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Devin Townsend - Devolution Series #2 - Galactic Quarantine

Label: InsideOut Music
Format: Download
Released: 2021
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 10/10

Devin Townsend is truly among the modern era's most gifted songwriters and most complex, deep-thinking minds. He’s one of the cards in the 21st-century Metal Royal Flush, although given his penchant for clowning and fooling around, he’d have to be the Joker wild card.
His back catalog is an embarrassment of riches, with so many albums to his name(s) (Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend Band, Devin Townsend Project, etc.). So many experiments, so many masterpieces, explorative journeys of his career. It’s impossible for him to do it all justice in any single show or event. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “there is too much.”
It seems like the Devolution series, born of 2020 COVID quarantine, is an attempt to do just that.


As a fan, I enjoy “Devolution Series #1 - Acoustically Inclined, Live in Leeds”, but as the title says, it’s acoustic, recorded in a live audience setting. The tomfoolery and crowd noise are a bit more distracting. I still highly recommend that album - - but more for superfans than casuals.
There’s plenty of ad-libbed jokery in Devolution #2, but it fits a lot more seamlessly into the strong production and crowdless recording. According to the pressers, this was “recorded in 2020 in various places around the world as a replacement show for the COVID affected “Empath Vol 2 European Tour” and cancelled Summer festivals.“ Other than Devin’s quirkiness, this has all of the quality and polish of a studio release. And damn, the song selection is great. “Juular,” “Deadhead,” “March of the Poozers,” “All Hail the New Flesh,” (a 1997 SYL classic), “Hyperdrive,” “Love?” (another Strapping Young Lad fucking banger), “Kingdom” - - it’s just an unbelievable 80 minutes of music.
If you’re one of the Devin Townsend faithful, then this is a must-have. If you’re wondering, “what all the fuss about?” then “Devolution Series #2 - Galactic Quarantine” may be the perfect introduction. It’s still just the tip of the iceberg for the breadth and genius of Devin’s oeuvre, but ya gotta start somewhere. Don’t be a Poozer. Dig it.

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