Devin Townsend is a man of limitless creativity. With 24 studio albums under his belt it’s not surprising that ‘Transcendence’ is another accomplished album by the Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer.
‘Transcendence’ is the seventh album for Devin Townsend Project and is rumoured to be their last. Townsend has worked with Steve Vai, Strapping Young Lad and is the prodigy for both Devin Townsend Band and Devin Townsend Project. Producing a balanced mixture of new-age, progressive metal crossbred with hard rock is their trademark, and their latest album does not disappoint.
The signature sound for Devin Townsend Project is an undoubtedly charged and chaotic amalgamation of genres – but it simply works. In some ways their style is fundamentally inaccessible in terms of mass markets – but their dynamic range is one to be praised. Ambitious and theatrical, Devin Townsend knows no boundaries, or if he does, he will only use them in remembrance of his previous works.
‘Transcendence’ starts with ‘Truth’ a re-work of the track of the same name from their album ‘Infinity’. The track seems to begin with a climax, if ever that was possible – Townsend makes it so. The bouncing, aggressive drumming from Ryan Van Poederooyen is a robust start to the album, accompanied by the ethereal “Hallelujah”s from our female vocalists. ‘Stormbending’ is choral and enchanting and boasts similar sounds to those from Devin Townsend Band‘s album Accelerated Evolution.
It’s important to note that Devin began creating the album with an altered viewpoint – allowing his bandmates more freedom and responsibility “The theme for the new record seems to have prevented itself as a form of surrender I think. Learning to integrate that became the process for Transcendence.” The sense of depth is distinctive, whether it’s layers of unforgettable, body-building bass from Brian “Beav” Waddell, or excitable electrics – it’s an arduous scale of power from Townsend. ‘Secret Sciences’ is a track full of mega-riffs and playful shreds from Dave Young, there’s nothing better than a halfway jam to wet the pallet.
Exposing artistic control to his bandmates, Devin says “Look guys, here’s what it’s supposed to do. This is how it’s supposed to make me feel. And how the audience is supposed to feel.” With the help of five guest musicians on the album it is worth noting Devin Townsend Project certainly promotes an atmosphere of epicness – an awful lot of the tracks are reminiscent of a fiesty filmscore. Anneke Van Giersbergen, Che Aimee Dorval and Katrine Natale are the guest vocalists giving a velvety backdrop for the screaming and savage moments on tracks like ‘Stars’. The five person choir Tigers In A Tank are also a remarkable guest on ‘Transcendence’, serving a strong layer of vocals for the title track. It’s a powerful mix of divine, airy sounds and angsty heavy rock throughout, engineered to perfection.
Overall ‘Transcendence’ is a triumphant and peculiar feat, another ambitiously alternate piece of work from Devin Townsend Project.
‘Transcendence’ is released on 9th September via Inside Out Music.
This Devin Townsend Project article was written by Annalise Watson, a GIGsoup contributor