Thursday, January 16, 2014

Devin Townsend Project - Ki (2009)

After over two years of intensive song writing and soul searching, Devin Townsend revealed his next step in his music career. A four album series with a band called Devin Townsend Project. This project was created with the goal of clarifying Devin's musical identity, and the first part of this four album series is "Ki" (Ki stands for the Japanese concept of life force), a very progressive album with some blues intentions and, of course, a little mix of Devin's characteristic metal style.

It is mostly a pretty quiet album, so I am forced to turn up my speakers higher than usual. What I eventually hear is some smooth music with very few tempo changes and no solos at all. It is music that I usually do not like, but it is something special with these songs. It could be Devin's perfect vocal performance, or maybe it is the fact that both heavy and light songs gets equally amount of space in this album. I do not know, and I do not care, I am still enjoying the music no matter what it is that is giving the music that extra edge.

I also think that this is an album for almost any fans of music, no matter what you are in too. For those of you who enjoys metal, then I would recommend "Disruptr", "Gato" and "Heaven's End" from this album since they are the two heaviest tracks in the album. They are pretty sluggish, but still keeps an slow, important momentum so the listener does not get completely bored out of its mind. If you are more into country, then I would suggest "Trainfire", a track that chugs on like a steady locomotive. And for you ambient freaks out there, I would believe that "Coast", "Terminal" and "Lady Hellen" should be towards your liking.

So there is plenty of nice songs to chose from, but no one really stands out from this all round even album. I also think that the overall quiet sound is killing it for me. Sure, it brings a fitting mood to the album, but I am a metal head, and I like it loud. As for the other musicians in the album, I do not think they did such big impressions. The female singer Ché Aimee Dorval has some decent moments here and there and the blues drummer Duris Maxwell's style fits well in the album, but "Ki" is overall not an album with blistering musical performances. Instead, it is the simplicity that speaks for itself.

This is without a doubt Devin's most progressive record up to date and it also works as a nice middle point between ambient music and progressive metal. So if you are a fan of either of the two musical styles, then I would recommend you to try out "Ki" since it is a nice, relaxing records with some heavy riffs. A decent start for this new project.

Songs worthy of recognition: Heaven's End, Disruptr, Terminal, Trainfire

Rating: 7/10 Quiet Riots

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