The Devin Townsend Band Synchestra

Canadian metal’s most famous and prolific personality, Devin Townsend, has returned with the project that shies away from the pummelling ferocity of his best-known endeavour, Strapping Young Lad. Highlighting his versatility as a musician, Synchestra charts a vast array of sounds and spheres, ranging anywhere from the opening acoustic sequence on "Let it Roll” to the silly carnival surf jam of "Vampolka” to the rock riffs of "Sunshine and Happiness.” Despite the random oddities colouring the album, the majority is mainly focused in a modern, almost industrial sounding take on metal. Its melodious underpinnings highlight a pop sensibility while interweaving an awe-inspiring variety of sonic textures. It’s sophisticated, dynamic and unconventional; to Townsend’s credit, there’s nothing except his own work that is comparable. As with past DTB recordings, Synchestra serves as an eloquent juxtaposition to SYL’s body of work, demonstrating Townsend’s ability and drive to actuate his artistry outside the confines of a unidirectional project. The creativity and spastic nature of Townsend’s instrumentation and songwriting exposes a kind of genius that doesn’t often grace the music world. Still, it isn’t exactly the greatest album ever recorded, but it is, as with the rest of his work, nothing short of inspirational. (Inside Out)