The Devin Townsend Project
Epicloud


4.0
excellent

Review

by Michael Snoxall USER (47 Reviews)
September 14th, 2012 | 135 replies | 7,128 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: DTP V: The Anneke Strikes Back

13 of 14 thought this review was well written

After his recent string of albums under the DTP name, Devin Townsend began writing his newest grand adventure, Epicloud. While his last four albums all presented a distinct sound, Epicloud is a culmination of everything explored prior, plus a little extra thrown in. Devin has been consistently releasing material since 1993, so he’s hard to keep up with. Not in terms that it’s hard to keep up with his flow of material, but more so the fact that he’s eclectic, to say the least. It’s a little odd to imagine that the same man who wrote Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing came out with the ethereal Ghost (albeit fifteen years later, but still a dramatic change nonetheless).
So, as consistent as Devin is, his material is (delightfully) inconsistent and he seems willing to try about anything, showing no signs of slowing down or even growing up. Devin’s childish sense of humour being the target of both praise and heavy criticism, many might be happy to hear that he’s toned down the cheeseburger and fart jokes for time being. That isn’t to say he’s not having a little bit of fun with Epicloud, his eccentric personality is the driving force behind his music, and fun seems to be where he’s at right now. Fans looking for Devy to go back to his angry Strapping Young Lad ways will be profoundly disappointed.

As the album’s title may have already suggested, the music is quite large in scale. It brings forth the signature Devin Townsend sound, but everything is just much more grandeur here. The album even opens with a gospel choir on ‘Effervescent!’ before bridging into ‘True North,’ and finding, to the pleasure of everyone, that Anneke van Giersbergen has returned. This being her second appearance on a Devin Townsend record, the first time her vocals were featured on DTP album Addicted. While this could lead to obvious comparisons between Epicloud and Addicted, the comparison is unfair, the latter of which being much more Metal oriented.
If one thing needs to be said, it’s that Anneke is the yin to Devin’s yang. The best example of the two working in unison is the back and forth vocals on ‘Save Our Now,’ Devin and Anneke contrast and compliment each other perfectly and the vocal duo is quite a thing to behold.

One of the most noteworthy songs on the album is ‘Lucky Animals,’ the first single for the album, if only for the reason it has received a lot of negative feedback. Like most others, I admit I didn’t care for this track at first. The silly and quite catchy chorus caught a lot of fans off guard. The song features a very basic verse-chorus-verse-chorus song structure and a simple instrumental performance. When I first heard it in the context of the album, it just seemed to fit incredibly well. The album builds for the first three tracks and then bursts into the head-banging ‘Liberation,’ and I guess that’s why ‘Lucky Animals’ works so well as a part of the four-track-crescendo. Devin shows with these tracks that he’s just here to rock out, and with lyrics like, “The time has come to forget all the bullsh*t and rock,” that’s exactly what he delivers. Hard, solid, fast Rock. But the music isn’t always fast and catchy, Devin makes sure to segue a few songs into slow, monumental ballads (e.g. ‘Where We Belong,’ ‘Divine’ and ‘Hold On.’)

The album features a rerecorded version of ‘Kingdom’ from his Physicist album. The new recording and production has improved greatly since the original. Rather than having his vocals drowned and bogged down in the production like the original, Devin’s falsetto soars over the top and features some of the best vocal work from him on the record. Along with ‘Kingdom,’ the album forays into Metal lightly with ‘Grace’ and ‘More!,’ the latter of which feeling like a b-side from Addicted (not just in title, but in sound). The album closes with the incredibly epic ‘Angel,’ featuring all the sounds explored on the album and finishing the record with a bang, before cutting back to the gospel choir chant found on ‘Effervescent!’

Epicloud is inherently Devin through and through. It isn’t something he’s done before, but then again, it is everything he is in a nutshell. Borrowing elements from everything that made his previous four albums work, this is perhaps his most diverse offering yet. He wasn’t joking with us when he named the album. So strap yourselves in, because it’s epic, and, oh boy, is it loud.



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user ratings (451)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
griffonman14 (4.5)
Another excellent work from the almighty Devin Townsend, Epicloud doesn't only appeal to Devy fanboy...

donovan909 (3)
Fans of Townsend will find little to salivate over in hopes of an Addicted 'Pt.2'.....

Irving Tan STAFF (3)
A tale full of sound and fury...signifying nothing....

Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (3)
The metal goes pop! But there's no soul inside to back it up....


Comments:Add a Comment 
MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


Album is streaming here: http://exclaim.ca/MusicVideo/ClickHear/devin_townsend_project-epicloud_album_stream

Tyrael
September 14th 2012



20394 Comments


Congrats on posting your review in the wrong spot

there is no such thing as a [s] tag

will read and probably neg later

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


There isn't such thing as an 's' tag!? Wonder what it does here

thumbcrusher
September 14th 2012



3546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well i never it does do something

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012



7162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not a fan of Townsend. I often find his albums self-indulgent and over-the-top. This is a decent pop metal LP though, similarly to Addicted.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

thumbcrusher
September 14th 2012



3546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what do you mean by self indulgent in his case?

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


Epicloud has a much grander feel than Addicted. I listened to Addicted after listening to this 30 times and it just felt really empty. Still, I prefer Addicted to this.

Emyay
September 14th 2012



4553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review. i agree with pretty much everything, but i just don't know if i like it as much as you. definitely prefer Addicted as of now

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012



7162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

He often opts for this grandiose, larger-than-life sound and often fails. I didn't like Deconstruction at all. This LP is much better because this huge sound feels more natural and is more justified here.

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


To those who were late to the party, I had a joke in the first line where it was supposed to come out like this: "Devin Townsend began writing his newest epic grand adventure, Epicloud."

But the strikethrough text doesn't work on reviews for some reason on reviews so I just scrapped that idea.

And I prefer Addicted to this, but Addicted doesn't wanna make me dance like this does.

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


Aye, I wasn't a big fan of Deconstruction either, that album never felt right to me. The huge sound does feel natural here, that's why I love it so much.

thumbcrusher
September 14th 2012



3546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He often opts for this grandiose, larger-than-life sound and often fails. I didn't like Deconstruction at all. This LP is much better because this huge sound feels more natural here


I guess it's all down to your own ear. Have you heard Accelerated Evolution? I think it works there very well.

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


Accelerated Evolution is my favourite Devin Townsend record. Maybe that's why I love this and Addicted so much.

thumbcrusher
September 14th 2012



3546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

either that or ocean machine for me i can't decide

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012



1918 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Man, I disagree with you so much its not even funny.

There's just no soul to this. Sure, it's fun (at points) but it's really... blah. Addicted still managed to feel really personal and insightful, but this feels like a calamitous void of a monstrosity.

Also, I don't get how you think "Lucky Animals" flows with the album at all. There's a clear pause from "True North" going into it and "Liberation" drives in a totally different direction. I like the track, but it's slapped together, like the rest of the album.

FadeToBlack
September 14th 2012



10913 Comments


accelerated evolution is def one of his best albums, but nothing tops ocean machine

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2012



30297 Comments


First sentence is pretty much redundant. After writing some albums, he began writing another one.. okay

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


First sentence is pretty much redundant. After writing some albums, he began writing another one.. okay

Can see where you're coming from but I was making a specific point about this being a Devin Townsend Project album and not just a Devin Townsend one.

MichaelSnoxall
September 14th 2012



12163 Comments


Also if you neg'd me for that one sentence, Dev., I demand harsher and longer critical assessment, damn it. If it wasn't you then carry on.

FadeToBlack
September 14th 2012



10913 Comments


It wasn't Dev, the neg was there before he posted. It's pretty obvious who neg'd this...



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