omniscient (2007)

With Devin Townsend Band:
Accelerated Evolution (2003)
Synchestra (2006)

With Devin Townsend Project:
Ki (2009)
Addicted (2009)
Deconstruction (2011)
Ghost (2011)

With Strapping Young Lad:
Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995)
City (1997)
Strapping Young Lad (2003)
Alien (2005)
The New Black (2006)

Brian Waddell (bass according to Wikipedia)

produced by Devin Townsend

Released 24/9-2012
Reviewed 30/9-2012


I don't usually fall for ceap tricks or like when bands/artists does the same thing over and over again and again and Devin Townsend is someone who previously hasn't made his name as an artist who does either of these things, but on 'Epicloud' it doesn't take me long to notice that Mr send town has made some serious shortcuts. Yet I feel it's really difficult to dislike this crazy Canadian and his work.

'Epicloud' begins very differently with some sort of gospel-ish intro called Effervescent and it's followed by another very different kind of song that starts with some heavily mixed female voice saying I love you. I need you. I've always been around you over and over. Effervescent and True North is an absolutely fantastic start to this album as it's so completely different compared to any other start of a heavy metal album that I've ever heard and they are good too, probably one of the best starts of an album all year, but then everything starts to get wrong. About a minute in to True North the song sort of stagnate and don't get any better. The third and fourth song are no improvement and when everything comes around I feel that both True North and in fact this entire album wasn't as great as I first thought it was. It's like it's plenty of surface but not so much content and it only lasts for a few runs, when you start to get up to double digits the fun run has reached its limit and I think the biggest problem is that Townsend doesn't only reuse plenty of earlier ideas and song parts but he also tries to get away with cheap tricks and shortcuts, which just doesn't work on me.

I'm the first to admit that Mr Townsend do have a good music foundation to base his music on, a plattform and sound that's both sophisticated and deep. It's not always his Frank Zappa-ish strange ideas gets all the way through to the listener by the speakers but they're almost always there, making his music better than that music for dummies you get on the radio regardless of how much he has dumbed it down, which feels like something he does for the average hard rocker so that even he can understand it as most hard rockers doesn't even understand the meaning of sophisticated. however, while I feel he has a good base of music, I also feel that there's too much he's already done on 'Epicloud' to really get away with it. Lately this Devin Townsend Project has been Devins main occupation with five releases in three years while his other projects has been on hiatus. Next year will see a sixth release from the Devin Townsend Project and for someone releasing albums in such a tempo I must say that his albums holds a surprisingly high quality but at the same time I can't help wondering how great it would be if he worked a little bit more with the motto quality not quantity - what if he only released his A-material? It's been 16 studio albums in 16 years now and beside this he's also released five Strapping Young Lad albums (as well as two live albums and two EPs) on the side, not to mention the many side projects he's had his nose in. Not even The Beatles were this efficient in releasing album during their nine active years when they released 12 studio albums and 13 EPs (and that's an insane amount of releases).

Every now and then Devin hits the sweet spot with his albums and makes really fantastic albums and every now and then he reach the same kind of affection with this album as well, even after it've heard it enough to realize how boring and repetitive it actually is. I really love some of the tracks on this album and all for reasons that are very different as well. I like the radio friendly hit potential in Save Our Now, and I like the psychedelic tones he's managed to work in to the piano waltz Lessons, and the heavy guitars in Kingdom and his mad screams in More! But at the same time I experience recurring deja-vu over and over throughout the entire album from what he's done previously. It's not just Kingdom that he's made a new verison of (originally featured on the album 'Physicist') but I could specifically point out a number of things on 'Epicloud' and say where he's used it before if I wanted to but I feel it's enough to say that the Devin Townsend fan probably will know his way around these songs pretty fast. But I would like to point out the fun in Devin using the intro tune from my favorite video game of all time (Final Fantasy 7) as guitar riff in Angel, which concludes the "unspecial" edition of this album.

'Epicloud' is definitely not a bad album, in fact it's mostly a really beautiful album with lots of big, grand choirs all over and exciting electric guitars with plenty of interesting features on the side. But I can't help feeling that this album is a bit boring if you spend some time with it - it feels too simple and rapidly thrown together and, as I've mentioned some times already, with lots of things I feel he's mixed in from previous releases instead of done there and then when he made this specific album (but of course I don't doubt he did it then and there, he just used too many old ideas). I do like the album, but I don't love it. And I think many of Devins fans will feel a bit like me - that it gets a bit too similar to his previous releases, despite being fundamentally quite different and having plenty of good stuff too. Instead I think the people that will like this album the most are those who hasn't heard too much of Devin from earlier. It's clearly above average (without being a top album) because despite being a bit boring it's still a really good album!



Label: HevyDevy/InsideOut
Three similar bands: Strapping Young Lad/Meshuggah/Tesseract
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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