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Devin Townsend – Devolution Series #2 – Galactic Quarantine Award winner

Devin Townsend
Devolution Series #2 – Galactic Quarantine
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 24 July 2021, 9:39 AM

As Devin announced earlier this year, he has been using the Covid downtime to work on new material for upcoming albums, and for a current lack of touring possibilities and encounters with fans on the road he decided to do a series of live albums, quarantine albums, and generally interesting projects that keep people entertained while he’s busy on his next larger releases. The series is called the “Devolution Series”.

Devin comments: “So we bring to you the “Devolution Series” a grouping of oddities and interesting material that I would like people to hear, but don’t necessarily want to present as a ‘major release’.  The series will include all the quarantine songs and concerts, as well as various live shows from the past few years. I am currently deep in the writing of my new projects and am very excited to be doing so.  Thanks for facilitating my ability to do that, and I hope you enjoy it.” The album contains fifteen live tracks.

Progressive Metal…Progressive Rock…call it what you might, but Devin has always had a knack for catchy songwriting, unconventional structures, sometimes odd songwriting, and always with his expertise at hand. Fifteen songs are presented here, and the best ones are: “All Hail the New Flesh,” with its heavy and aggressive but catchy sound, with Devin’s signature snarl and big chorus, “Almost Again,” with its tender songwriting yet razor sharp edges, with wonderfully done keyboards, “Juular,” with its heavy, choppy riffs and subtle, dark melodies…combined with Symphonic elements and lightning fast drumming with steady vocals that can turn on a dime, “Supercrush!,” with its easy-listening vocal harmonies and melodies in your face (along with some great expletives).

Some other highlights include “Hyperdrive,” featuring catchy and easy vocals at first, with a more traditional riff that opens up into a big chorus, “Deadhead,” which is close to eight minutes in length, featuring a slower, more emotional sound on both ends of the spectrum, along with some tender moments, “Love?,” which is anything but how it sounds. It’s a dark and aggressive song with a twisted sense of the title yet retains this charming quality among the heavy guitar thuds, “Spirits will Collide,” which is a four-minute slab of emotional songwriting with a slower pace and with the heaviness dialed back, allowing for the melody to really shine here, with wonderful backing vocal harmonies, and “Detox,” which is six minutes of weighted sounds with plenty of darkness.

But there is not even a mediocre song on the album, indeed. Devin does it again…he presents fifteen tracks of diverse Progressive Metal with his own twist, with melodies always at the forefront. Does he ever run out of creativity? It doesn’t appear that he does. He can tug at your heart with tender vocals and run you though with screams that would wake the dead. This is a must-have collection for fall fans of his music for sure. Pick this up and look forward to his next studio offering, which promises to keep the spirit alive.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Velvet Kevorkian
2. All Hail the New Flesh
3. By Your Command
4. Almost Again
5. Juular
6. March of the Poozers
7. Supercrush!
8. Hyperdrive
9. Stormbending
10. Deadhead
11. Aftermath
12. Love?
13. Spirits will Collide
14. Kingdom
15. Detox
Lineup:
Devin Townsend – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Programming
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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