Metal Review – The Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction (2011)

The Devin Townsend Project - DeconstructionDeconstruction and Ghost are probably two of the most eagerly awaited records of the year for many metal fans. These albums make up the second half of the tetralogy initiated last year by Devin Townsend with the acoustic Ki and the lively Addicted. Devin Townsend is a truly unique individual. He is truly an artist and an excellent musician. Each album that he releases, whether with Strapping Young Lad or any other project that he is a part of, is a trip into his soul and the persona that makes up Devin Townsend. You can check out my previous review of Ghost here.

Deconstruction starts off with Praise The Lowered, which is an incredible song to say the least. With its electronic outburts and melodic tones to the chaos that begins almost four minutes into the song, it is one of my favorites songs of the year already. This track also features Paul Kuhr of Novembers Doom in a small, albeit intense role with some of the background vocals on the track.

The following track is Stand, which checks in above nine minutes and is worth every one of those minutes. Its beginning displays a simple muted riff that flows so well with the accompanying verse. Once the full song kicks in, the power is intense and displays a lot of what makes of Devin Townsend, the musician. Another guest appearance from another metal mammoth is on the platter for this track. This time, we have Mikael Ã…kerfeldt of Opeth providing some growls straight from hell.

Juular is another track that I was looking forward to if not only for the appearance of Ihsahn of Emperor. Juular is a more upbeat song with a lot of silliness that we are used to from Townsend. The drive of this track is not unline much of Emperor’s early work.

Planet of the Apes is an eleven minute beast with very personal lyrical content and just some overall heaviness. It also features Tommy Rogers of Between the Buried and Me and has the flair of something that Between the Buried and Me might just lay down yet is still undeniably Devin Townsend.

Devin Townsend

Sumeria is the next track, featuring Joe Duplantier of Gojira & Paul Masvidal of Cynic. The elephant in the room is that this track sounds like it belongs on a Gojira release. I am a fan of some of what Gojira does, so that does not really both me. Overall, the song is solid, and while reminiscent of Gojira’s work, it still does have Townsend’s stamp on it.

The Mighty Masturbator is the next track and coming in at over sixteen minutes, you know that it will be an intense journey. This track is more of Devin Townsend’s silliness unleashed, and while not a bad song, it is tedious and could have used a lot of editing to shorten it a bit. While I appreciate what is done, I am just not a fan of this song. The special guest for this track is Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Pandemic features Floor Jansen of After Forever and the contribution is evident at the outset of the track. The combined vocals and madness make for a rare intensity which ends up becoming one of the better tracks on the album which keeps getting better with each listen.

Deconstruction, featuring Oderus Urungus of Gwar & Fredrik Thorendal of Meshuggah, is the next track. By seeing the guests on this track, you know that this track is going to be silly. Then, when you notice that the lyrics center largely around cheeseburgers and you know that you are in crazy land. I will say that I am not much of a fan of this track though even though it is very technical.

Poltergeist is the next, and closing, track. It is pure Devin Townsend on his own and works out very well.

Overall, Deconstruction is heavy, but probably not in the manner that you would expect it to be heavy. It is very layered and melodic with so much going on underneath the hood that it will take several listens to truly appreciate what is being done on the album.

The Devin Townsend Project