Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

2016 InsideOut Music

He helped reign in the collision of melodic and extreme metal with Strapping Young Lad, had the fortune of working with Steve Vai many times, and in the process, built his own solo career on his own terms. For many in progressive rock and metal, Devin Townsend is known on a first name basis, often standing at the same level as Steven Wilson and Mike Portnoy; the whole prog geekdom provides rivers of salivation at the mention of him name. In the modern sense, he offered much more than being a stereotypical Dream Theater or Marillion wannabe and has become a sought after guest on countless albums; and his solo career has possessed a sequence of concepts and simply put, records which have a meaning and an album vibe throughout. He has developed his own characteristic of a wall of sound with reverb and layering executing a chorus effect, but it’s his songwriting and highly animated personality that sets precedence for his melodic hysteria.

Gratifyingly predictable, given his catalog history, the music often making the pulse quicken and wholehearted intelligence factor enters the noggin; but the songs themselves hold key to the solidarity of Transcendence. “Stormbending” and “Stars” play out as nods to anthem rock, proving that this music demands attention with hooks joining the monstrosity of melodies; even with things (often vocals) getting buried in the mix within this frenzy, it’s done with class and fits the mood, providing a more in depth attentive approach from the ears. Besides the metalized gusto engulfing the record with the hot burn of jet fuel, HevyDevy does place tenderness on “For The Heart” having even introduced us with a more lighthearted soundscape of “Truth,” where that overtures end destines the album for the high octane, yet meditative scorcher it is. The album ends on that same note with “Transdermal Celebration,” giving in to the bookended nature of Transcendence. Again, it’s accessible yet pleasantly belligerent that proves his well of musical ideology and melody could never run dry.

Copyright & Publishing: 2016 Tommy Hash for


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