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Rock - Released March 29, 2019 | InsideOutMusic

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"I know where I'm headed, but I don't know what it is," says Devin Townsend in the initial episode of the seven-part documentary that prefaced the release of Empath, his first solo album since dissolving the Devin Townsend Project in 2017. For nearly 30 years, Townsend has erased artificial boundaries between genres. He has continually juxtaposed tracks ranging from extreme metal to progressive rock, classical, new age, ambient music, and even Americana on the same album. Here he goes much further: He grants listeners -- and himself -- witness to the jarring totality of his musical identity as he collides, explodes, and re-combines genres and sonic stratagems within songs. It's tempting to hear this dizzying and at times, confounding record as a career summation in one album -- it's actually a new way of working that presents Townsend's massive soundworld in an ordered universe acting in balanced, simultaneous equanimity. Townsend plays loads of instruments and synths here and sings his ass off; he's accompanied by a top-flight cast with vocalists Anneke Van Giersbergen and Ché Aimee Dorval, the Elektra Women's Choir, bassist Nathan Navarro, former boss Steve Vai, drummers Morgan Ågren, Anup Sastry, and Samus Paulicelli, and even Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroeger (who convinced Townsend to undertake this project). The music director for this massive undertaking is none other than guitarist Mike Keneally. With its gull cries, lapping ocean waves, Polynesian slide guitar, and ambient airiness, "Castaway" gives way to the sprawling first single "Genesis." It perfectly encapsulates the album as aggressive double bass, synthetic disco beats, gentle acoustics, power riffs, and massive orchestration accompany the Elektra Women's Choir, who deliver one of the best choruses Townsend ever penned. The choir introduces "Spirits Will Collide" accompanied by a subdued guitar and bass vamp, and 4/4 plodding drums. Together they frame a melody that erupts with majesty and power. Townsend's voice soars as the tune becomes a swelling anthem worthy of "You'll Never Walk Alone." "Sprite," with Van Giersbergen, is a new age fairy tale with layered samples and synths, acoustic guitars, bird sounds, and an Eastern mode that strips itself away to generate heaviness via progressive and classical thematics. "Hear Me" is as brutal as his Strapping Young Lad project, though the choir adds a centering effect. "Why," in waltz time and drenched in orchestral strings, is pure Gilbert & Sullivan. "Requiem" is an 11-minute prelude to the 23-minute epic "Singularity" suite but stands on its own as a set highlight. Here, Townsend combines film music with hooky, Slade-esque choruses, martial beats, and shard-like riffs from crunchy guitars. "Singularity" ranges through ambient music ("Adrift") crushing, extreme metal ("There Be Monsters"), fusion (Curious Gods"), sci-fi metal ("Silicon Scientists"), and knotty, transcendent progressive metal ("Here Comes the Sun"). Empath is, for better and worse, unrestrained; it's everything and­ the kitchen sink, and will more than likely divide fans. Townsend understood that going in but needed to work this way. That said, though it's wildly excessive and indulgent, it's also inarguably among the most inspiring, thought-provoking, and accomplished of his works. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
HI-RES€16.99
CD€14.49

Rock - Released March 29, 2019 | InsideOutMusic

Hi-Res
"I know where I'm headed, but I don't know what it is," says Devin Townsend in the initial episode of the seven-part documentary that prefaced the release of Empath, his first solo album since dissolving the Devin Townsend Project in 2017. For nearly 30 years, Townsend has erased artificial boundaries between genres. He has continually juxtaposed tracks ranging from extreme metal to progressive rock, classical, new age, ambient music, and even Americana on the same album. Here he goes much further: He grants listeners -- and himself -- witness to the jarring totality of his musical identity as he collides, explodes, and re-combines genres and sonic stratagems within songs. It's tempting to hear this dizzying and at times, confounding record as a career summation in one album -- it's actually a new way of working that presents Townsend's massive soundworld in an ordered universe acting in balanced, simultaneous equanimity. Townsend plays loads of instruments and synths here and sings his ass off; he's accompanied by a top-flight cast with vocalists Anneke Van Giersbergen and Ché Aimee Dorval, the Elektra Women's Choir, bassist Nathan Navarro, former boss Steve Vai, drummers Morgan Ågren, Anup Sastry, and Samus Paulicelli, and even Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroeger (who convinced Townsend to undertake this project). The music director for this massive undertaking is none other than guitarist Mike Keneally. With its gull cries, lapping ocean waves, Polynesian slide guitar, and ambient airiness, "Castaway" gives way to the sprawling first single "Genesis." It perfectly encapsulates the album as aggressive double bass, synthetic disco beats, gentle acoustics, power riffs, and massive orchestration accompany the Elektra Women's Choir, who deliver one of the best choruses Townsend ever penned. The choir introduces "Spirits Will Collide" accompanied by a subdued guitar and bass vamp, and 4/4 plodding drums. Together they frame a melody that erupts with majesty and power. Townsend's voice soars as the tune becomes a swelling anthem worthy of "You'll Never Walk Alone." "Sprite," with Van Giersbergen, is a new age fairy tale with layered samples and synths, acoustic guitars, bird sounds, and an Eastern mode that strips itself away to generate heaviness via progressive and classical thematics. "Hear Me" is as brutal as his Strapping Young Lad project, though the choir adds a centering effect. "Why," in waltz time and drenched in orchestral strings, is pure Gilbert & Sullivan. "Requiem" is an 11-minute prelude to the 23-minute epic "Singularity" suite but stands on its own as a set highlight. Here, Townsend combines film music with hooky, Slade-esque choruses, martial beats, and shard-like riffs from crunchy guitars. "Singularity" ranges through ambient music ("Adrift") crushing, extreme metal ("There Be Monsters"), fusion (Curious Gods"), sci-fi metal ("Silicon Scientists"), and knotty, transcendent progressive metal ("Here Comes the Sun"). Empath is, for better and worse, unrestrained; it's everything and­ the kitchen sink, and will more than likely divide fans. Townsend understood that going in but needed to work this way. That said, though it's wildly excessive and indulgent, it's also inarguably among the most inspiring, thought-provoking, and accomplished of his works. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Metal - Released July 16, 2009 | InsideOutMusic

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Pop - Released May 18, 2007 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released September 9, 2016 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released September 21, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released May 16, 2014 | HevyDevy Records

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Metal - Released July 16, 1997 | InsideOutMusic

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Pop - Released November 13, 2015 | InsideOutMusic

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Pop - Released October 28, 2014 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released July 6, 2018 | InsideOutMusic

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Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of Devin Townsend's Ocean Machine album, Townsend's Project performed the album in full in September 2017. Recorded live at the Plovdiv's Ancient Roman Theatre in Bulgaria, the album also sees the group performing fan-picked favorites alongside the Plovdiv State Orchestra. © Rich Wilson /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 20, 2011 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released January 27, 2006 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released May 22, 2009 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released August 21, 2001 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released July 16, 2010 | InsideOutMusic

When Nirvana and Pearl Jam exploded commercially in the early '90s, there was a real "out with the old, in with the new" attitude in the rock world -- out with pop-metal, hair metal, fantasy metal and '80s-style arena rock -- and in with all things alternative. Some '80s favorites were still considered modern and cutting-edge after that Nirvana/Pearl Jam upheaval -- Metallica, for example -- although many '80s bands suddenly found themselves being described as dated or old-school. Nonetheless, some alt rock albums have longed for that hooky, shiny, big-sounding '80s pop-metal/arena rock gloss; Hole's Celebrity Skin (1999) and Veruca Salt's Eight Arms to Hold You (1997) were alt rock treasures that, in their own way, seemed to be saying, "Hey, let's not forget everything the '70s and '80s stood for." And similarly, singer/guitarist Devin Townsend's Accelerated Evolution is an alt rock disc that successfully draws on different eras. This album isn't flat-out retro; the Canadian rocker provides enough downtuned guitars to put this CD in the alt rock category. And yet Accelerated Evolution has a big sound that suggests the pop-metal, arena rock and hard rock of the '70s and '80s -- big melodies, big harmonies, big guitars, big vocals, big production. Yes, Townsend provides downtuned guitar and chugging guitar, but he also provides a lot of gloss and brightness -- the sort of gloss and brightness that '70s and '80s arena rockers brought to the studio. Another thing about Townsend that recalls those decades is his sense of pop/rock craftsmanship; Accelerated Evolution is extremely listenable. The fact that Townsend's credits includes Steve Vai and Front Line Assembly tells you how far-reaching and eclectic he is, and it also explains how he manages to make a blend of '70s/'80s arena rock/pop-metal and '90s/2000s alt rock sound so logical and coherent on this excellent CD. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 1, 2000 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released October 25, 2000 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released September 27, 2013 | InsideOutMusic