Devin Townsend – Infinity: 25th Anniversary Edition Review

Devin Townsend's 'Infinity' Album Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Masterful Vinyl Remaster and Bonus Tracks Delight...

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Released by: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: https://hevydevy.com/

 

Track listing

1. Truth
2. Christeen
3. Bad Devil
4. War
5. Soul Driven Cadillac
6. Ants
7. Wild Colonial Boy
8. Life Is All Dynamics
9. Unity
10. Noisy Pink Bubbles
11. Om (Demo)
12. Sit In The Mountain (Demo)
13. Processional (Demo)
14. Love-Load (Demo)
15. Sister (Live Acoustic)
16. Hide Nowhere (Live Acoustic)
17. Man (1996 Demo)

 

For anyone who heard the original, for what it’s worth (which would not include me), the main attraction to this album is more than just its 25th Anniversary; it has been entirely remastered specifically for vinyl. This remastering requires a certain level of evenness throughout, which does not hinder; in fact, it helps bring life to this album in unexpected ways.

Even if you have heard the album before, it’s a good listen because Devin and crew have gone back to add seven bonus tracks, including the songs from the Christeen EP (which appear on the vinyl for the first time).

According to his official website, he notes the growth the album gave him, “The whole process during the making of this album was fraught with learning, turmoil, growth, and psychological development. In fact, I didn’t think at the time that I would even get through it (let alone be here 25 years later, writing and working with the hard-won experience that came as a direct result of making ‘Infinity’). I realize now how pivotal this period of expression was for me and how it was a testament to tenacity in the long run.”

The original album was released in 1998. Not to age myself too much here, however, I was just shy of 11 years old, listening to pop groups such as Hanson and whatever else was on the radio. Music like this was not even on my radar; I had no idea it even existed. My dad was a country music listener in a “classic rock and country” cover band.

So, fast forward 23 or so years later, around age 34, I was lucky enough to discover Devin Townsend through my drummer, and the first song I ever heard was Deadhead, the live version. Simply put, I was blown away. It was a moment of “Where has this been all my life?”

Then I got the chance to see Townsend live in July 2023. Still at this point, I had only begun to scratch the surface of his music in between all the other stuff. So, when I saw him, I had only listened to a live album and didn’t know much of his studio recordings, sad to say. What I knew of Townsend’s work was likely already in the perfected stage of knowing how to mix and master in ways that he didn’t struggle like he did on the first iteration of this album.

As soon as I put this album on, I was transported back to the concert in July, and I was certainly jamming along.

Everything about this album is honestly pure gold. I’ve listened to it a lot since getting to listen to it for the review. The remaster is really well done, definitely far more balanced all around. However, given the times when the original was released, I can hear the merits of those times. Employing more of the levels needed for radio and TV, giving it treble, and even, dare I say, some loudness.

The listener will find the roundness of the sound in this remaster is much more warming and inviting, and it adds tonality not found in the original release (at least according to my iTunes preview). Yes, it’s a little quieter, but that’s ok; you have a volume knob/button with speakers that are also 20-25 years newer in technology. What you gain, no music puns intended, in all-around music quality is 25 years worth of experience, and it’s worth the listen and purchase.

The demo tracks are where it’s at for any collector and connoisseur of Devin’s music.

On the original, you’ll only find Sister, Hide Nowhere, and Man, which are damn good.

With the 25th release, you get Om, Sit In The Mountain, Processional (Star Child Rise – Welcome Home – Metamorph – Infinite Waltz), and Love-Load.

While I have an affinity for the Infinity album after hearing Townsend live, both on headphones and in person, the demo tracks brought a new level of enjoyment for me. I think I enjoyed the bonus tracks more than the album itself. That’s not to call the other music bad, because I certainly enjoyed all of it, but I kept listening to the bonus tracks because even as demos, they sound amazing.

I don’t always listen to albums more than once in a setting, but this is one that I couldn’t stop listening to, and it wasn’t just because I was reviewing it.

As a Townsend convert over the last 2-3 years, I can see, hear, and feel why this album is pivotal and why the remaster matters.

It’s certainly one that I’ll be adding to my collections.

 

Written by: Chris Rugowski

Ratings: 10/10

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