Deconstructing the Ghost (Devin Townsend reigns supreme!)by Jesse on Jun 23, 2011 • 4:30 pm 1 Comment
This is been such a daunting piece to write. Not because I don’t like the music I’m about to write about but because of the sheer amount of music I’m about to write about. Devin Townsend started releasing this 4-album project back in 2009 when Ki and Addicted were released within 6 months of each other. He took some time off to tour and fine tune the last two, Deconstruction and Ghost, but instead of separating the releases, Townsend released them both on the same day.
What you have with Deconstruction and Ghost is the ultimate dichotomy of Townsend’s personality. Listening to one is the extreme opposite of the other and while in this day and age it’s tough to do, I suggest you listen to each album from start to finish. These are the kinds of albums that are truly enjoyed when you sit down with no distractions and soak up the recorded offerings.
That said, enter Deconstruction: a 9-track, 70-minute grandiose metal extravaganza that will blow you away. The underlying ferocity and menace is felt right away when the subtle beats and electronics open “Praise The Lowered”. By the 3-minute mark, Townsend is sounding like his “Skeksis” self from SYL’s Alien. But just a soon as the monster rears his head, he goes back in the box when “Stand” begins its’ thunderous march towards amazingness. Yeah, there are a ton of those on here but “Stand” is by far, my favorite. The riffs are crunchy and brutal as all hell and when Townsend switches between his growl and wail, I get chills.
Like Ki and Addicted, Deconstruction features a revolving door of guests. There are no less than 12 different bands represented here and boy, is their presence felt. The indomitable Joe Duplantier of Gojira lends some vocals to “Sumeria” along with Cynic’s Paul Masvidal. The mighty Greg Puciato of Dilinger Escape Plan helps out on the epic 16-minute track “The Mighty Masturbator” and Between The Buried And Me’s Tommy Giles Rogers lends his pipes to the equally impressive “Planet of the Apes” with Townsend’s “I say have it your way” chants. If you want the full rundown, go here.
While Deconstruction is by no means an extension of Strapping Young Lad, it is an album that is sure to appease any fan of Townsend’s former band as well as his Ziltoid project. It is a thought-provoking, involved metal masterpiece. A metal opera even.
Ghost is the complete opposite. Bordering on a New Age album, Ghost is beautiful, intricate, and serene but just as epic with 12 tracks clocking in just under 73 minutes. If you like the flute, this is the album for you as you get some exceptional performances from Kat Epple throughout. “Feather” and “Texada” are gorgeous and grand, “Blackberry” creates its’ own country new age genre and “As You Were” closes out Ghost as quietly as “Fly” opened it.
You can almost imagine the concept of this as having Townsend in the lotus position sitting atop a cloud bringing peace to the world. It’s that kind of an album and is the perfect way to end this journey he created with the Devin Townsend Project.
If you’re a metal fan, you will love Deconstruction. If you’re an ambient New Age fan, you will love Ghost. If you’re a Devin Townsend fan, you will love both. Think of Deconstruction as your morning wake-up call and Ghost for the cool down period before bed….or in my case, the opposite!