Album Reviews

The Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud Review

Released by: Inside/Out Music

Release Date: September 24th, 2012

Genre: Devin Townsend Genius Music

Links: http://www.hevydevy.com/

 

Line Up:

01 – Effervescent!

02 – True North

03 – Lucky Animals

04 – Liberation

05 – Where We Belong

06 – Save Our Now

07 – Kingdom

08 – Divine

09 – Grace

10 – More!

11 – Lessons

12 – Hold On

13 – Angel

 

Devin Townsend entered into my realm of being about the same time he did, I’d say, for most everyone else. A young unknown at the time, he was hired to do vocals on Steve Vai’s magnificent follow-up to his masterpiece Passion and Warfare. When Sex and Religion hit my tape deck I was absolutely mesmerized by the guitar calisthenics of Master Vai, but on top of that was this incredible voice. Vai had dabbled with using vocals some on his first solo release Flex-ible, and had some spoken word stuff on Passion and Warfare, but this was his first time actually having a full on singer. And damn he picked well right out on the gate. Devin’s astounding abilities to sing some of the loveliest vocal lines to screaming like a wounded animal was fairly unique to the time. Though for the most part he used his clean vocals, there were some masterful screams that still send chills down my spine to this day.

After doing a brief tour, Townsend, disenfranchised by the business, forged ahead on his own, releasing a string of albums under the Strapping Young Lad moniker, then under his own name, and then under The Devin Townsend Project, creating the music he wanted to make, forgoing any trends. His latest release on HevyDevy Records and Inside Out Music entitled Epicloud is just as dramatic and brilliant as has come to be expected from the genre defying musical genius. His last four releases under The Devin Townsend Project each created a sound and style that had nothing to do with the other. Epicloud feels to me like a culmination of all he did with those (and more) and combined it to make a far more melodic album than he’s typically known for by average fans. At times anthemic and bombastic like on “Liberation” others light and ethereal like with “Where We Belong” almost poppy on “Save Our Now” full throttle on “Kingdom” then all at once stunningly lovely and beautiful on “Divine,” Townsend has created a true musical masterpiece with Epicloud. I don’t throw around the genius label very often. I truly believe it is one of the most overused terms in music/entertainment, but no word describes the sheer brilliance of Devin Townsend better. I freely admit that not all of his material appeals to everyone, but as with Frank Zappa, there is no way to deny the fact that Townsend is a special breed of musician. There is no one I can think of recording today that covers as much ground and diversity as he.

Love him or hate him (or even if you ride the fence) Devin Townsend is a one-of-a-kind singer/guitarist/writer. His brilliance shines no brighter than it does on his latest release Epicloud. It stirred up so much emotion within me listening to it. Its beauty, passion, and that overwhelming sense of hope one feels listening to it sets this album apart from anything else released this year. I foresee this topping many Best of 2012 lists in a few months. There’s a damn good chance it will be mine. No one is making music like this, and no one else could. I know I have a tendency to rate stuff rather high, but if there is any album more deserving of 10 out of 10, I haven’t heard it yet.

 

Written by Chris

Ratings    Chris    10/10

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