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08.30.12 Best to Worst of Devin Townsend

Best to Worst of Devin Townsend

DT's music never was and never will be for peasants. Hence why so many tone-deaf people confused by his brilliance will pounce on his music with the hatred and aggression of a rabid boar. No list of DT's discography is complete without his SYL albums which are all solo albums too, just under a different name.
1Devin Townsend
Ocean Machine: Biomech


On the first listen, tracks such as "Seventh Wave", "Life" and "Regulator" immediately hit the ear, but it takes several listens to get to appreciate the rest, the more complex stuff such as "Voices in the Fan" or "Bastard", both of which are among his best material. Only one crap song, and that's quite fittingly the last one. Perhaps the best album of the 90s, metal or otherwise. "Ki" fans should probably skip this one though. 5/5
2The Devin Townsend Project
Addicted


This is his most consistent album, quality-wise, aside from "Ocean Machine". The only weak track I could single out here is the rather pathetic ballad with the annoying title, "Ih-Ah" (probably the only good track here for "Ki" fans). The rest is astounding. Anneke's vocals elevate this album from a great one to a near-perfect one. The snobs among the metal fans will probably find something to moan about because of the album's "metal pop" factor. God forbid a song should be catchy! What a crime. 5/5
3Devin Townsend
Infinity


Huge sound, as always, a great follow-up to the debut. Highlights: 1, 2, 5, 8, 9. "Wild Colonial Boy" is awful though, i.e. an ideal tip for fans of "Ki" who enjoy this kind of thing, and "Ants" sounds like a filler. Make sure not to miss out on "Sit on the Mountain", a leftover from the "Infinity" sessions, which is as great as anything from the album. 5/5
4Strapping Young Lad
City


Many amazing tracks here, except the mediocre "Home Nucleonics" and "OMFG" which have very little going for them. Needless to say, fans of "Ki" probably hate ever inch of this album. 5/5
5The Devin Townsend Band
Accelerated Evolution


"Deadhead", "Storm", "Depth Charge", "Sunday Afternoon", "Suicide" and "Random Analysis" are brilliant. The instrumental is OK, the other two tracks are commercial crap, probably adored by lovers of "Ki". 5/5
6Devin Townsend
Physicist


A dull album? Hardly. If this is dull, what the hell are we to say about "Ki" then? Many fans are perhaps put off by the heaviness, this is at times like a SYL album almost, and DT does have a number of pop fans as of recently, thanks to crap such as "Ki". "Namaste" and "Planet Rain" are the absolute highlights, among the best stuff he'd ever done, plus "Victim" and "Material". The rest of the album has its moments too. Somewhat weak around the middle though (but not nearly s**t enough to be appreciated by fans of "Ki"). 4.5/5
7Devin Townsend
Terria


The problem I have with this one is that many songs have great potential but are dragged down by weak parts, usually around the middle. Hence many songs here have a distinct up-and-down quality to them, which is annoying. I'd love to edit some of this stuff, cut them down, songs such as "Mountain", "Canada", "Fluke" and even "Earth Day". The highlights are "Olives", "Tiny Tears", "Earth Day" (in spite of the weak parts), and "Deep Peace". "Stagnant" is kinda crap, perhaps a happier version of any given "Ki" song. 4.5/5
8Strapping Young Lad
Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing


The title doesn't lie. Far too heavy, even more most metal fans (let alone DT's small army of pop fans who only like "Ki"). This is nevertheless a brilliant album, to be appreciated only by people who understand industrial thrash that borders on noise (but isn't). Best stuff: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9. 4.5/5
9Strapping Young Lad
Alien


A vast improvement over the weak 3rd SYL album, the first three tracks are the highlights. It gets a little uneventful around the middle but then several good moments make up for it in the last few tracks. "Skeksis" is one of the best SYL tracks, hence to be avoided at all costs by anyone mesmerized by "Ki". 4/5
10Devin Townsend
Ziltoid the Omniscient


Playful, varied, and fun. Not a brilliant album, simply because half the album is nothing special (relatively speaking - yet still much better than "Ki", of course), but the highlights make this a must to have: the epic "Solar Winds" stands out, with "The Greys", "Hyperspace" and "By Your Command" as the other notable tracks here. 4/5
11The Devin Townsend Band
Synchestra


This one was a disappointment when it came out, but that's only relative to the brilliant output that had come before it. Although clearly weaker than the likes of "Accelerated Evolution" or "Ocean Machine", it still has it moments, like the excellent "Judgment" and "A Simple Lullaby". "Gaia" and "Triumph" could have been as good, but they are marred by some lesser moments/melodies. Too much commercial-sounding predictable mediocre stuff such as "Sunset" and "Babysong" which only hinted at the kind of crap we'd get when "Ki" reared its ugly head a few years later. 4/5
12Strapping Young Lad
The New Black


This is not a particularly strong album. Only one stand-out track, "Almost Again", with songs like "Monument", "Wrong Side", "Anti-Product", and the title track that are quite solid but not up to the usual high SYL standards. The sound of the album isn't that great either, and in some ways the music isn't heavy enough for SYL. 3.5/5
13The Devin Townsend Project
Ghost


"Fly" and especially "Feather" are the stand-out tracks, the rest is mostly either merely pleasant or average. What "Ghost" has going for it is a nice atmosphere, a great production (as always), and excellent female vocals, but the song-writing level isn't as high as one would normally expect. Besides, I don't think this is the kind of music he should spend too much time on, perhaps just now and again (like every 5 years or so). Dev is getting old, is mellowing out (as he himself admits to) so I guess he will be making more and more nursing-home soft stuff for the elderly, but as long as his pop/rock/ambient albums each have 2-3 great tracks, I don't really mind that much. "Ghost" makes for a pleasant listen, and even though even softer than bloody "Ki", it's head-and-shoulders above it in every way. 3/5
14Strapping Young Lad
Strapping Young Lad


Tracks 3 and 5 are excellent, standing out totally above the rather forgettable rest. Little effort was put into this album, which Devin pretty much admitted even at the time of the album's release. Some of the songs weren't even written by him, but by other band members. 3/5
15The Devin Townsend Project
Deconstruction


Bombastic? Yes. Well-produced? Of course, as always. Great vocals? Sure. Heavy? Check. Great song-writing? No. Ideas is what this album is lacking. Being varied, crazy and chaotic does not make up for the flaws in the music. (In fact, the chaos gets out of control on occasion.) The first three songs are merely OK (though sound much better live), the middle is an improvement, while the last three songs are quite mediocre. This overrated album has got one huge highlight though: the middle part in "The Mighty Masturbator" which is one of DT's best ever moments. 3/5
16Punky Bruster
Cooked On Phonics


Not a serious studio album, more like a satiric jab at all the baby-punk pop-punk crap that was all the rage in the 90s, such as Green Day and Offspring. Musically, the album has little to offer (since it merely does cheesy imitations of awful bands), it's the lyrics and the in-between skits/dialogues that are fun.
17The Devin Townsend Project
Ki


I can't think of any highlights here on this piece of crap, perhaps 2-3 passable songs. This really is hands down the worst album he'd ever made, and the only one that I wouldn't recommend at all, not even for a peak (unless you specialize in corny, "soulful" rock). Mediocre, uneventful, heard-it-all-before, mostly unoriginal pop/rock is the name of the game here. I have no idea what DT fans find in this, but then again this album is usually liked by people who generally dislike DT. It is comforting though to know that this is the least popular of the 4 DTP albums. 1.5/5
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