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The Devin Townsend Band - Synchestra (CD)

The Devin Townsend Band
by Ian Kaatz at 04 March 2006, 6:05 PM

This particular album was one that I was eagerly anticipating because I am a huge fan of Devin Townsend. I was extremely pleased with his last output with DTB and was expecting something along the same lines musically, however I forgot that I am talking about an absolute madman. Synchestra is definitely a lot different then Accelerated Evolution, but in a good way.
Well, I couldn't find an official biography for the band but I know it is Devin's solo band and all the musicians on it are from the British Columbia except for the guest guitar solo thanks to Steve Vai.
The album kicks off with two tracks that are both fewer than three minutes but that doesn't mean that they are quality tracks. Now in Triumph is song that is very unique to say the least. There are plenty of classic Devin type moments with a big build to a climax, but a thing that I didn't quite get was at around the 3 and half minute mark when we are on Old Mcdonald's farm for about 15-20 seconds. There is this riff that just makes you feel like you are on a farm. I never thought that I would describe a Metal song as wacky but that was pretty friggin wacky. Then there is also the unexpected Vampolka which is very wacky as well. Think of a melodic Finntroll. Another kooky number that Hevy Devy throws in the mix is the last song on the album, Sunshine and Happiness. This track is very upbeat and happy and very uncharacteristic of Devin but as stated throughout this entire review, expect the unexpected from him.
Devin's vocals on the whole of the album are very soothing and clean. He usually has some kind of craziness in his vocals, but almost the entire album is clean vocals. Overall the album is very hard to describe, but I try my best. There is a very symphonic type to the whole album, not really heavy whatsoever. If I were to pick one song that would express the vibe of the whole album, it would have to be Gaia. It's very symphonic with a crazy keyboard part, not as slow as some songs but not quite as intense as others. This song also contains that patented know it anywhere scream of Devy's.
To come to a close on this review, don't think that when you buy or download or whatever this album that it is going to sound like Accelerated Evolution because it doesn't. However if you like Devin's work on his other 6 or so solo albums then I would have to encourage you to pick this up.

3 Star Rating

Let It Roll
The Babysong
Mental Tan
A Simple Lullaby
Notes From Africa
Sunshine And Happiness
Devin Townsend - Vocals, Guitar & Programming
Brian Waddell - Guitar
Ryan Van Poederooyen - Drums
Mike Young - Bass, Tuba, & Stand-Up Bass
Dave Young - Keyboards, Grand Piano, Hammond, Mandolin & all guitars in Sunshine And Happiness

Guest Musicians:
Steve Vai - Guitar solo in Triumph
Record Label: Inside Out Music


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