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Devin Townsend Project - 'Epicloud' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/66/3c/d8/3235_devintownsendprojectepicloud_1359764117.jpg Hot

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Devin Townsend's ‘Project’ never fails to impress me.

One of a very small number of artists from whom I consistently look forward to hearing new material, Devin Townsend’s ‘Project’ never fails to impress me. You are never quite sure just what you are going to get from him as he is an unfettered musician where anything goes. And he always seems to make it work.

Take this album for instance. Who else would mix gospel choirs with heavy metal?? No, seriously! Opening with just a gospel choir on ‘Effervescent,’ ‘True North’ follows,’ which is initially a simple refrain, but which fixes itself in your head straight away and you will be humming to yourself for ages afterwards, which itself changes into something a little more edgy before returning to the choir. What is also a little different is that Devin has recruited vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen, who will be known by most people into ‘Prog’ music, whom we hear for the first time here, and whose voice suits this stuff perfectly: adding yet another dimension to Devin’s music.

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Apart from mixing up different genres and styles, Devin also has the knack of going straight from something heavy, like ‘Liberation’, into ‘Where We Belong,’ which is sublime and just the opposite in style. We have ‘Kingdom’ with a riff that Metallica would love to have written, which then heads into ‘Sublime’ which is mainly Devin’s voice over a beautifully atmospheric keyboard and guitar, which makes you wonder if you are still listening to the same album. Well, you are and it all just…works. The stuff that really impresses me though are the huge soundscapes he creates in ‘Save Our Now,’ which is the nearest to a heads down, straightforward rock song that you will get on here, and the last two tracks ‘Hold On’ and ‘Angel.’ These remind me, in a way, of how Roy Wood and ‘Wizzard’ sounded different to the rest of the stuff around in the 70s, with the ‘full sounds’ of ‘See My Baby Jive,’ ‘Ball Park Incident’ and ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas.’ Instantly recognisable.

I am sure, if you know about Devin Townsend’s work, you will go and get this at the first opportunity, and if you are not, then get to know it quickly; you don’t know what you are missing.

Andy B

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