Devin Townsend Project Deconstruction

Devin Townsend Project Deconstruction
Following Ki and Addicted (2009), Deconstruction is the third instalment of the monumental Devin Townsend Project "quadrilogy." Like any Devin Townsend recording, Deconstruction takes a while to process; it's far too illogical, at least on the surface, to comprehend all at once. But this particular album is a creature all its own. After many listens, I still find myself a little perplexed by claims that this is among the loudest of Townsend's releases. Deconstruction is bombastic, but that bombast is partly a matter of extremes ― the lulls and lows that emphasize the accumulating layers of sonic power. Like Addicted, this record draws on the sum of Townsend's musical career and influences, from the eccentricity of his Steve Vai-fronting moment to the theatricality of Infinity and the pulverizing power of Strapping Young Lad. But where Addicted mined these references within fairly accessible pop song structures, Deconstruction is as schizophrenic in its forms as in its styles. The flavour of each track is also tinged by the featured guest, metal "stars" from bands like Gwar, Cynic, Dillinger Escape Plan and Emperor, among others. There's so much range and depth that Deconstruction is almost visible and tactile. It also crosses, in its second half, into the ridiculous, when Townsend's self-deprecating irreverence overwhelms his artistry, so that the album refuses to be taken too seriously (a choir singing about a cheeseburger is just one of several examples). It goes a touch too far, deliberately sabotaging what might otherwise be verging on brilliance, but I respect the gesture, refusing the idolization that Devin Townsend's versatile talents have a tendency to inspire. (Inside Out)