The Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction (2011)

Posted: May 14, 2011 in Music

I’m not going to write a review of an album when the title track is a nine and a half-minute piece that starts with a fart and goes on and on about cheeseburgers. I don’t care if God himself penned the music and lyrics – I just can’t bring myself to do it.

But then again, we’re not talking about God – we’re talking about Devin Townsend.

Music’s resident mad-man is back with Deconstruction – the third album in his four-part collection (The first two albums, Ki and Addicted, were released in 2009 – the fourth album Ghost will be released in June 2011). Over two years, Townsend wrote over 60 songs. When he realized they could be separated in to four different styles, he decided the best way to present them would be in four distinct albums grouped in a series.

While Ki lended itself to a subtle, more ambient sound – reflective of Townsend’s self-discovery and sobriety – Addicted (which we reviewed here months ago) was a powerhouse of pop-metal glory. This time around, however, the pop is gone and Devin is back to doing what I feel he does best – assaulting your mind with the frenzied aggression that could only be done this perfectly by Townsend himself.

According to a recent interview with Townsend, the album is a concept album which focuses around a man who goes to Hell and meets the devil. The devil eventually promises to show him the secrets of the universe and presents a cheeseburger to him. However, being a vegetarian, the man cannot eat the cheeseburger, rendering his journey pointless. Very few musicians have the ability to pull something this ridiculous off, but as mentioned before, we ARE talking about Devin Townsend…

The album is humorous and chaotic in nature, which while not a stretch for Devin, is a gross departure from his recent albums and more of a return to the sound from his days with his former band Strapping Young Lad. Back then, Devin was crazy – a bi-polar volcano constantly letting his genius get in the way of itself. It was, for me, some of the most interesting, technical music I have ever heard. Layers upon layers of sound creating an atmosphere that was both confusing and beautiful at the same time.

Apparently Townsend can still pull off the amazing without the influences of pot and alcohol (he’s been sober almost four years now), and channel the inspiration from deep within his twisted little mind. Deconstruction is a testament to just that. For the listener, it’s mind-bending, convulsive, and absolutely perfect. Then again, Townsend has always been a bit of a perfectionist.

This album, like everything else he’s done, is sonically about as pristine as it gets. Devin lacks nothing as a musician, but his strength as producer continues to grow from album to album. The precision in the tracking is impeccable, and you can tell that Townsend left no detail to chance. As an added (and probably unnecessary) treat, guest appearances on Deconstruction read as a virtual “who’s who” of extreme metal. Members of Opeth, Soilwork, Gojira, Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Gwar scatter contributions all over this album (odds on bet that it was Oderus Urungus’ flatulation on the title track), only adding to the intrigue of the opus.

For me, it’s one of Devin Townsend’s best pieces of work to date – insane concept aside – and should give fans the dose of chaos they may have been missing from him lately. With a SYL reunion about as likely as the end of the world, this may be a glimpse of “Hevy Devy” that we may not see again for a while, so enjoy it in all it’s glory.

Now where’d I put my cheeseburger…

10/10 – To be released June 21, 2011.

Tracklist:
01 – Praise The Lowered
02 – Stand
03 – Juular
04 – Planet Of The Apes
05 – Sumeria
06 – The Mighty Masturbator
07 – Pandemic
08 – Deconstruction
09 – Poltergeist

Buy It At Amazon: Here

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link

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