In my opinion this is one of the 3 best albums of all time, and it belongs in a shrine, not a CD rack.
Every now and then an album comes along which is so fresh that it makes you wonder whether you have just heard what you think you just heard. In this grouping I would include Fear Factory's Demanufacture, Pantera's Cowboys from Hell, Tiamat's Wildhoney, and Sepultura's Beneath the Remains. All of those mentioned, however, must bow down and grovel in the dirt in homage to this classic.
Some singers sound aggressive, some sound evil, some pained, but I have never heard a singer sound so genuinely ANGRY as Devin Townsend does on this milestone. His fury is matched by the whirlwind of the backing guitar riff-storm, and curiously, an epic, soaring, industrial synth. Dyed-in-the-wool guitar-purists need not now flee to the countryside in panic. The synth compliments the unrelenting heaviness of the axework, and creates the uniquely unsettled, threatening atmosphere of the record.
'Underneath the Waves', the greatest jewel in the albums crown, redefines the word 'Rage'. It is like being tied to the walls in a wind tunnel.
The album succeeds on several dimensions: heaviness, intensity, atmosphere, variation, and lastly, melody(!), which subtly invades your subconscious like a vapour whilst the riff-inferno pummels your conscious mind.
This is a work of rare and terrifying GENIUS, whose incredible passion will have you audibly sighing with disbelief when it is over. Simply staggering.
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