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Accelerated Evolution (Ltd Edition) Limited Edition
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(The limited Euro digipak also comes with Dev's EKO project, a mini-collection of tracks written in order to learn some new equipment, I believe.)
The unique thing about Devin Townsend is his ability to carve a new niche into every market he sets out to breach. SYL slotted in beside Fear Factory (before trampling them to the ground); Ocean Machine somewhere alongside Toto and Deep Purple; Infinity alongside Cardiacs and (I suppose) power metal; Terria hasn't enough consistency to place it anywhere; but Accelerated Evolution fits nicely into what is becoming a genre of its own: 'Dev Metal'.
This isn't exactly bog-standard fare; as with all Devin material you gotta let it sink in before you judge it, and some of the time you're so caught up in the music you forget you *are* judging it... it's pretty complex, in short.
It's very much the first clear hybrid of Devin's past styles; there are hints of all the previous albums contained within, and after Terria's (relative) placidity we see a return to the trademark blustering beats and reverb-laden, guitar, keyboard and sample-heavy multi-layered soundscapes.
Some of the hooks aren't instantly catchy. You've really got to try to listen to everything here to find them, and that's no mean task. I'm still hearing new things all the time and it's virtually been on repeat for a week. Opening with 'Depth Charge', an immediate wall of sound ensues, and barely holds off for 'Storm', an emotionally-tinged track with a beautiful chorus line.Read more ›
The production on this is some of the most magnificent I have ever heard, with an incredibly layered and complex sound driven by tons of reverb, yet despite the discombobulating nature of the mix, everything is crystal clear and not overpowering.
This album presents what appears to be some of the most commercial-sounding songwriting ever employed by devin, which has been a big criticism of this album and possibly explains the low review scores. However what we have here is not a case of selling out, but rather a work so complex few seem to look past the hooks. Can we really call progressive masterpieces like deadhead and away poppy? In what kind of world would we have to exist for these and songs like random analysis and suicide to do well in the charts? No no, this is far from a sellout album. Let's not forget the average song length here is about 6 mins. While there are hooks, these hooks are very well written and do not compromise on musical validity in the slightest, and are stylishly used.
The songs on this record range from catchy shorter numbers like slow me down and storm (featuring one of devs most high pitched screams ever) to hard rocking anthems like depth charge and suicide to a twisted dark and HEAVY ballad, deadhead.Read more ›
Don't get me wrong though, the album still has its fine moments, but really lacks the coherence and consistency in artistic approach Devin has become renowned for. Songs such as `Depth Charge', `Random Analysis' and `Suicide' are all solid, with typical Devin sounding guitar riffs and the wonderful mixture of melodic and shouting/screaming vocals that lace every Townsend record. `Deadhead' is probably the most progressive piece and certainly has some creative moments, the guitar playing especially shines, which leads me onto `Away'. I've read some reviewers slating this as a poor Vai rip-off, personally this is one of my favourite moments on the album, the main guitar theme is fresh and the variations of it are equally compelling.
The rest of the album is rather forgetful to be brutally harsh. The problem is I have to come to expect so much diversity and innovation from Devin's work, and tracks such as `Storm', `Traveller' and `Sunday Afternoon' are just too simplistic and become old quick.
This album will no doubt attract some new fans with its more accessible material, if you are new and you find yourself agreeing with me on the better tracks on the album (dare that happens), I seriously recommend purchasing Devin's earlier solo efforts, most notably his masterpiece Terria.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as slick as some of the others but has got some good tracksPublished 21 months ago by Natalie Black
The songwriting is simplistic, which no amount of production (the drums grate on my ears) and synth washes can mask, and the whole thing is very 80s, with not enough riffs and a... Read morePublished on 26 Nov. 2009 by fps
I purchased this album during 2003 and found it was very hard to get into and away it went into the cupboard. Read morePublished on 6 July 2008 by PalominBeaut
Devin townsend of strapping young lad,or should that be once of strapping young lad as many fear that the band are no more ,released this solo album,albeit with backing band in... Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2007 by sean paul mccann
The booklet I received when purchasing a different artist on the InsideOut label described Devin's 'Accelerated Evolution' as 'extraordinary and innovative'. Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2006 by Tom Chase
I am a recent fan of Devin Townsend's work, and got this album purely by chance and started listening to it.
And......wow. Read more
I was drawn to buying this album because of Devin's ability to know exactly what he wants to achieve with lyrics and his ability to lay down many voice tracks to create an... Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2006 by Dan
This man has the knack for writing catchy, heavy music. Not your average sludgy down-tuned repetitive nonsense either but something that leaves you wondering how he manages to do... Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2003
I was initially drawn to Devin Townsend by his awesome Terria album. Having become one of my most played CD's I was really looking forward to Accelerated Evolution. Read morePublished on 2 Jun. 2003 by Titanium Rex