Following on from the crowd funded Casualties Of Cool album, a countrified, laid back soft listening affair, we have the new Devin Townsend Project Album. A double CD lasting over 2 hours full of huge bombastic sounds, outrageous composition and the second CD is a concept album to take everything totally over the top. Those of you who know Devin Townsend's music will also know that he puts everything he has into everything he does and this album is no exception. The first CD is entitled Sky Blue. It is intended as the follow up to the album Epicloud (2012) and indeed it has that feel to it. After a short eastern sound-scape, the opening track hits you with a brick and the glorious vocals of Anneke Van Giersbergen sets the tone for Devin to do what he does best. Heavy prog rock with lots of elements combining to create a huge sound that is crystal clear. Fallout follows with Anneke taking lead vocals. Anneke's voice is all over this album and in my opinion makes it even more enjoyable. Midnight Sun swings along in 6/8 time and has a psychedelic feel to it. After a few more rock songs we come to Sky Blue which starts out like a dance track but eventually rocks out in the chorus. Could this be the hit single from the album? Another stand out track is Rain City. Great chord changes and a fabulous tune. This track has a Steven Wilson feel to it. Before We Die has another great chorus before the final track The Ones Who We Love, finishes the first CD with a great vocal piece full of echo, floating off into the distance. This CD would be a great introduction to people who had never heard Devin Townsend before. However next comes the second Disc.
As I said before, bombastic, mad, thrilling, genius, crazy, over the top and triumphant could all be words to describe the second disc. It is called Dark Matters and it is the second story of his Alien creation Ziltoid the Omniscient. There is narration throughout the disc to keep you up to date with the story. It is a simple but effective story of hero puts Earth in Danger, Hero Saves Earth and is carried out really well. The music is a lot heavier on this disc. The production though is amazing. My favourite tracks were War Princess and Earth.
So, we have two discs containing some great music. The second disc is a lot of fun but it is the first disc I will be returning to more often than the second.
**** Dave Smith
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