Review Summary: Accelerated Evolution is the pre-cursor to Synchestra and is an amazing one at that. Though not as eclectic in nature as Synchestra, Accelerated Evolution has elements that will appeal to fans of all different genres, from Progressive to Metal.
Devin Townsend is a name that should require no introduction to those well versed in quality music. It, however, was unknown to me upon my first listen to a band I would later find is a side project of his known as the The Devin Townsend Band, DTB. The side project to the epitome of intensity that is his band Strapping Young Lad. This listen was Accelerated Evolution and that, along with Relationship of Command would help to shape the musical tastes I now hold dear today.
The Devin Townsend Band-Accelerated Evolution
Devin Townsend-Guitars, Vocals, Ambience
Accelerated Evolution is the prequel to Synchestra. Though it is by the same band, it feels very different. You will not find polka on here. This is not to say it is not original or fanastic, because it is every bit the listen as Synchestra, just in different ways. Since there are nine songs I will do a Track by Track review. I feel the album merits it.
Depth Charge- A kick tush opener. It begins with a short period of ambience then hits you in the face with energy. The verses are very fast and aggressive and the riffs catch your attention and hold it along with the solid drumwork. Devy’s vocals, as almost always, are fantastic, litterally tearing your face off. Clocking in at just over six minutes, it keeps you interested every second.
Storm-Without giving you a second to breathe, this kicks in. The verses are slowed down and Devy is singing in a much more laid back manner. The song has a very happy vibe, like many of Devin’s other side project songs do. The music is of the same quality as the opener, with strong riffs again. Then the ending…Oh my the ending! Devin sings/screams a mutated form of the chorus and the raw emotion leaves you in shock and bliss. Another fantastic track.
Random Analysis-This song is a little weaker then the last two…a bit too repetitive. The lyrics are decent but everything seems a little less intense. It’s a decent song but is not up to par with the rest of the other beginning tracks.
Deadhead-Its opening riff is fantastic and sets you up for one of the best songs on the album. This is the slowest song on the album but is also the best vocal performance. The lyrics are fantastic and every word is truly emoted to the listener. The points where Devin screams are some of the highlights of the album in and of themselves. Musically, this song is also fantastic. The slowed-down riffs and drumming is pulled off perfectly. The guitar work in the interlude is a musically highlight of the album. This is one of my favorite Devin Townsend songs period, from any side project or even SYL.
Suicide-My favorite track on the album.This track begins low with only a guitar. Another soon comes in and then soft drumming and ambience…then…wham! All the instruments together hit you hard and then begin building up to something. At about two minutes everything quites down and Devin begins a low verse which, along with the music is building to something powerful waiting to be released the at 3:10 the chorus comes. It is perfect, from the singing to the yelling. After the chorus we are it with a roar and then calmness again until it is interupted with power again building. There is a guitar solo here that will melt the face of any listener not careful and it fits in perfectly. Another repeat of the chorus with an even more aggressive ending then hits you and the song is finished with very soft music leading in to…
Traveller-Another fantastic track that brings back the happy vibe not felt in the last two tracks. The vocals are back to happy-Dev and the lyrics are very positive, filled with hope. Though it is mostly laid back, there are still moments of aggression. The music is again interesting but not as good as the last two songs, though there are some nice riffs and the drumming is solid.
Away-This song is mostly instrumental and the music is good, especially the guitar work which is excellent but the drumwork isn’t very special and that’s pretty much all that’s audible. The few voclas are kinda boring. I just don’t connect with this song, though again the guitarwork is top notch and the saving grace of this song. It does drag a bit in its 7:30 minutes but its still a decent listen, not one of the best songs but still good.
Sunday Afternoon-Another good song. It is another slower song. The vocals are very well done, as per usual. Its not one of the best songs on the album but it is very good. The music again is top notch. There is a sweet solo around the 4:30 mark. The song has yet another very strong ending with a held back aggression leading to the finale.
Slow Me Down-And oh what a grand finale it is. This is the most infectious track on the album. The music is as upbeat and catchy as Devin Townsend can get. Some part of this song will get stuck in your head. There is no way to prevent. If not the delicious lyrics then it will be the infectious guitar work. This is the perfect ending for the album, ending with one last powerful yell from Devin.
High Quality Production
Where’s the Bass?
Drums are not too exciting
Slow Me Down