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Devin Townsend presents "Ziltoid the Omniscient"

Label: InsideOut
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat


Like something straight out of Weekly World news, the supposed (and given his numerous metal and proggy creative explorations, you'll forgive my incredulity) terrestrial Devin Townsend has given us a comic book in musical form or at the very least a SciFi Channel movie put to compositional excess. Think Mars Attacks meets Strapping Young Lad's catalogue of crazed metal masterpieces and you will instantly know what I mean.

 

For fear of being zapped by a Cosmick Canuck Deathray, I refuse to betray the plot of this zany sci-fi treat. I will remark on the music and the absurdity of Devin "Hevy Devy" Townsend. I will add, however, that this album is not for everyone. First off, before you read the rest of this review, go get yourself a cup of coffee.

"Ziltoid" plays like a book on tape of an old time radio broadcast - if that broadcast was sent from the future and of alien, not of this earth origin. It is a monolithic, grandiose project that reminds me of crazy Fifties xenophobic SciFi movies.

The music alternates between lush and sharply thrashing metal. The storyline (which I shall not betray I do not want to be turned to a cinder by no space beam) is silly and very amusing. Hevy Devy's sense of humor is wonderfully absurd, only could a musician of his caliber carry this off in such a sweeping magnificence. The final seconds of 'By your Command' sets up an incredible thrashing attacking rhythm.

"Ziltoidia Attaxx!!" picks up where "BYC" leaves off, with a jumpy destructive and frenetic pace. You can almost picture what is happening in your mind that's how effective the music is in conveying a mood. There's a claustrophobic quality to this song that has been sorely missed from much of Hevy Devy's works. 'Solar Winds' captures Hevy Devy at his most melodic and despondent, think the balladesque turns of some slower Fear Factory tunes. This song is so powerful and emotional, it caught me off guard. 'Hyperdrive' is also like 'Solar Winds' with an incredible riff replaying through the song. It could seriously stand on its own (that's craftsmanship!).

After all the melancholic musicality of the previous songs, we return to the futuristic zaniness of 'N9'. Imagine if Danny Elfman collaborated with Hevy Devy on a Strapping Young Lad release (please forgive, I am less familiar with Hevy Devy's other incarnation which may be more fitting comparisons - you be the judge). 'Planet Smasher' is just as the song title describes - a heavy destructive groove laden crushing anthem.

So you get the point. My conclusions are these: a) there's a fine, fine, fine line between madness and genius; b) coffee is very, very addictive; c) only a talented creative force like Devin Townsend could pull off such a maniacal monstrous metal manifesto such as “Ziltoid;” d) that Hevy Devy is not really human or of terrestrial origin.

They, who are called conspiracy theorists, say that aliens walk amongst us, I think Devin Townsend has proven this to be true.

 
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