Devin Townsend‘s last record, Deconstruction, was the soundtrack for a man going through many life changes and a total reconfiguration of himself going forward. Now that Devin has been reborn, Epicloud is a return to the familiar euphoric sound and style that fans have come to love. The songs seemingly run the whole spectrum of his solo career.
First things first, Epicloud can only be fully enjoyed and appreciated in its full form, the 2-CD version. While the songs have been sequenced on the first disc or single disc version to be more cohesive or singular, the songs on the second disc display more of the excellent diversity of Devin.
Perhaps the coolest thing about Epicloud is the return of Anneke Van Giersbergen (AQUA DE ANNIQUE/ex-THE GATHERING). Once the hilarious lyrics sung by a choir on “Effervescent!” are complete, Anneke‘s beautiful vocals come in with, “I love you. I need you…,” and you’re instantly in heaven. She appears throughout the record and is utilized in different degrees rather than as a “co-vocalist.” Her first appearance with Devin on Addicted worked out so well and the results are just as good here.
Epicloud represents what everything that is pure and honest about great music. There is so much content here like the fun and funny songs like “Lucky Animals,” the soulful “Where We Belong” and “Divine,” the offkilter “The Mind Wasp,” and the godly “Save Our Now.” Longtime fans will recognize PHYSICIST‘s “Kingdom” in re-recorded yet unchanged. STRAPPING YOUNG LAD fans will be happy to hear the closest thing to STRAPPING in the blasting “Socialization.” “Little Pig” closes out the record in style with acoustic guitars, pure soul, and a feel good tone.
The bottom line is that Epicloud is one of the greatest records of Devin Townsend‘s career. The indisputable, beautiful level of musicality and emotion will make this a favorite for decades to come. (Inside Out Music/Century Media Records)