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Rock - Released March 29, 2019 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released July 6, 2018 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released March 29, 2019 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released September 9, 2016 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released December 1, 2000 | InsideOutMusic

Rock - Released May 16, 2014 | HevyDevy Records

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Metal - Released September 21, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released December 1, 2000 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released June 20, 2011 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

Ziltoid the Omniscient is a rock opera about Ziltoid, an alien who approaches Earth and asks for the planet's "ultimate cup of coffee." Finding it "fetid," he attacks. However, the narrative isn't highly evolved. The humans escape his clutches, Ziltoid suffers a number of setbacks (and resulting existential crises), and the end implies that it was all just a dream. But while Devin Townsend won't win any screenwriting awards, his production and songwriting are peerless. Like his other projects, including metal band Strapping Young Lad, this record carries Townsend's signatures -- bright melodies, heavy guitars, complex composition, clear production, and tongue-in-cheek grandeur. Townsend's work is consistently excellent, but here he fully taps his mad genius for an incredibly compelling experience. On this solo effort, he's responsible for all instruments, a fearsome array of singing voices, and programming "the Drumkit from Hell," a software drum set used on Meshuggah's Catch Thirty-Three. "By Your Command" recasts Pink Floyd as technical death metal; it's an eight-minute behemoth that morphs from pulverizing metal to rich vocal harmonies and luscious arpeggios, interspersed with cinematic dialogue. With its sonorous singing and poppy chords, "Hyperdrive" could be a radio hit on Mars. "Solar Winds" grows from a heavy crawl into a thermonuclear storm of thundering riffs and cascading melodies. The nearly ten-minute "Color Your World" features Townsend's most endearing trademark -- setting up a bed of punishing metal, then pulling the rug out to reveal beautiful, classically influenced arpeggios. This is music as Technicolor, vividly exploding from the mind of modern metal's Frank Zappa. ~ Cosmo Lee
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Pop - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Pop - Released October 28, 2014 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released January 27, 2006 | InsideOutMusic

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Pop - Released March 31, 2003 | 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
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Metal - Released June 18, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Pop - Released November 13, 2015 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released May 22, 2009 | InsideOutMusic

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Metal - Released August 21, 2001 | InsideOutMusic