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4.7 out of 5 stars
Epicloud
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 24 September 2012
There must have been at least 2 kitchen sinks thrown at this one. Not being familiar with Devin Townsend's output I find myself strangely drawn to this album though. The choir on the opening track almost suggest we might be in for a Stevie Wonder sort of thing, but oh no. This is Pomp/Prog/Heavy/melodic rock of very high standard indeed, and I believe the word "Epic" has been bandied around in relation to this album and never has it been more deserved. Tracks like "liberation" are like Alice Cooper meets the Rocky horror Show and then the volume gets turned up to 11. Brilliant! There are some more mellow moments on here though. "Where we belong" is a traditional prog accoustic number, but even then they can't resist finishing on majestic choruses. Other slower numbers such as "Divine" and "lessons" give you a break from the onslaught and then we get the last 2 tracks which start off slow, build to the most amazing climaxes and then the last minute or so of the album fades out with a return of the choir, gently easing you home. Listening with headphones is a fantastic, thrilling experience and also eerily scary. I will need to now check the back catalogue to see what has led up to this album. In one word? WOW!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2012
This is Devin's catchiest, simplest and probably his most personal record. It is also epic as hell (the title is supposed to be a not-so-subtle hint of what the record is - epic & loud). There are some genuinely heartstring tugging & goosebump inducing moments on this record. If you don't get goosebumps at the beginning of 'True North' then please go get your pulse checked! Anneke is back for this one and her stunning voice adds to much to these songs.

I won't break it down by song but there aren't any that I would actively skip (though I am not too crazy about 'Liberations', 'Where We Belong' and 'Divine' at the moment). The entire gamut of song styles are covered here from acoustic ballads to fast paced catchy numbers to slow building epics. A special mention must go to 'Grace' & the re-recorded 'Kingdom' (check out the brilliant live version on 'By A Thread') which are my highlights of this record and an unbelievable showcase of heavy, epic, beautiful and soul piercing music. The songs in the end do tend to blur into each other which is a shame because there are some real gems here. I wish there were fewer but longer songs on this one but hey, I'm just nitpicking.

The bonus disc 'Epiclouder' also has some great songs that wouldn't be out of place on the main record (with 'Believe', 'The Mind WASP', 'Whoah No!' & 'Socialisation' being my picks). There is nothing really 'Demo' when it comes to the quality of these songs. I therefore urge you to get the deluxe 2-disc version as it is fantastic value for money. Devin's liner notes (in which he discusses these bonus songs and also talks about how 'true metal heads' will probably not like this record) are insightful and funny and give the whole package a very personal touch.

If you are new to Devin's music then this is probably the best place to start (along with Addicted!) in his rather large discography. If you are looking for uplifting, honest and melodic metal/rock music played with passion and integrity then you could do a lot worse than check this out. Certain not his best by a long shot but it is the easiest to digest and get accustomed to his unique brand of music that so many of us have come to appreciate and love.

He's come a long way since the chaotic days of 'Infinity' and 'City'. This is a happy, sober and settled down Devin and it shows. Personally I am glad he has moved on and is still making strong music this far into his career. I await his show (w/ Fear Factory) in December with bated breath!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
I discovered Devin's work as a solo artist last year. I had heard a few tracks from Strapping Young Lad before and after rediscovering them, I bought The New Black. I then proceeded to listen to The Devin Townsend Project (as they were on the lineup for Download and the name was familiar). Over time I collected Deconstruction, Addiction, Ziltoid The Omniscient, Ki, Ocean Machine, Ghost and Epicloud. So I have missed out a few albums in the middle, but I have heard quite a few songs from them. I also ended up seeing Devin live at Download (good ol' day tickets!)

Now the review.

Epicloud starts out with Effervescent, a nice Acapella intro that fits Devin's objective of a powerful sounding album. This rolls seamlessly into True North, which starts out with soft female vocals and then Devin brings the power. Lucky Animals follows True North, a track which was released as a fun taster before the album was released. Liberation has a nice rolling pace. A soft song comes next with Where We Belong and so on. (I'm not going to go through every single track as I don't feel I have to)

Overall as an album, I find Epicloud to be good. That's right good, not amazing, not special, just good. I feel Devin succeeded in his mission to create an epic and loud album, but I find I do not get the same "THIS IS SOMETHING SPECIAL" feeling that I get from past albums. It feels a bit cold to me, the brain is there, but the soul isn't. There are a couple of tracks I enjoy (for example, Lucky Animals), but there are quite a few "meh" ones as well. I certainly applaud the fact that he re-recorded Kingdom.

Four stars in all, simply because Devin is a very clever artist and the album is not terribly written, it just didn't touch me in that special place I was hoping it would (which could just be a personal thing)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2012
One of his more accessible albums....

He rather ping-ponged about the place with his last 5 or 6. It is up to him what he does, of course, but it nice to know what you are getting sometimes. This album for me follows in a straight line from Infinity through Physicist, and especially Accelerated Evolution and Addicted. Highly enjoyable on the first spin already, and with plenty in hand to keep you returning.

The album feels like it almost wrote itself - flowing naturally without anything too complex or challenging sticking out anywhere, and with an overwhelmingly positive feel to it. This positivity is enhanced by another helping of the wonderful Anneke van Giersbergen, although she is strictly second fiddle to Dev on all vocals this time
Track 7, Kingdom is another successful cover of one of his own songs, off the Physicist album, and is probably the heaviest thing on it. The sound in general is just a little rounder and smoother than recent efforts. Production, as always is flawless

The songs on the Bonus CD are not as polished, but you get over that quite quickly. Quite a few of them would have stood out a bit on the main album, but none need make apologies for their inclusion here. In fact I think track 7 is possibly the best in the whole package, with the next track not far behind.

I don't get to listen to that many albums these days, but my life would be a little poorer without this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2012
I do not like all of Devins stuff. But when he gets it right, he gets it very right. Strapping young Lad are way to heavy for me but this album shines with polished pop gems. Think Queen and The Darkness but with balls. Sing along and dance to Lucky Animals or be laid prone by the power of Grace. My album of 2012 by a long shot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2012
After a stunning quadrilogy, Epicloud is a summary of where Devy and the project are at now, and let me tell you, it's s very good place.

Upbeat, heavy, heartfelt, beautiful and full of love, this album has it all. Riffs to hook you in, lyrics to sing you heart out with and just a general atmosphere that leaves you feeling like you can take on the world.

There are probably still going to be those who want nothing more than Strapping Young Lad style songs, but they can just go and listen to City or Alien and get over it; this is an album for Devy's true fans and any music lovers with an open mind.

Great special edition with a second album of great quality demos which are all also awesome.

Just stop reading and start listening!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2012
Early worries that this was Devin Goes Pop are laid to rest about a minute into the second track, as once that wall of guitars and sounds kicks in you know where you are. Devin's described this as an album that just happened organically while he was working on other things - pulling together all the best bits of the Devin Townsend Project's second album 'Addicted', this is big splashy choruses, Anneke van Giersbergen's gloriously soaring vocals but enough trademark heaviness to keep fans happy. Different, yes, and in some ways very much Addicted Part II, so if you dug that, check this out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2012
Full of pomp and grandiose production but still manages to be simple and almost naively unpretentious. Superb musicianship and great, catchy songwriting. Probably a bit cheesy but in a very loveable way.
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on 8 February 2013
My first experience of a Devin Townsend album. Sorry I'm late to the party! Devin has always stood on his own as the eccentric genius who just happens to make some of the heaviest music on Earth and has always been preceded by his reputation.

I was expecting monolithic slabs of crushing heavy metal so I was pleasantly surprised when 'Effervescent' opened with a full gospel choir which faded into the tones of a heavily auto-tuned Anneke Van Giersbergen sweetly cooing the refrain to 'True North'. Wow! Not what I was expecting! And then the band crashes in. From there it's a riff-o-rama stomp to the end. By the time 'Liberation' came around with it's Wildhearts-esque chorus of "The time has come to forget all about it and rock!" it was clear to me that this was not your average metal record. In fact I would go as far as to say it's more like a hard rock musical as the female vocals, synths and string sections swirl over the songs. It is of course still mixed with Devin's usual tuned-lower-than-low guitar thrashings and Ryan Van Poederooyen's frankly incredible drumming.

After a few spins of being faintly embarassed by the uplifting nature of the catchy musical-esque tunes, I was totally hooked and now I can't stop listening to this album over and over. Superb band, superb album I will definately be checking out more DTP : )
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2012
Ever listened to a record that had your feet tapping the first time you listened to it? This is one of them! Townsend has thrown everything into this starting with a gospel choir.I've only had chance to hear it twice since buying it but I think it's one of the best things he's done and I like all of his stuff since buying "Ziltoid" a few years ago.
It's one of those albums that makes me glad to be alive!
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