Review Summary: How could an album that became so important to Devin Townsend's musical career not be more exciting than it is?
Devin Townsend claims that after writing Ocean Machine’s debut Biomech
, he went through some personal struggles that altered the way he wrote his following two albums. Clearly, he was not kidding. There is an obvious difference in the way Mr. Townsend approached Infinity
. While Biomech
has a more serious and “traditional” sound, Infinity
takes on a much more experimental and quirky approach.
was definitely Townsend’s gateway into the realm of outlandish progressive music that his fans expect to hear form him today. Without this album (and Townsend’s self-proclaimed personal struggles during the writing of the album), Accelerated Evolution
would most likely have been a less exciting attempt at another Biomech
, and Terria
probably would not even exist. However, other than Townsend using the album to influence his later material to create what could be described as his “signature sound”, Infinity
is not much more than an inconsistent collection of tracks, some even being inconsistent amongst themselves. An example of this would be “War”, where it beings with a heavy yet steady melody and concludes with obnoxious explosive and chaotic noises, followed by Townsend singing in an unnecessary falsetto.
The tracks on Infinity
are without a doubt some of the craziest songs of Devy’s career. His craziest piece might just be “Ants”, where the listener could potentially visualize Townsend getting up on a chair and performing the song on his guitar, all while dancing in circles on one leg. “Bad Devil”, with its aggressive riffs and sinister organ, seems as though it is the perfect song to be played over a movie scene where the world experiences a zombie apocalypse and the only survivors are forced through an amusement park by zombies. The extreme craziness comes in chunks, however (a large reason why this album is so inconsistent). “Christeen” is a much more simple and melodic song that anybody who listens to Infinity
should be able to find enjoyable. Fans of the melodic and somewhat ambient intro of “Voices in the Fan” off of Biomech
can easily find something to relate to with “Unity”.
Not only does this album have the tendency to conjure mixed feelings amongst listeners, but it could also leave people wondering what kind of struggles Townsend could have been undergoing to have him write something so bizarre and unpredictable. Whether or not fans realize it, he was extremely brave for branching out and giving them something different for their ears to feed on while collecting some new fans in the process. Could he have done it better? Of course. There is no denying that he does so in the years that follow the album’s release. Infinity
is not a bad album; in fact, Townsend probably uses this album as a sort of template for some of his later releases (ex. Deconstruction
). It is obvious though that there are many areas on Infinity
where room for improvement is present that Devin did not look over long and hard enough to reconsider.