Monday, February 3, 2014

Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud (2012)

What is this? Was not Devin Townsend Project supposed to be a 4 album series? Well it was, but I have not found out why Devin chosed to continue under this name even after the four albums (if any of you know, feel free to inform me in the comment section). Anyhow, "Epicloud" was conceived during a time where Devin felt he was over thinking and over doing things, especially in the work of "Z2", so he had to make a record that was "naked". A simple record that he could make while on autopilot.

This is indeed a simple album. Very few solos, few places for any of the band members to hide, but that does not have to mean that the music is flat. On the contrary, it is just as epic as the title suggest. Devin has surely created some lovely tunes, and together with the gospel choir, the music reaches epic heights that should be impossible to reach. I also like that Devin uses former The Gathering singer Anneke Van Giersbergen as much as he does (that sounds very wrong).

Even though I would say that this is a pop metal album, "Epicloud" has some heavy moments. The two fast songs "Liberation" and "More!" comes with an impressive assault with great riffs and an intensity that is hard to match. Then we also have "Kingdom", which some of you might recall from "Physicist". Compared to the original, I like this version better since it has a cleaner production and it also feels more epic now then what it did on "Physicist". No matter what, I like this song, and I like that Devin wanted to bring it up in a album he does not hate.

Besides from the heavy part, "Epicloud" displays other sides of Devin. The single "Lucky Animals" shows a really silly side of Devin that is almost worthy of being a Monty Python sketch, while the more epic "Save Our Now" feels like a song that could easily go well in the clubs. Then we also have more calmer songs like "Where We Belong" and "Divine". But it is the epicness that stands out in this album, and boy, there is some epic tunes here. And even if most of these songs are cheesy and has lyrics about love, Devin does a great job with the music. For instance, "Grace" is the grandest of the grand with the screaming choir and heavy riffs, while "Hold On" instead relies on Anneke's strong, emotional vocals.

"Epicloud" truly deserves the name that it has been given. Sure, the lyrics are corny and far from perfect, but the pure epicness makes you forget all about that. Devin, Anneke, the choir, everyone makes an amazing effort to make this pop metal album one of the best Devin Townsend records up to date. This album makes you happy, and I can almost guarantee that not even Ebenezer Scrooge could listen through this album without smiling. Effervescent quality!!!

Songs worthy of recognition: Liberation, Lucky Animals, Where We Belong, Save Our Now, Kingdom, Grace

Rating: 9,5/10 Angels

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