Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Devin Townsend - Infinity (1998)

You can probably tell by looking at the cover, but it is a stone cold fact that after the release of "Ocean Machine: Biomech", Devin Townsend checked himself into a mental health hospital after he started to see humans as "little lonesome, water based, pink meat, life forms pushing air through themselves and making noises that the other little pieces of meat seemed to understand.". Fortunately, Devin was discharged a while after he was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder (which could explain how he could create Strapping Young Lad and Ocean Machine around the same time).

From this "madness" came "Infinity", a album that Devin described as a "parent project" between "Ocean Machine: Biomech" and SYL's "City". Is it a accurate description of the album? Well almost. It does not have the same heaviness that SYL stands for, but it is certainly a good mix of heavy and epic in this album. You know what else there is a lot of in this album? Loudness. This is a album that takes up a lot of space with its grand sound, and even with the volume set to a low level, you can clearly hear the music with ease (although it is unnecessary with low volume).

And it is the first half that makes the most of the noise. After the epic starter "Truth", Devin kicks into gear with "Christeen", a spiritual and smooth flowing song that is easily likable. After that, the album becomes more groovy with the jazzy "Bad Devil" that takes your mind to some country western bar in the middle of Transylvania. Sounds weird? Well, it is, but in a really good way. Then we probably have the most well known track in "War". A pretty stale song that still has a hooky riff and some interesting lyrics. It also becomes very silly in the later half when the quire and Devin starts sing "doo wop boddum" in some kind of Can Can style. Oddly enough, it is still fitting nicely with the rest of the track, making it one of the better songs on "Infinity".

The second half of the album is leaning more towards the epic side, especially in songs like "Wild Colonial Boy", "Life Is All Dynamics" and "Soul Driven Cadillac". But it also contains a track that is just completely wild. "Ants" sounds like the mice from Cinderella where high on Red Bull and crystal meth. This song is all over the place, so the end result is not very good. It makes me laugh, but as far as the listening experience goes, I did not like it one bit.

There are some madness in "Infinity", but there is even more brilliance in it. The grand sound makes the album an exciting piece, and even though I feel that the overall standard could have been higher, it is made up for with some fine musicality work and atmospherically feelings. So you will not loose your mind if you listen to "Infinity", but you will probably find some epic quality in this record. 

Songs worthy of recognition: Bad Devil, War, 

Soul Driven Cadillac

Rating: 7,5/10 Unities

More reviews of Devin Townsend (solo work)
Punky Brüster - Cooked On Phonics
Ocean Machine: Biomech
The Hummer
Ziltoid The Omniscient


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