Devin Townsend Project


BY Natalie Zina WalschotsPublished Sep 19, 2012

Few artists have the opportunity, or courage, to build a career where they episodically release the autobiography of their psychological landscape. Devin Townsend isn't an ordinary artist, however, and when taken together, his varied, eclectic and incredibly prolific releases can be seen as an accurate seismograph of what has been going on in his head at any one particular time, or at least what had most recently risen to the surface. Epicloud is the latest incarnation of the Devin Townsend Project, following on the heels of his four-album cycle: Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction and Ghost. Each of those releases profoundly unsettled the others ― some were sparse and poignant, while others were bombastic and complex. With Epicloud, Townsend has struck out in a different direction, one that he's clearly been working towards for some time. While this record retains the lush layering, intense drum sound and intricate guitar work that have long defined his heavy metal output, in composition, structure and feel, Epicloud is unquestionably a pop record. The full choral vocals lend the album an operatic quality and Anneke Van Giersbergen's (ex-the Gathering) crystalline singing is an excellent counterpoint to Townsend's. There are traces of musical theatre throughout the way the album is structured ― a smattering of duets, the pull towards a narrative. Epicloud is an exquisite pop record created by someone with a strong background in heavy metal and a deep love of symphonic storytelling; it is huge, ambitious, wonderfully catchy and accessible. And as a barometer of Townsend's mental state, it would seem the Canadian musical mastermind is feeling rather warm and welcoming at present, though no less eccentric.
(Inside Out)

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