The Devin Townsend Project recorded Ocean Machine - Live At The Ancient Theater at a special show at the ancient Roman theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on 22nd September to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ocean Machine album. So you get a complete registration of the Ocean Machine album and a “requested” set list of Townsend's “greatest” hits, featuring the orchestra and choir of the Plovdiv State Opera.
This Townsend live album is a great, sometimes over the top, bombastic, show off, which takes you as a listener by storm and never lets you go, until the final chords of Truth are being played! So, get on board this amazing roller coaster ride and enjoy great songs like Gaia or Higher. However sometimes the combination between Townsend and the orchestra and choir does not really work and overall the sound leaves much to be desired. The Townsend band of course plays excellently, especially drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen who is brilliant, but sometimes it is just a bit too much. Maybe some people will find this album even too over the top, or maybe even too pretentious, I love it! Ocean Machine is still a great album and it sounds really awesome live, but if you have problems with the “complexity” of Townsend's music, then I can imagine that this is not an album that you will cherish forever.... I have been listening to this ambitious, fabulous, glorious and even funny album for a rather long time now and it grows on me every time I listen to it.
Advice, listen to this album with your headphones on and enjoy it even more; highlights: Higher, By Your Command, Funeral and The Beat Of Music!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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