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The new Devin Townsend band album review


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Devin Townsend has been dubbed a genius by his peers and fans alike, but to truly understand why you have to go beyond the sonic anarchy of the beloved Strapping Young Lad and soak up his more melodic, civilized fare. Synchestra marks Hevy Devys latest journey away from SYL, and its an album reminiscent of his classic Ocean Machine (now ten years old!), only with much more depth. Sounding like it was composed to be one long song, Synchestra ebbs and flows beautifully, caressing you one moment and kicking you in the teeth the next. The ceremony begins with two short atmospheric bits (Let It Roll and Hypergeek) before kicking into high gear with Triumph, a melodic, hypnotic seven minute high class rock anthem full of Townsend trademarks. Plenty of outstanding tracks on this record, particularly Gaia complete with a couple fleeting (intentional?) Piggy chords (see Voivod) the monolithic Pixillate, the scorching Alice-In-Wonderland-down.the-rabbit-hole Vampira (preceded by the Finntroll-esque instrumental Vampolka), and the big-ass Ocean Machine-styled riff rocker Notes From Africa. Perhaps the only bump in the road is the plodding swampsong A Simple Lullaby, which makes lots of noise but never seems to go anywhere, particularly after the equally heavy and far superior Judgement. Then again, some SYL fans may get off on it thanks to the over-the-top vocals. The album closes with a hidden two-and-a-half minute punk-pop song that recalls the near legendary Punky Bruster, another of Townsends triumphs. Its interesting to note how vastly different Synchestra is from DTBs first album, Accelerate Evolution, the latter coming off as cold and clinical in comparison in spite of having been written by the same guy. And therein lines Townsends genius; you think you know what hes got in store and he still manages to blow your mind.

9/10

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