Album Reviews

Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction

Released By : Inside Out Records

Genre : Progressive Metal, Experimental

Links : www.hevydevy.com


Tracklist:

01.  Praise the Lowered

02.  Stand

03.  Juula

04.  Planet of the Apes

05.  Summera

06.  The Mighty Masturbator

07.  Pandemic

08.  Deconstruction

09.  Poltergeist


Attempting to successfully review anything related to the enigmatic Devin Townsend is a very daunting task to say the least. I mean really, to get the fullest effect of any of his releases you need to spend quite a lot of time with them, A luxury must of us can ill-afford these days I’m sure. You also have to take into account just how divided the general opinion is of this man because anything you write is sure to piss someone off. On one hand you’ve got the people that think he is an idiot and his music is a bunch of messed-up rubbish, and then on the other hand you have those that thing of Townsend as some sort of messiah and accuses everybody else of just not getting IT. But after listening to Townsend since the early days of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD I have concurred that I don’t think any of us are truly meant to get IT, and those that say they totally do are not quite being truthful.

That being said, If Devin Townsend’s plan has always been to confuse people and make music that is uncomfortable yet very rewarding to listen to then DECONSTRUCTION, the third in a four-part series may well be his most successful release yet. The album touches on every aspect that Townsend has used in the past, drawing its sound from a mix of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DTP, OCEAN MACHINE and his more cohesive and melodic solo stuff. Now there is a certain concept running throughout this album but understanding it enough to really follow it properly is a task way out of my musical listening abilities. The base of the concept revolves around a man that goes to hell and is presented with a cheeseburger that holds the secrets of life within it but he is a vegetarian thus doesn’t want to eat it….yes you read that right, if you want to understand it better than that well good luck to you.

Townsend has brought everything but the kitchen sink with him this time around by including a full orchestra, a vocal choir, around a dozen guest stars and also one of the best album covers of the year. Only someone with mad-scientist type brain like Townsend could ever possibly cram so much into each song while still making music that people want to hear and even though it may not be easily approachable there is much reward for sticking it out.

PRAISE THE LOWERED starts off with some odd acid-house electronic music than honestly goes on a little too long before the trademark Devin Townsend wall of sound kicks in and gets the album going properly. The nine minute long STAND is my clear favourite track of entire disc and even though it incorporates influences from every stage of Townsend’s career it still comes across as one of the more cohesive tracks out of the lot. Next up Hevy Devy goes black metal?…. Well with a guest vocal rom Emperor frontman Ihsahn it’s no surprise, sort of sounds like black metal but played in a big-top gothic circus or something like that. PLANET OF THE APES is a keyboard heavy track that still manages to sound as brutal as anything else on offer and has some great haunting choir type vocals throughout. I really like the fact that the next song , SUMMERA begins from first second with a monstrous double kick drum sound and a full-on choir vocal. There’s also some great lyrics in this one if you can bothered spending the time to try and understand them. THE MIGHTY MASTURBATOR is certainly one of the most ambitious and od things that Townsend has ever done and most of its sixteen minute running length is able to stay fresh and interesting. PANDEMIC features Floor Jansen as vocal support and she brings to the picture some operatic female vocals that really bounce well off Townsends psychopathic circus clown shrieks and screams, it’s a shame that it’s one of the shorter tracks on the album as there are some good ideas flowing through this one. Now, as if the rollercoaster ride that the album has been so far isn’t enough craziness for you let me introduce you to the title track DECONSTRUCTION which is a nine minute long mixture of everything else that you hear previously on the album and features some bizarre lyrics about the man in story finally getting to the almighty cheeseburger of knowledge. Closing track POLTERGEIST is a decent enough tune, but struggles due to having to follow the madness of the title track.

Devin Townsend fans are going to have a ball sitting down trying to decipher this crazy mess, those that are yet to be won over by his visions of madness should continue to look elsewhere as there is nothing here for the casual listener. DECONSTRUCTION is a very hard album to listen to, but also very rewarding after you peel a couple of layers back…Just don’t expect to have an epiphany all of sudden and be able to totally understand what’s going on…That’s virtually impossible.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 8/10

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Comments

 

One thought on “Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction”

  1. Not to insult you, but I think you’re being harsh on the people who say you “just don’t get it”. I actually do understand very well what Devin Townsend is trying to say, as my mind thinks similar to his (not to say I’m bi-polar, but still). HaaRHT and City were all about inner rage and turmoil. SYL was a stream of consciousness about 9/11 and it’s aftermath. Alien is a stream of consciousness concept album about the fear of traditional relationships, love, and reproduction. The New Black wasn’t really about anything as much as it was a sign that Devy was ready to move on.

    Deconstruction, as far as I see it, is about drugs and alcohol. And the whole “cheeseburger journey” thing is just a cover-up for getting high and drunk. You can tell, through the many “humorous” parts, that it sounds like it was written by someone who was high. However, we KNOW Devin wasn’t, so I assume it’s about the experience of drugs and alcohol. Ultimately, the message is of warning rather than glorifying. I think that Devin was trying to say that drugs and alcohol deconstruct many aspects of his life, and he’s completing that murky time in his life by shedding new light on it. This isn’t Strapping, but it is how he felt when he made Strapping. Deconstruction, in all of it’s essence, is a reflection of the effect that Strapping and drugs and alcohol had on him.

     

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