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Accelerated Evolution (Ltd Edition) Limited Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Mar. 2003)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Inside Out/SPV
  • ASIN: B00008IXCQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,823 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Depth Charge
  2. Storm
  3. Random Analysis
  4. Deadhead
  5. Suicide
  6. Traveller
  7. Away
  8. Sunday Afternoon
  9. Slow Me Down

Disc: 2

  1. Locate
  2. Echo
  3. Assignable

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 21 April 2003
Format: Audio CD
After the mellow Ocean Machine came the manic Infinity; after following fun with Physicist with the almost rural Terria; Devin brings us Accelerated Evolution, the latest offering from Canada's enigmatic Townsend and his new band of Merry Men.
(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.
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Format: Audio CD
How this album has such mediocre reviews I shall never understand. Along with ocean machine, city and terria, this is probably one of devins best albums. I think these four albums, along with infinity all represent different parts of existence through the eyes of Dev, with the ocean (OM) , industry/humanity (city), land (terria), sky (this) and space/infinity and beyond (infinity) all represented. But that's just my theory.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
The booklet I received when purchasing a different artist on the InsideOut label described Devin's `Accelerated Evolution' as `extraordinary and innovative'. Descriptions such as innovative, experimental, `pushing-the-border' etc are unfortunately thrown at anything Devin produces now due to his previous works (Terria, Infinity), which thoroughly deserve such credentials, quite simply AE is a rather simplistic, dare I say straightforward progressive metal/rock album.

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.
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