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The Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction

The Devin Townsend Project
by Fotis Giakoub at 05 July 2011, 2:07 AM

We all love DEVIN TOWNSEND! What’s not to love? When we first “met” him in 1993 with STEVE VAI’s album “Sex & Religion” most people was talking about that “skinny” bloke doing the vocals. Eighteen years late that bloke is now one of the most “busy” members of the metal –and not- music scene with more equal number of releases and numerous EPs and collaborations. His musical style is ranging from relentless, extreme and technical -specifically during the STRAPPING YOUNG LAD days- to crazy, complex and sometimes mellow with his three solo projects.

His last endeavor under the name THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT started right after the disband of SYL and THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND with the sole purpose of the “creation” of four different albums as a 'public' confession about what’s in the mind of this lovely and crazy artist from Canada. “Deconstruction” is the third one, right after the “tranquil” “Ki” and the playful “Addicted”, so time is right for some craziness, won’t you agree?

“Judging” the album from its cover, gives you a “Ziltoid” vibe and it’s not entirely wrong. “Deconstruction” is also a concept album, at least lyrically, of ones trip to hell that meets the devil. The devil promises to show him the secrets of the whole universe which is actually a cheeseburger! The man, being a vegetarian, cannot eat the cheeseburger to gain its “knowledge” rendering his journey pointless and a waste of time. The music is equally –if not more- chaotic and satiric in nature but this is where all similarities with “Ziltoid” end.

The album sounds like a big, uninterrupted and unrestrained “noise” that balances between insanity and genius. The song structure is pretty much absent, you can’t really tell when a song starts or ends; I am not sure if it is done on purpose but it gives you a feeling of being a lost kid inside a huge amusement park (like one on the cover perhaps). SYL influences are all over “Deconstruction”, some more blatant like “Pandemic” and “Sumeria” and some hidden inside the “lengthy” tracks like “Planets Of The Apes” and the title name track. The longest track of the record, “The Mighty Masturbator” might be a satirical musical autobiography of Devin Townsend; in its 16 minutes the song changes from a slow and pompous tempo to a crazy narrative which leads to electronic samples accompanied with crazy guitar work just to end with something that sounds like an amusement park theme!

Devin Townsendhandled all the guitar, bass and keyboard work in the album and almost all the vocals. The “guest stars” of “Deconstruction” can easily turn this record to an all-star meeting of some sort. Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH), Oderus Urungus (GWAR) and Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) just to name a few, lend their vocal talents while drumming was handled byRyan Van Poederooyen , the THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND drummer and Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK). One exception was made in the guitar work on the song “Deconstruction” and that was for the mighty Fredrik Thordendal (MESHUGGAH) which Devin accompanied with While we all have lots of bands who influence still…we all rip off Meshuggah!” , probably the “best” lyric of the album right before the solo on the “Planet Of The Apes”.  So truthful it hurts me brain, mate!

This might be one of the few times I (mostly) agree with the promo sheet that usually accompanies an album to be reviewed. This is indeed and I quote”…the most complex and deranged record ever made by Devin Townsend…” but I wouldn’t say the same for the extreme the promoters saw fit to add. It might not be, in my personal opinion, as fun as  “Addicted”  or as solid as “Ziltoid”  was but “Deconstruction” is a raw, weird and sincere testimony on what is going on the crazy side of DEVIN TOWNSEND’s mind. Speaking of crazy, how crazy is the guy that bought his “worn, used and burnt spatula” from eBay for 112.50 American dollars?

4 Star Rating

1. Praise The Lowered
2. Stand
3. Juular
4. Planet Of The Apes
5. Sumeria
6. The Mighty Masturbator
7. Pandemic
8. Deconstruction
9. Poltergeist
Devin Townsend – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, programming
Ryan Van Poederooyen – drums on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6
Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK, SCARVE) – drums on tracks 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9
Paul Kuhr (NOVEMBER’S DOOM) – vocals on "Praise the Lowered"
Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH, BLOODBATH) – vocals on "Stand"
Ihsahn (ex-EMPEROR) – vocals on "Juular"
Tommy Giles Rogers (BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME) – vocals on "Planet of the Apes"
Joe Duplantier (GOJIRA) – vocals on "Sumeria"
Paul Masvidal (ex-DEATH, CYNIC) – vocals on "Sumeria"
Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) – vocals on "The Mighty Masturbator"
Floor Jansen (ex-AFTER FOREVER) – vocals on "Pandemic"
Oderus Urungus (GWAR) – vocals on "Deconstruction"
Fredrik Thordendal (Meshuggah) – lead guitar on "Deconstruction"
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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Edited 06 October 2022

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