Devin Townsend
Ziltoid the Omniscient


4.0
excellent

Review

by amerikraut USER (3 Reviews)
July 21st, 2008 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Townsend's first true solo effort proves to be a success despite some minor flaws.

Words could not describe the anguish that consumed the depths of my very being when on May 10th, 2007, Devin Townsend announced the demise of his DTB and SYL projects. As i sat in my parents basement, reading word for word the message posted on his forum, a crippling anger enveloped my normally relaxed demeanor. Palms shaky and sweating, i fought back tears and continued reading the words of Devin.

" I'm officially burnt out on travelling, touring, and self promotion. I love syl and dtb, and the members of those bands mean a great deal to me, but I have to do it for the love, when it becomes a burden, it's time to step away for a while."

Surely this was some sort of horrible joke. Now I would be doomed to recess to the remarkably embarrasing tastes of my youth. In a world without Townsend, Korn would become succesful again, with a timely re-release of the classic "Untouchables." Nu-Metal fans would roam the streets pushing their drunk friends in wheel-barrows, never bothering to shower as they raped citizens and pillaged surrounding businesses. Independent labels would force their artists to record High School Musical covers, and Joey Jordinson would be considered the epitome of what a drummer should be.

And then....the light. I kept reading.

"I want to produce and make records for an undetermined length of time. After Ziltoid, there will be no real interviews for as long as it takes for me to build up strength again." Devins reassurance of albums to come quickly subdued any visions i had of an apocalyptic future. I put down the blade pressed against my wrist and went back to surfing youporn. The world started turning again.

In all seriousness, I had alot of expectations for what this album should be. After all, being described as a combination of DTB and SYL set the bar pretty damn high. So after several thorough and complete listens, Ive concluded this album is a success, but contains a few flaws that keep it from achieving the status of past Townsend works.

First the bad...

About the programmed drumming. I respect the intelligence it takes to work a drum kit, to hear the beats in your head, and translate that onto a computer screen. But it really becomes exhausting only a few tracks into the album. Tracks like "Hyperdrive" and "The Greys" execute the drum-kit from hell particularly well, but others, such as "By Your Command" and "Solar Winds" contain sections of drumming that, while complicated, ultimately distract the listener from whats happening with the other instruments.

There are also some sections on the album, particularly on the track, "Color Your World," that recycle riffs from past albums. I dont know if Townsend's intentions were to purposely allude to his past works, but it comes off as a bit tacky or as if he didnt know how to transition the song.

Now while this review may at this point seem like a negative one, i want to stress that some parts of the album really soar, and rival his best work to date. "Hyperdrive" has a beautiful chorus and is without a doubt the best song on the album. "By Your Command" works on a progressive level, because not only does it proficiently execute several sections with different melodies, but each melody or "hook" if you will, is just damn good. And thats what makes this album so enjoyable for me. If you really sit down and listen, most of the album will get stuck in your head; There is an abundance of memorable riffs and melodies that make each track a distinct and pleasant experience.

As is standard for any Townsend outing, the production is outstanding, al biet the drums. Devin has one of those voices that you either love or hate. I find it to be powerful and emotional, even when the lyrics are as silly as they are. But regardless of the words flowing forth, there is a crispness and intensity that at times gives me chills. There are audible bass parts throughout and its interesting to see what Townsend has done with the synth layers when left to his own vices.

Now ive read alot of complaints regarding the concept, and honestly Im indifferent to it. If you truly get and appreciate the music, the concept of Ziltoid wont take away or even cause you to gain anything for that matter.
This is my first review and im at a loss for a proper ending.


user ratings (619)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Kyle Banick (1)
Uninspired and boring, Townsend's latest album reeks of overused production techniques, lacks any so...


Comments:Add a Comment 
amerikraut
July 21st 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Like i said...this is my first review...even if you dont have anything to say about the album, i appreciate any feedback on the review itself.

jrowa001
July 21st 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

glad to see a positive review for this album. it def doesnt deserve the very very low ratings that it has been given. this by now means is my fav album of his. its greatly falls short of Synchestra, Terria, and Accelerated Evolution. review could use some work, but it is your first. im ont a review expert so ill leave that to the better reviewers to tell you what to work on

SHOOTME
July 21st 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good first review. However, there is stuff you could work on a bit, like spacing paragraphs, and some details. You may need some more positives to back up a 4, and at the end you will need to try to write some sort of conclusion. Don't worry, not many have truly mastered the conclusion, which in any case, is pretty much a summary.

Read some Staff or Contributor reviews in order to gain some insight. Also, for basic grammatical problems, email your reviews to crye08@gmail.com for help editing, I'd be glad to help.

botb
July 22nd 2008


9760 Comments


lol at your behavior after finding out devy was calling it quits for a while. sounds just like me.

Digging: Solstafir - Ótta

Kage
July 22nd 2008


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

[QUOTE=review]Surely this was some sort of horrible joke. Now I would be doomed to recess to the remarkably embarrasing tastes of my youth. In a world without Townsend, Korn would become succesful again, with a timely re-release of the classic "Untouchables." Nu-Metal fans would roam the streets pushing their drunk friends in wheel-barrows, never bothering to shower as they raped citizens and pillaged surrounding businesses. Independent labels would force their artists to record High School Musical covers, and Joey Jordinson would be considered the epitome of what a drummer should be."[/QUOTE]

That makes no sense.

botb
July 22nd 2008


9760 Comments


^it does make sense, and it's quite humorous, though probably not professional enough for you.

SHOOTME
July 22nd 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But that note of advice is good, if ever amerikraut wanted to write reviews professionally.

But it is quite funny.This Message Edited On 07.22.08

amerikraut
July 22nd 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kage... maybe you dont get my sense of humor. But ill take a stab at breaking it down for you. I listed a bunch of ridiculous things i (jokingly) envisioned happening as a result of devin townsend calling it quits. Sort of a "if pigs could fly" kind of deal. My idea of a musical apocalypse. This Message Edited On 07.22.08This Message Edited On 07.22.08This Message Edited On 07.22.08

amerikraut
July 22nd 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ShootME...lets say i did have a desire to review professionally??? How do you respond?

SHOOTME
July 22nd 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, If I was reviewing professionally, I would try to get rid of silly things like that. They're nice to now, but ultimately, are completely unnecessary.

amerikraut
July 22nd 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

See i was hoping you'd say, "call this #"

but i do see your point. As long as a few people laugh, im satisfied.

SHOOTME
July 22nd 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's alright man. This is good for a first, and ultimately you will get better with your reviews, just keep on doing them.

Essence
July 22nd 2008


3588 Comments


Yeah, if you actually want to review ''professionally'', you are going to have to drop the straight-up jokes. Really, the only ones you should try to work in are band related jokes.

By that, I mean... for example, say I was reviewing this, I could work in something into an intro such as "Devin Townsend is to the metal scene today as Trivium's The Crusade was to selling out; he's one of the best''. Something like that.This Message Edited On 07.22.08

Kage
July 22nd 2008


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Just because it's SUPPOSED to be funny doesn't mean everyone will find it funny. I simply don't find it funny at all, just really dumb.

If it was actually funny to me, then I would like it. It doesn't mean I have no sense of humor or don't like humor in my music, it just means that this particular humor doesn't appeal to me.This Message Edited On 07.22.08

2econdSkin
July 22nd 2008


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm happy i'm not the only one that noticed the recycled riffs on Color Your World

Willie
Moderator
July 22nd 2008


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Mildly amusing and good first review... you need your first pos.
On another note, I still need to really take the time to listen to this.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

amerikraut
July 22nd 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kage...saying its not funny implies that you found it to make sense in the first place...which directly contradicts your first comment. Its ok if it went over your head. it really is.

Love,
Amerikraut

amerikraut
July 22nd 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2econdskin...and im sure you noticed this but he actually recycles 2 riffs. A riff from "voices in the fan" off Ocean Machine, and a riff from "wrong side," off The New Black.
Just an interesting tidbit for you.



willfellmarsy
July 22nd 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is decent but it got old really fast for me ad was too weak for Devy...first sentence of review earns a pos...

Hawks
July 22nd 2008


35838 Comments


Pretty good review, but I hate this album with a passion.



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