God Is In The TV > Reviews > Albums > Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence (Century Media)

Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence (Century Media)

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Devin Townsend‘s always been something of a musical chameleon. His discography has evolved through the years, from the brutality of Strapping Young Lad in his 20s, to various solo albums either under his own name or The Devin Townsend Band. But it wasn’t until The Devin Townsend Project that some sort of order was brought to the chaos. Obviously all of his output is very much from himself, but you get the sense that the reins of control were loosened somewhat on this album, and that there were more collaborative aspects to it.

Opener ‘Truth‘ is a re-recording from the Infinity album, given here an extra sheen of celestial ecstasy, and closer ‘Transdermal Celebration’ is a Ween cover with an added ambient outro. But everything in between is classic Devin Townsend Project, it’s a testament to the longevity of his co-conspirators, that the album has the cohesion and trademark qualities that is does, the line up having been steady since 2009. Which is almost an infinity in the ever changing world of Townsend.

All the boxes are checked here, uplifting wonderfully produced songs, beautiful guitar work, moments of tenderness counterbalanced by crushing metal grooves. Everything that a DTP fan would crave and while still retaining the odd surprise or two.

Failure‘ the first single off the album, has melodies aplenty over a sludgy Meshuugah like riff, with Townsend either coo-ing in a falsetto or doing his best ‘Phantom of the Opera’ impression. It’s theatrical, yet you can bang your head to it, it’s catchy yet has a 2 minute guitar solo in the middle of it. A bundle of highly polished contradictions, classic DTP in other words.

A quick word about the production; courtesy of Adam “Nolly” Getgood, he’s breathed air into what is usually a dense wall of sound, and the album sounds terrific; punchy, distinct, basically massive. Not that previous efforts were shoddy, the fact that they were able to layer so much is an epic task in itself. But this time around the layers are there, but they seem to have more room to breathe.

Elsewhere ‘Stormbending‘ is another epic journey, only a handful of the album’s tracks come in at under 5 minutes, which allows the band to stretch out and build to climaxes much the way a movie score would. Similarly ‘Higher‘ which comes in at almost 10 minutes has enough stand out moments that would fill many a lesser band’s entire album. The title track ‘Transcendence‘ sees the Interstellar Metal offset by Choirs and Townsend’s female counterpoint Anneke Van Giersbergen, who has been providing the Yin to his Yang for many an album now. ‘Offer Your Light’ sounds like a heavier Muse, with anthemic choruses a plenty. ‘From the heart’ manages to be genuinely touching without falling into the false earnestness that would trip up many lesser bands.

In short, a treat for fans, and as good an introduction for anyone who’s not had the pleasure of this multi talented metal maestro.

‘Transcendence’ will be released on September 2nd 2016 through Century Media.

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