CD REVIEW: DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT – Transcendence
Inside Out Music
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Devin Townsend has created another magical, mystical work of art with this double album of ethereal compositions.
Like Frank Zappa, Townsend’s artistic vision is unique and idealistic, and like Zappa, he refuses to allow himself to be pigeon-holed. Heavy Metal it is – in parts – but there’s so much more here to enjoy than mindless riffs and twiddly solos.
The cover art of Transcendence signposts what to expect within: a levitating woman juggling a sun and halo of planets, and cradling a lamb in her lap leads us into a double album of consciousness-expanding, religion-referencing, collection of melodic other-worldly rock songs which inch towards the experimental.
The album starts with a new version of Truth, from Townsend’s 1998 solo album Infinity; Secret Sciences could be the most poppy thing Townsend has written (even though it sounds naggingly familiar for some reason…); Failure sees Townsend heading down a nearly psychedelic route; and Disc 1 closes with a faithfully trippy take on Ween’s Transdermal Celebration.
Notoriously reknowned as a bit of a control freak, Townsend has opened the game up to his band members, allowing them to contribute to the writing here, to the benefit of the entire project.
Sonically Transcendence sounds incredible – crystal clear and scintillating, in fact, thanks to engineer and mixer Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood of Periphery.
Disc 2 similarly shuffles pop melodies and enormous riffs, spiritual explorations and heavy rock moments, leaving the listener strangely exhilarated and exhausted from the journey.
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