Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud (2012)


For a man who's been in involved in so many different bands and worked with so many different musicians, Devin Townsend continues to come up with his own fantastic masterpieces. The Devin Townsend Project is releasing their 15th full length studio album. It's called "Epicloud." The album contains 13 phenomenal tracks that contain multiple genres mashed up into one giant opera. This includes gorgeous female vocals from the Dutch singer/songwriter Anneke Van Giersbergen.

"Effervescent!" is a quick intro that opens the album with a choir of vocals harmonizing beautifully. This leads you right into "True North." Female vocals take over and are full of reverb effects. She is soon joined by the choir of vocals from the beginning of the album. Thumping kicks and snares come rocking in while guitar riffs start chugging away as the instruments build up for the verse. The verses are filled with a mixture of male and female vocals. There's definitely a lot going on in the track so you might want to replay it a couple of times. They throw an aggressive breakdown towards the middle of the track that has more female vocals floating in the background as violent guitar riffs blast away with harsh distortion. Although the riffs are dark the synths and epic vocals in the background give it a lighter feeling.

The epic vocals continue to layer each other in "Lucky Animal." Catchy melodies in the verse will have you singing along immediately. The guitars still stay heavy with monstrous riffs and rough distortion. The upbeat tunes will have you pumping your fists in the air for sure. The track is only three minutes and 21 seconds which is one of the shortest tracks on the album. It's followed up by "Liberation" which is also the same length. This leans a little more towards the power metal side with its epic high flying vocals and relentless double bass pedal drumming. The fills in the track are insane so definitely make sure you listen closely. The refrain has soaring vocals with solid harmonizing back up vocals giving it a full sound. It's a very addicting melody so don't be surprised if you find yourself listening to this one over and over again.

Townsend slows things down with "Where We Belong." The vocals give a sort of Junius type of sound. Very mellow with a post metal feeling. The refrain is absolutely gorgeous with more addictive lyrics and melodies that you'll be singing along with right away. The verses have acoustic guitars giving a soothing sound to the mix. The drums don't come in until the chorus hits. This is where you'll also find blasted distorted guitars and heavy shattering cymbals. This is a must hear track.

What's great about this album is that you'll have songs like "Divine" which is completely calm throughout its entirety. The soothing vocals put you to sleep while keyboards and synths completely consume you. Then you have a song like "Grace" which starts out the same only with female vocals and still gives you that post metal feel. However then out of no where come these exploding drum rolls and machine gun double bass patterns that will knock you out of your seat. Punishing shouting vocals take over with harsh aggression leaving you with no other option but to bob your head to the drums. Then the ravishing female vocals step back in towards the end mellowing everything out again. It definitely give you that beauty and the beast type of feeling.

This album throws you through ups and downs s far as melodies and moods go. Some tracks are heavier and more aggressive than others while some just have some gorgeous musicianship and great song structure. The mixture of so many elements keep you at the edge of your seat at all times. Devin Townsend has definitely out done him self this time. Make sure you hear this album. It's one you won't want to miss!

9/10

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