Artist: The Devin Townsend Project
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: 17th June 2011
Label: InsideOut Records
DEVIN TOWNSEND has made quite a name for himself ever since a young age, from being a guitar virtuoso and singer to the aggressive front man of the now defunct STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. However, he’s never given up on making music with each project he’s left, and in the last few years has dedicated himself to making a four piece epic that each is a unique expressive piece of metal that are all hold traces of the same and yet are all very different. ‘Deconstruction’ is the last piece of the puzzle and fans can hear traces from all sorts of different project that Devin has done throughout his musical career. There are the highly aggressive parts that will remind of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, the more wild and progressive parts of THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND, and in the last few years between ‘Ki’ and ‘Addicted,’ - parts one and two of this four part epic- a few traces in sound from the previous albums. And just like the previous albums, ‘Deconstruction’ is something very different.
It should be noted that its companion album, ‘Ghost,’ is to be released on the same day as this one, and is the more laid back part of Devin’s musical side. ‘Deconstruction’ is more of a myriad of heavy, soft, and crazy. For those who were amazed by ‘Addicted’ and its pumping, anthem quality riffs and music along with the full time guest spot of the talented vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen formerly of THE GATHERING, they may be disappointed that she will not return for ‘Deconstruction’. Furthermore, ‘Addicted’ was a bit more pop/ industrial oriented along with being heavily progressive and therefore easily accessible by anyone. Here, ‘Deconstruction’ is more all over the place and wildly unpredictable, like an insane carnival. There is the soft, slow going opening track ‘Praise The Lowered’ and on the other end of the spectrum the grossly hilarious title track, which involves spoken word samples, bathroom samples, and just a very wacky yet aggressive tone that brings back memories of ‘Ziltoid The Omniscient’, which is an epic story by itself. ‘Deconstruction’ continues the epic story in its own fragmented way, but only one track- the title track- really tells the story directly, which is, according to Devin, “the story of a man who meets the devil and is offered unlimited power if he can eat a cheeseburger… but the man is a vegetarian.” Again, Devin is always good with the humour of the situation.
As far as the music goes, the album bounces between being just a sonic sphere of insanely fast guitar notes, drumming (there are two drummers on the album) which creates a large wall of sound that is similar to his work in STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, but at the same time there is a constant orchestra and operatic presence in the music, mostly in the form of backing choirs that really add more dynamics to the music itself. Since Devin’s cleaner vocals - when he’s not screaming his heart out- are slightly operatic, the entire album falls into being like a heavy metal musical. One could consider it his heaviest, and yet most operatic effort yet, especially when one considers the final track ‘Poltergeist’ and its epic, John Williams-esque tone. There are other elements to help flesh out the album too to make ‘Deconstruction’ like a play. While there are no permanent guest spots on the album like there was with ‘Addicted’, Devin employs a great number of different vocalists to serve on certain tracks. Most notably among them is ex-EMPEROR’s Ihsahn, who lends a few snarls to the track ‘Juular’, Tommy Giles of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME on ‘Planet of The Apes’, Joe Duplantier on ‘Sumeria’ and REVAMP’s Floor Jansen on ‘Pandemic’. Each only contributes a small bit for each song, but it’s noticeable the second time if one misses it after the first listen.
‘Deconstruction’ also includes lots of epics as well to keep listeners entertained. The monster ‘Mighty Masturbator’ clocks over fifteen minutes, and also offers one of Devin’s wackiest tracks to date, in the most intriguing sense. Other tracks range from nine to ten minutes so there is no shortage of feeling cheated if one chooses to get this album. Clocking as a whole over an hour, ‘Deconstruction’ has few flaws altogether. Those who have been following Devin’s work know what to expect, and also know that they are unsure of what to expect if they’ve been following the four piece epic so far. If ‘Ghost’ surprised, then ‘Deconstruction’ will surprise all over again. For new fans, it’s difficult to recommend that ‘Deconstruction’ is Devin’s best album simply because he does something different on each piece of music he creates. To listen to only this album is ill advised. It’s a great piece, but even better when one experiences it with ‘Ki,’ ‘Addicted,’ and ‘Ghost’.
01. Praise the Lowered 6:02
02. Stand 9:36
03. Juular 3:46
04. Planet of the Apes 10:59
05. Sumeria 6:37
06. The Mighty Masturbator 16:28
07. Pandemic 3:29
08. Deconstruction 9:27
09. Poltergeist 4:25
Devin Townsend - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Programming
Dirk Verbeuren - Drums
Ryan Van Poederooyen - Drums
Total: 9 / 10