Artist: Devin Townsend Project
Title: The Retinal Circus
Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal
Release Date: 30th September 2013
Label: Insideout Music
‘The Retinal Circus’ of DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT took place at London’s venue The Roundhouse in October (27th) 2012, there was a larger purpose to it than just a plain show – it was to showcase Townsend’s 20 years in music. Townsend likes to foster a perception of his versatility and uniqueness as an artist, which is in many ways justified so this was to be a musical and visual treat aiming to be startling. The theme of the circus comes well with the introductions that hover on the theatrical (provided by Steve Vai), the songs seem both refined and raw, which is down to the live tracks being touched up, and they’re all I can comment on again as this recording is the audio so the visual will be out of my reach, yet the suggestion is there nevertheless. Still not watching the film footage means you’ll miss out on seeing the faces of the choir, circus performers, giant vulva and puppets.
Ambitious projects can often fall on their face with shame equalled to the Olympus each artists’ PR puts them on – let’s face it how can an artist be called as “one of the most uniquely insightful artists of 21st century” – 21st century has not even ended and branding Townsend as such is not only premature (there’s something called a test of time) but makes him look like someone who allows his image to be inflated into a caricature. He’s without a doubt very talented and above the mediocre, yet his music is not entirely ground-breaking and touched by a genius. Greatest problem with the audio LP is that without the visual content it can get a tad tedious as the length goes on. There are however some great songs, of which I’ll mention ‘Planet Of the Apes’ and which provide that I can at least comment it on being interesting, if nothing much else.
Devin Townsend - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Anneke Van Giersbergen - vocals
Ryan Van Poederooyen - drums
Mike Young - bass
Dave Young - guitars
http://www.devintownsend.com / https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend
Total: 7 / 10