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Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction

Label: InsideOut Music
Format: CD download
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9.5/ 10


As of July 2011, "Deconstruction", the fourth and final album planned for the Devin Townsend Project, is the album of the year. Released concurrently with the DTP album "Ghost", it's unclear (to me) whether they're intended as direct companions or merely two sides of a coin. I've also reviewed "Ghost" for Metal Asylum; it's a very easy-going, mellow, New-Age-sounding record, while "Deconstruction" is an intense sonic barrage unlike anything we've heard since. . . well. . . since HevyDevy's Strapping Young Lad days. Don't be fooled by the album's deceptively quiet opening; soon enough, your head will suffer the good ache from its relentless intensity.

 

"Deconstruction" has more guest appearances than a Muppet movie, including, but not limited to: Mikael Akerfeldt (of Opeth), Joe Duplantier (the Gojira Guy), Oderus Urungus (of Gwar) and the gorgeous Floor Jansen (of After Forever and ReVamp). Ms. Jansen's operatic vocals on the track ‘Pandemic’ are the most overt; everyone else's contributions are low-key and nuanced, positive accents in songs that are clearly sourced from and belonging to Devin Townsend.

The collision of Akerfeldt and Townsend's talents and genius on track #2, ‘Stand’, ought to rend the fabric of space and time, and the song just about does. The brilliance doesn't end there, however; other than the clunky ‘Planet of the Apes’ and the marvelously messy and goofy title track, every song on here is a masterpiece. A few minutes into the 16+ minute epic ‘The Mighty Masturbator’ - which features an appearance from Townsend's "Ziltoid" character - you know you're in the presence of greatness.

The lyrics are a bit impenetrable, but the discernible glimpses flash on vistas of the Canadian working class, the nuclear family, faith and agnosticism, particle physics, and cheeseburgers. There are moments reminiscent of Pink Floyd "The Wall", in tone and sound - - there may even be a vast concept here that's soared over my feeble cipher and perceptive skills.

If you crave challenging, rich, original, smart, heavy music, then I can't recommend "Deconstruction" heartily enough. It's easily the greatest stuff ever recorded about a cheeseburger (Take that, Jimmy Buffet). I often despair for the state of modern music, but Devin Townsend is a glimmer of hope in the wasteland.

Warning: "Deconstruction" is intense in every way; HevyDevy to the max, with a return to the 1024-track production of Devin's past. It may not be for you, and even if it is, you'll need a nap afterward - - or maybe some nice, quiet music, like "Ghost". Die Poltergeist!

 
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