Band of the Day: Devin Townsend

Posted: October 19, 2014 in Band of the Day
Tags: , ,

Now, I’ve just got a hold of Devin’s newest release, well, before Z2, ‘Casualties of Cool’. Now I’m a huge Devin Townsend mark, have been the biggest fan ever since I watched him destroy the QMU in Glasgow in 2005 with Strapping Young Lad supporting Arch Enemy. I think they were on their tour supporting ‘Alien’, which is probably his second best record with SYL after ‘City’, but it’s probably my favourite record of his. ‘Love?’ was the track that got my into SYL in the first place, and although I think his solo work has been truly the most essential parts of his music for me, I credit SYL as being what got me into his work in the first place. Hell, I have an SYL tattoo on my forearm. Difficult to explain why I’ve got Strapping Young Lad tattooed on me to people not in the know…

Devin’s greatest solo work, for me, has been the beautiful ‘Terria’. It has the soaring ‘Earth Day’, the soothing ‘Deep Peace’ and the catchy as hell ‘Stagnant’. Devin has written some of the most vicious music out there, yet is better than almost everyone in metal at making music that is truly beautiful. His insane sense of humour punctuates everything he does, skewering heavy metal cliches left right and centre (Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing anyone?). His masterpiece of ‘Ziltoid the Omniscient’ proved that he could literally write music about anything and his talent would make it good. I can’t think of a single song of his I’ve ever heard that I don’t like.

His live performance is perfect as well. Every show is a masterclass in stage banter, showmanship and crowd participation. I saw him on the ‘Epicloud’ tour and he got hundreds of people doing jazz hands during ‘Lucky Animals’. Jazz hands. At a metal gig. If that doesn’t say genius, I don’t know what does. His ‘Addicted’ record was the catchiest metal record there has been in years. ‘Deconstruction’ is so mind boggling that I’m STILL trying to understand it 3 years later. ‘Synchestra’, and particularly the single ‘Vampira’, was deliciously bonkers, but at the same time poignant and epic.

In short, Devin Townsend is the most important man in metal. Without him, we wouldn’t have so much essential music, music that touches the soul, raises the arms, bangs the head and shreds the throat. He is the master

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