Devin Townsend Project
Deconstruction


3.0
good

Review

by idk USER (2 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2011 | 22 replies | 3,872 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The hype train has been derailed.

5 of 9 thought this review was well written

I was not a fan of Devin Townsend’s 2009 release Addicted. Being billed as a “dancier” or “poppier” album, Addicted instead felt like a collection of songs held together by decent hooks, capable mainstream alt metal-sounding riffs, and a lot of cheese. Way, way, way too much cheese. So much so that it actually made the album hard to enjoy. Despite being an album that was intended to be a fun listen, the clogged flow of the album, the lack of worthwhile album highlights, and the mechanized feel of a number of the songs instead made it feel like a chore to sit through. Why do I bring this up? Because Deconstruction suffers from many of the same flaws as Addicted, cranks the cheese level up to ludicrous proportions, and introduces Devin’s trademark wall of sound production into the equation (which I have never been a fan of), and yet despite all of this, this is actually a superior album in comparison.

Devin certainly wasn’t lying when he stated that this album would be heavy, and this is some of the heaviest non-SYL material I have heard from him. Unfortunately, Devin’s idea of “heavy” just involves making the mix as cluttered as possible by stuffing in various loud noises. Truly, I find it hard to be impressed by his wall of sound production. Yes, the material on here is heavy to some extent, but it has all the raw intensity of an Owl City performance. It’s completely sterile, but does that necessarily make it a bad album? No, although it certainly is a hindrance. The songs themselves are what make this album.

Deconstruction is over 70 minutes long, and the tracklengths on here vary from standard 3 minute tracks to 16 minutes. The longer tracks suffer more often than not by dragging on longer than they should, and the shorter tracks often feel like afterthoughts, or become overshadowed by the stronger moments on this album and interrupt the album’s flow. Two of the album’s best tracks – Praise the Lowered and Sumeria – are around the 6 minute mark, and have just enough time to show what they have to offer without dragging or feeling like they’ve been cut short. The former begins with a tasteful electronic intro that continues to build for about the first half of the song before segueing into the metal sound that defines this album. The latter could best be described as a more symphonic-sounding Gojira track, partially due to Joe Duplantier’s guest vocals, who is among the few guest spots on this album who do not come up short in their performances. Yes, unfortunately, one of the biggest disappointments with this album are the much-hyped cameos. Mikael Akerfeldt is relegated to just doing back-up growls in sync with Devin’s lead vocals on Stand, Tommy Rogers takes a backseat to the symphony on Planet Of The Apes, and Paul Masvidal shows up for approximately one minute at the end of Sumeria to deliver a merely passable performance.

Greg Puciato is the most effective guest spot on the album, whose performance on The Mighty Masturbator is absolutely up to par with what I expect from him. Said track is also the high point of the album – the 16 minute centerpiece that attempts to combine everything this album has to offer that in no way, shape, or form should work. And yet it does. Devin throws everything but the kitchen sink here, including an incredibly catchy industrial-influenced section and a brief Mr. Bungle-esque moment. The unnecessary (and unfunny) two minute outro is easily overlookable.

This track is one of two on this album that attempts to showcase everything this album is about at once. The second of which is the title track, which is every bit as disastrous as I expected The Mighty Masturbator to be. Now, before this album’s release, one of my biggest fears is that the orchestra would end up being overused. However, for the most part, it’s very well-handled on this album... unfortunately, the title track is an exception in this case. The orchestra’s omnipresence drowns the track in a sea of cheese; in addition, the song consists of the same tedium that plagues most of this album while Devin plays up the humor that, up until this point, had only shown up in spare moments. To make matters worse, the “humor” in this track just isn’t funny, and basically consists of Devin making slight variants on the same two “jokes” over and over. Now, granted, Devin has gone on record to state that the humor on this album was directed at pissing off the “musically elite”, and I can appreciate a good troll attempt every once and a while – problem is, it’s gotten in the way of this album’s general quality. Truly, I don’t find myself compelled to come back to listen to this album for full listens purely because of this song. There are a number of individual songs on here that are worth repeated listens, but the title track is simply horrendous.

The Mighty Masturbator shows how much better this album could’ve potentially been, whereas the title track shows how much worse this album could’ve ended up. Even though I may not find this to be a bad album as a whole, I feel disappointed with it. Devin had good intentions, and again, the potential was here. There are both good ideas and bad ideas on here; it’s just a shame that too many of the former ended up getting lost among the latter. And in the end, Deconstruction will likely end up turning away as many people as it attracts.

But hey, at least it’s better than Addicted.


user ratings (752)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
June 22nd 2011



19244 Comments


Good review. I wish he continued on with SYL.

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah this is way overhyped, it's not even that good

G3N3R1C
June 22nd 2011



1945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

i mean, part of me kinda figured that it would end up being just alright, but i was definitely hoping that it would be better. and tbh, i've never been a huge fan of SYL either.

BloodSweatandBeers
June 22nd 2011



999 Comments


album blows goats

KingAlistair
June 22nd 2011



175 Comments


I'm listening to it now for the first time, not impressed really. But Greg Puciato is on it at least.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2011



8753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i agree with this review :]

bloc
June 22nd 2011



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great summary man

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

G3N3R1C
June 22nd 2011



1945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

@bloc and noctus: thanks and stuf

also, i'm not gonna be reviewing ghost, but i will say this: it's a pretty fitting comparison how the title track to this is the worst song i've ever heard from him, whereas the title track to ghost is probably the best song i've heard from him.

Staker
June 22nd 2011



32 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I disagree (confessed DT fanboy), but a great review. I agree that Greg's guest appearance was the strongest.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2011



1982 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

No offense, but I think it's kind of weird that you find this better than Addicted, yet dislike it for its (attempt) at humor, wall of sound, guest spots, etc.

It just reads a little to me like you like this more than Addicted and the only difference is that it has more stuff you don't like.

Just sayin'.

Digging: Rx Bandits - Gemini, Her Majesty

Gmork89
June 22nd 2011



5485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Sorry but no.

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

FearThyEvil
June 22nd 2011



12286 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really like the summary.

vanderb0b
June 22nd 2011



3473 Comments


I really enjoyed Addicted, but couldn't get into this at all. Still need to check out Ghost, but I'm somewhat losing interest in Devin's work.

G3N3R1C
June 22nd 2011



1945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

@AtomicWaste The reason i like this better than Addicted is simple: This has songs on it that i actually feel like revisiting. Addicted doesn't.

@Gmork same to you.

RagingStorm
June 22nd 2011



509 Comments


nice review, still haven't listened to this

AdenZerda
June 22nd 2011



118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The title track seems to be pretty polarizing. I, for one, love it and it's one of my favorites on the album. I just wish the longer songs on the first half didn't drag as much as they do. They really pull down the whole record.

Agreeing with you about all of the guest performances with the exception that I thought Paul Masvidal did a great job - he definitely brought his own personality into the song (more than I can say for Åckerfeldt etc.) and I loved his part. Was expecting more from Floor Jansen's song.

G3N3R1C
June 22nd 2011



1945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Here's the thing with Masvidal's performance - the way i see it, that could've been ANYONE singing that part.

Gmork89
June 22nd 2011



5485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I don't understand how you don't want to revisit Addicted because I listened to that for months straight after it came out, but to each his own.

WickedMystic
June 24th 2011



76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album rules, actually. Good review though. Not gonna neg like the other fanboys.

Altmer
June 24th 2011



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is pretty wicked



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