THE CALM AND THE STORM

TODAY, Devin Townsend releases NOT ONE, but TWO albums! Ghost and Deconstruction. I pre-ordered both of them (The Calm and the Storm – £13.99 on Amazon) and it (they) came today. I’ll start by saying I love Devin Townsend. I think he’s probably the most unique and talented musician in modern music. People complain that music today is stagnant, that nobody writes anything original. Those people have not heard of Devin Townsend. I listen to a lot of music but I don’t remember the last time I pre-ordered an album. I’ve been looking forward to this for about 18 months, since his last release (Addicted). This should give you a clue how much I like Devin.

Ghost is a very soft album. It’s not a metal album in any sense, but that’s not to say it’s bad or it’s boring. It’s mostly very slow and introduces a very big but sparse sound-scape. If you let it, it kind of flows around you. There are a lot of things going on but most of what you hear is not directly what’s happening, but instead the ambience floating around it. And that makes the whole thing very soft, very relaxed and very reassuring.

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Deconstruction is great. It’s pretty much what we’ve all been waiting for. It’s bizarre and hilarious. It’s not quite the same style as Strapping Young Lad but a lot of it’s not far off. It has a lot more variety than SYL used to have, it has more soft passages and some parts of it sounds a bit Ziltoidish. But in other places it sounds very much like the no holds barred insanity of Alien. The stand-out track on Deconstruction is easily “The Mighty Masturbator”, which is 16 minutes of complete WTF. It has everything that makes Devin great, including a trance breakdownd. Most of the songs on here have guest musicians, and there is a surprisingly high profile array of them: Michael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Ihsahn (Emperor), Floor Jansen (After Forever) and a bunch more.

Here’s an example. It’s like some kind of surreal death metal carnival until Ihsahn jumps in and then it’s pure black metal, for about 3 seconds. If Tum Burton was a death metal band…

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So in conclusion, it’s two hours and twenty three minutes of fine and original music, and it’s only £13.99 on Amazon. Pick up Ocean Machine: Biomech while you’re at it.

In related news, I have changed my desktop theme:

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