Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Devin Townsend Band - Accelerated Evolution (2003)

You are all probably wondering why this album is under the name The Devin Townsend Band, and not under Devin Townsend? Well, even if "Accelerated Evolution" is technically Devin's sixth solo album, This was the first album where Devin had a dedicated band line-up. Besides from Devin, we had Brian Waddell, Mike Young, Dave Young, and Ryan Van Poederooyen (Ryan would also become permanent drummer in Devin's coming project, Devin Townsend Project). The reason Devin did this was that he wanted to create a counterpart to Strapping Young Lad. And thus was "Accelerated Evolution" created.

Musically speaking, I would say that the album mixes the playfulness of "Infinity" with the mature nature of "Terria". It is a uplifting album that explores both commercially attractive vibes with heavy metal. I definitely like where it is heading towards, especially since the memorability factor is higher compared to both "Terria" and Strapping Young Lad's latest self-titled release. And even if some of the tracks balances on the thread between rock and pop, it is still a pretty joyful listening session for metal freaks.

The best prof of the previous statement is the opener "Depth Charge". With an impressive determination and drive, Devin and the gang plows through with speed, epicness and a sound that is as hard as it can be without being completely metal. Definitely my favorite track from the album. The rest of the album never reach the same heavy level (although "Random Analysis" is fairly close), but that does not mean there is nothing more to appreciate with "Accelerated Evolution". Take an extra listen to the soft rock song "Traveller" and the Blink-182 inspired "Slow Me Down", two songs that will surely put a smile on that grim face of yours. Also take a look at the space oriented "Suicide" that may be the most sad song in the album, but it has some strong points like the frenetic guitar work and the mood settings. Then we also have the semi-instrumental track "Away" that may be too long for its own good, but still brings a sense of delight to the soul with its cool and ambient sound.

The only real problem with "Accelerated Evolution" is that it may scare some of the more heavier metal fans away. There are no crazy solos nor not many times where Devin screams his lungs out, which is a proof that Devin has succeeded with his plan. He wanted to create a band that was the complete opposite to Strapping Young Lad, and The Devin Townsend Band is just what it was supposed to be.

"Accelerated Evolution" is a very chill album that should not appeal to the more hardcore metal fans, but if you enjoyed "Terria" and even "Infinity", then I would suggest that you would give this album a chance. It is not the overall strongest album in the Devin Townsend catalog, but just like any other album by the Canadian, it is one of a kind.

Songs worthy of recognition: Depth Charge, Suicide, Slow Me Down

Rating: 8/10 Travellers

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