Deconstruction is the fourth and also the last album of the 'quadrilogy' by the Devin Townsend Project. Together with the previous albums Ki (2009), Addicted (2009) and Ghost (2011), the Canadian multi-instrumentalist Devin Townsend closes a difficult period in his life. In my review of Ghost (see review) I wrote that I wasn't so enamored with the music on this album. Thus I listened to the last disc of this four-part without having too many expectations.
At first, I thought the album to be similar to the music on Ghost, but after a few minutes I noticed that it completely differs! Is this really the same Devin Townsend Project with the many bombastic sounds, guitar riffs and raw vocals that can be heard in the opening song Praise The Lowered? The second track is also catchy and resembles the early days of Saga both in the music and in the texture of the song. Initially I thought that Michael Sadler did a guest appearance on this piece, but that isn't the case. After a few minutes, I could easily compare the album to the music recorded by the Dutch project Ayreon. Deconstruction has been recorded with many different musicians as well, who together ensure that the style of music on this album differs a lot from Ghost.
While reading the names of the collaborating musicians on this album I noticed more similarities with Ayreon. A number of musicians who cooperate on Deconstruction also participated on one or more Ayreon-albums like Mikael Åkerfeld (Opeth) and Floor Jansen (After Forever, ReVamp). In the next songs the music sounds more like a rock opera. The eleven-minute piece Planet Of The Apes is a good example. Right from the start the energy bursts out of the speakers and continues throughout. Another song that completely differs from the other songs is The Mighty Masturbation. This epic piece lasting over sixteen minutes fits well to the album. It contains fine melodies and is well-textured which is habitual for this type of epics. However, in the middle-section we suddenly hear a few minutes of house music which is a maverick compared to the remainder of this piece. While listening to the album I had a strong urgency to skip this passage.
The title track has a somewhat strange opening with some nasty noises that return halfway. The remainder is heavy and bombastic. The final and in my opinion best song is Poltergeist. I played this one more often than the other pieces, so now I can't get it out of my head. Deconstruction by the Devin Townshend Project really exceeded my expectations. Beforehand I didn't know what to expect, so I was a bit reserved, but now I'm very enthusiastic about the album.
**** Jeroen Bik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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