Devin Townsend Project
Deconstruction


1.5
very poor

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
December 20th, 2011 | 289 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


I’d like to talk about tact, that being the idea of consideration over what you’re doing, and how sometimes people forget this idea exists. Throughout the career of Devin Townsend, he has experimented - usually - with a number of different styles, mostly in his solo material because Strapping Young Lad was a one trick pony after City, but he always had his wall-of-music production ethic along the way. However, with his new pair of albums, Deconstruction and Ghost, he plays the heavy/soft album card, tries to fancy himself a progressive, and, in what can be safely assumed from the results, decided to create the antithesis of a veritable album. Twice.

But as Ghost can easily be disregarded as the new age album new age fans wouldn’t even like, a focus on Deconstruction can only begin with a simple question: what happened? With his recent albums Ki and Addicted, Devin was able to branch himself out in two different directions at the same time, even successfully. The obvious problem with the pseudo-progressive direction taken here is that, when you look at bands who blend styles effectively they produce something memorable - like Red, Thick As A Brick, Hot Rats, even things like Écailles de Lune - Devin has created nothing memorable at all, which is one hell of an achievement considering he has guest artists ranging from Mikael Akerfeldt, Ihsahn, Tommy Rogers, Joe Duplantier, Paul Masvidal, and more, but not a single song does anything unexpected, different than something he’s done in the past, or even make you think.

The basic musical idea is slow polyrhythmic, repetitive metallic beating with slow vocal lines, and not in a cool, groovy doom way but in unmethodical and gaudy rudiments of a skeletal motif, but any time the music does something “kooky” it’s just too late for it to change your mind. If you’ve heard his Infinity, this is a lot like that but longer and dumber. This may sound like an unprofessional choice of words, but merited, for in Planet Of The Apes and Stand, the slow, predictable crescendo throughout the song doesn’t intensify the atmosphere, but rather, and possibly also at the fault of the production, completely loses attentiveness (and therefore the listener), and in songs like the opener Praise The Lowered and the closer Poltergeist, the over-confidence of the writing in tandem with the lack of structural or dynamic enthusiasm begins and ends the album nowhere in particular.

Another thing Devin has been known to succeed with is lyrical and vocal approaches, but here he tries to combine his usual silliness with the most unprofound “I want to be profound” material of the year, removing all “irony” that could have made the silliness passable. It may be a “concept album” but it’s almost “Lulu” bad, with more of a positive message; you know, the whole “stand!” and so on. Is it the fault of the intelligence of the fanbase or the integrity of Devin trying to be serious that turned these lyrics into an undergraduate’s throw-away phrases? Either way, vocally, he just draws everything out, regardless of if he’s singing or screaming. I’m not sure the tempo changes more than two or three times now that I think about it.

If there was ever a time where an album that could take a bunch of metal titans but not utilize them at all, record an orchestra that you couldn’t tell wasn’t a keyboard, and makes Between The Buried And Me look good, it could be this is a bad era for music. Sure, we have bad bands in all genres - who are naturally the popular ones - but a misstep of this magnitude in tandem with its success is disturbing. If that sounds offensive, well, maybe Devin should listen to something before he releases it. The mighty masturbater indeed.



Recent reviews by this author
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Tom Waits Bad As MeDevin Townsend Project Ghost
user ratings (787)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
December 20th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

*high-fives fireaboveicebelow* Good review man.

Relinquished
December 20th 2011


25597 Comments


I'm guessing you took this album seriously when it wasn't supposed to be.

North0House2
December 20th 2011


5880 Comments


The album art sucks. Therefore, I will not like this.
Good review. I never listened to this.

Digging: From Indian Lakes - Able Bodies

fireaboveicebelow
December 20th 2011


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

*high-fives fireaboveicebelow* Good review man.
I appreciate it!
I'm guessing you took this album seriously when it wasn't supposed to be.
No, not at all. In the same light, there's nothing interesting here for me.



fuckthatnoise
December 20th 2011


1479 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

pos'd.

i guess this kinda off-sets that TKOL review.

fireaboveicebelow
December 20th 2011


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah? Then tomorrow's gonna make people mad

FearThyEvil
December 20th 2011


12694 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The album art sucks. Therefore, I will not like this.

What does artwork have to do with the music itself?

Gmork89
December 20th 2011


5540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

People are really having a hard time understanding this album.

Willie
Moderator
December 20th 2011


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review. This is definitely the one that I agree with the most. This was supposed to be his 'heavy' prog album or whatever he was babbling about in interviews, but it didn't turn out to be anything interesting.

Welcome back, by the way.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Dreamflight
December 20th 2011


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Yeah? Then tomorrow's gonna make people mad"

Don't tell me you're going to 5 Ilidium Divinus Insanus? :D

"The album art sucks. Therefore, I will not like this."

Stfu, Travis Smith is the man.



cb123
December 20th 2011


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

agree with alot of points ya brought up, was a bit disappointing after the buildup this album got and with the lineup at his disposal

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2011


7433 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wow. Someone who actually agrees with me on this. Good review!

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2011


28791 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

first paragraph: wow this is an interesting take

second paragraph: lol what a faggot



theacademy
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2011


28791 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah the rest of it was really good.

Disagree with almost all of it, though, but pos for sure


xfearbefore
December 20th 2011


1246 Comments


Really good review, pos'd. Always love to hear a different take on a well received album.

Digging: Negative Approach - Tied Down

YetAnotherBrick
December 20th 2011


4508 Comments


"The album art sucks. Therefore, I will not like this."

ummmmmmmmm wut

Digging: Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom

fireaboveicebelow
December 20th 2011


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I appreciate it everyone

jayfatha
December 20th 2011


2882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I don't wanna do it, but this deserves a pos

KILL
December 20th 2011


72131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

good review but wrong sup fire

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Ovrot
December 20th 2011


10554 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pos'd

Digging: Funeral Sex - Anal War



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