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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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on 16 September 2015
So far love this CD - not even got around to listening to CD2 yet! As others have pointed out, the title means Epic and Loud and loud is the best way to listen to this CD.
The second track which slots seamlessly from the choir at the start has the most amazing sound and is like a worm in my head with Devin coming in after Anneke as the band turn it up, quite a memorable moment - (at least for the first half then gets a little bit muddled for the rest).
There are some uncharacteristically soft ballady tracks on here which I personally like, diehard Devin fans may be a bit mixed with. Not that there are no typical DTP rocking moments, there definitely are but a couple of oddly familiar sounding tracks too - some put me in mind of Aha, Porcupine Tree and Nirvana songs.
All in all, a very enjoyable album.
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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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on 28 October 2014
Rarely have I listened to a perfect album. 'Epicloud' is one of the few. Every song is golden and a testament to their writer's genius. Devin Townsend has on occasion disappointed me. (For months, I tried to enjoy 'Deconstruction' and failed.) Nevertheless, I have kept faith with him. Fortunately, albums like 'Epicloud' are a bountiful reward.

Mr. Townsend acknowledges that relentlessly heavy music can be irritating and boring for an audience. Songs like 'Liberation' and 'Grace' reveal that he can produce brutal and melodious music, often at the same time. Furthermore, 'Epicloud' is an album designed to soothe the listener before unleashing Hell. It is possible to put it on repeat and never be frustrated.

Those who are long-established fans of Devin Townsend will not be disappointed. For those who have never heard the man's work, I can't think of a better introduction.
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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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on 13 May 2015
"It's epic, it's loud..."

As with all Dev releases, parts of it are stunning, and the album flows well as a complete unit, but the random departures from stunning into plain silly are just something I can't quite get my head around. Still, that's Dev for you, he's never been one to take himself seriously. Lucky Animals is absolutely horrendous, but it's certainly fun live.

Disclosure: I'm totally gay for Dev
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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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 September 2012
If you were Addicted then you will find the new project is another metal party, writ large and louder. I was sceptical at first but it really burgeons with repeat plays.

BE SURE TO BUY THE 2-CD EDITION (the party AND the after-party). Disc2 might be designated 'demos' but there's nothing lacking - it might even be better! I'm a new Devin liker - it was Anneke that led me here - but this is funny, fabulous, heterogenous fare; full-on metal softened by an assortment of mottos and piquancies And hovering over the whole marvellous mess is the gracious presence of Anneke. She had equal top billing for Addicted: here she's more a musical colour, added to the melange to give it sweetness.
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