Music Reviews Progressive Metal

The Devin Townsend Project – Addicted

Addicted tends to express Devin Townsend’s acceptance of his personality coupled with his sobriety and fatherhood. All of which have certainly had a positive effect on Devin Townsend after touring and latter disbanding both Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band in 2007. His personal project dubbed The Devin Townsend Project debuted with Kiexpressing much of his newly found acceptance of his broad range of musical styles and personality.

Addicted is a return to much of Devin’s heavier solo inclinations, but offers some refreshing numbers, lyrics, and memorable melodies. Heavier than Synchestra, but less goofy than Ziltoid: The Omniscient, this new effort is a culmination of Townsend’s style, complete with his signature wall of sound, various vocal styles, but makes room for growth, including featuring The Gathering’s Anneke van Giersbergen on much of the album.

Each song’s title, regardless of its lyrical content, ends with an exuberant exclamation point, and appear to have universal theme of connectedness and positivity, without being sappy or over wrought. “Acceptance” would be the word used to describe the lyrics on this release. This isn’t your conventional headbanger the SYL fans may be wishing for.

Townsend tends to purposefully dabble in post-modernism, even at his own expense. He covers his own “Hyperdrive!” from Ziltoid, which provokes a new interpretation of the same melody and lonesome lyrics. Additionally, “The Way Home!” also references lyrics to Townsend’s “Depth Charge” from Accelerated Evolution, albeit the colors have certainly changed…a reference to his personal growth.

Surrounding the harder tracks, “Ih-Ah!” offers a welcomed tempo break, with its chorus having a catchy, but slightly sexual repetition that is far from gratuitous, and one of his most sincere love songs.

Addicted takes us on a very personal, introspective journey of Townsend’s; much more mature than his early and critical release Ocean Machine or Terria. With is predecessor, Ki, there is something inspiring occurring with Devin Townsend’s “project”. Despite this change of pace, there’s nothing out of the ordinary with this release for Townsend when considering his solo output. It’s as heavy, melodic, and lovely as anything Devin has released as of yet. With two more albums expected in the foreseeable future, Townsend has reached a pinnacle of his creativity.