Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction. No, it's not SYL.

Didn't you know? This is fucking REVIEW WEEK. A mess of new releases have just been unleashed upon the world, fully ready and willing for my hard metal review wang to be thrust into their puckering pink buttholes. I had the awkward pleasure of just listening to Deconstruction, the latest and greatest from the Devin Townsend Project. You can put away your yoga balls and incense, boys. This one was a little different than his other modern day fare...

This fucking album cover...
Say what you want about Devin Townsend (I certainly said and say a lot of things), but there's a level of respect you have to give a guy who does what he does musically only for himself. And I don't mean in that bullshit sense where Metallica or In Flames will tell you something along those lines, only because it's a great excuse to play what makes more money. Townsend's new project is miles away from what anyone would consider mainstream, so all sellout claims at this point would be void. He makes the music he likes to make, and Deconstruction is essentially the heavy album that Townsend wanted to make. You can take it as a middle finger to all the people who demanded he be heavy again the way they wanted him to, and the album can certainly seem that way. I'll be the first to tell you that if you were looking for another Strapping Young Lad album, you'll be marginally disappointed. However, if we don't consider Townsend's past whatsoever, whether it be from his years in SYL or other projects of his own (like say... "Devin Townsend"...), Deconstruction is an odd sort of stand-alone beast that will shock, entertain, energize, and even perhaps humor you through its various twists and turns. Or maybe you'll just fucking hate it.

I'm not going to say the SYL fans won't find something to like about Deconstruction. It's probably one of the most insane albums you're ever going to listen to. I don't mean "insane" like in the "badass" or "awesome" sense of the word. No, I mean more like padded-walls insane. This album is a psychopathic metal opera that grabs you by the nipples, twists hard and pulls you through its very own twisted nightmare of a carnival ride from start to finish. Towsend's signature "wall-of-noise" has been a trademark of his production style and music for years, and is in full effect here for the entirety of Deconstruction. I strongly suggest that after you listen to and enjoy the album the first time over, you find yourself a quality pair of headphones as a sort of aural microscope, put Deconstruction on at a moderate volume, and try your very best to pick apart the different tracks of sound effects. Townsend takes a mess of twinkling keyboards, chanting, cheering, singing, screaming, synth, orchestra, even fart noises and warps them together in this brain scrambling disaster of an assault on your ears. The amazing part about all of this, is he makes it sound like music, and even good music at that. "Overproduced" is not a word found anywhere in Townsend's dictionary.

Unfortunately, the route Townsend has taken as an artist has alienated many of his older metal fans, and that trend will continue with Deconstruction. It takes a lot more from the Addicted or Ziltoid the Omniscient camp than it does Alien or New Black. It certainly as an album has its share of fast-paced riffs, high-pitched screams and blistering guitar solos to satisfy the most hardcore of SYL fans. Along with that however, there are large levels of softness, industrial techno beats, silly lyrical themes, long-winded tracks (10 minutes+), obnoxious musical antics, and some not so favorable guest appearances that will undoubtedly displease many a member of aforementioned group. Such guest appearances include members of Between the Buried and Me, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Meshuggah. Not really too cool with me. Then there are a slew of others that carry some weight of metal respect, such as members or former members of Death/Cynic, Bloodbath/Opeth, Emperor and even GWAR. Which members exactly from each of these bands or where they appear on the album I'm not going to reveal to you, as it sort of spoils the surprise of hearing their involvement come through on the record (if you can recognize it). I guarantee every other dumbshit reviewer on the planet will blow their load in that regard like a clueless douche, but I'm not going to be the fucking guy to ruin it for you. You're welcome.

So Deconstruction is an interesting sort of metal mix that will please old school metal fans in some parts, and send them into a frothing rage in others. The crazy factor of this album alone is enough of a novelty to at least give it one good listen no matter who you are, but its overabundance of humor and beyond ridiculous lyrical concept (it involves Satan and cheeseburgers of infinite wisdom) is a clear sign that Devin Townsend no longer takes heavy music as seriously as he once did. Despite its brilliant musicianship, strong highs, crushing lows, star-studded guest appearances, and impeccable production quality, it's near impossible to shake the feeling while listening to Deconstruction that this album is just a big fat joke; a parody of the music Devin Townsend doesn't seem to want to make anymore.

As a whole, I liked the album a lot more than I thought I would, and it's probably one of his most intriguing, if anything, releases to date. As Townsend has explained, this is his new breed of heavy music, and this is what his heavy albums are going to sound like in the future. If you give it a listen, and feel it's not really up your alley of brutality, then you may have no choice at this point other than to turn your back on Townsend for good. If however, you're willing to take this album with a grain of salt, will go into it with a good sense of humor, or are just a fan of the wacky and weird, then Deconstruction may be a dark alley you'll be happy to pass through.

Just don't get raped in there. Townsend looks like the type.

- Brenocide \,,/


  1. I saw on Century Media they had a combo of Ghost and Deconstruction. What kind of tool would want Ghost? Someone who is open to new experiences at camp?

  2. Considering that Devy hasn't been able to write a good metal album since Alien, Ghost is better just by default.

  3. @oh-okay What kind of asshole would call people tools just because they like mellow music?

    Wow you people are quick to judge.

    Very nice review though!

  4. What do you have against Meshuggah, anyway?

  5. MeshuggahFuckingSuck6/15/2011 5:18 PM

    See: My name

  6. It seems there are new readers reading this post. Let me just say this to those people: Shut up. If you're mad because he insulted one of your favorite bands, there is absolutely jack shit you can do about it. Save yourself the effort.

  7. kingcarcas13496/16/2011 6:37 AM

    I've never given this guy a listen, guess i will now....speaking of headphones does anyone know what kind this breno guy uses?

  8. really like it, but then again I'm even a fan of his Ambient stuff (as well as Burzum's abient albums)

  9. Hahaha this review just made my day thanks:)

    I prefer my music melancholy, with a side of somber, so can only take things like this in small doses. But I'm sure it's still great music. I read some of interviews DT did with metalsucks and really respect how he approaches music. He's one of the most original guys out there

  10. There's also that guy from Gojira in it.

  11. Ghost's a good album. Suck it. Decon's a *fucking* good album, but you can sleep to Ghost and it's pleasing.

    He doesn't always knock the ball out of the park (or whatever you fucking Septics say) but he never fails to be entertaining if you don't have your pretentious head jammed up your dumb arse.


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