DEVIN TOWNSEND – Ziltoid the Omniscient

If anyone had questions about Devin Townsend‘s sanity, especially after earlier releases such as INFINITY, this album is definitely one that could only be created by a crazed mind. Devin completely soloed this project as the sole writer, performer, producer, and recorder for the project. This particular release runs the gamut of just about everything Devin has done with obvious influences from STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, OCEAN MACHINE, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND, and even TERRIA. Amazingly, this album succeeds where most others fail in the attempt to remain both serious and completely absurd at the same time. It’s actually a concept album about an alien named “Ziltoid” who initially travels to Earth seeking the best cup of black coffee in the universe. After finding the coffee presented to him unacceptable, Ziltoid then decides to attack until he is thwarted by Captain Spectacular. Apparently Captain Spectacular’s mission is to reveal Ziltoid for what he truly is – a nerd. There’s also a segment where Ziltoid speaks to the “Omnidimensional Creator,” whose voice bears a resemblance to Keanu Reeves.

Musically, the album remains a hard rock/metal disc the entire time, despite the fact that it’s generally narrated by Ziltoid throughout the album. The heaviest track is easily the song “Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!” highlighting the “Drums from Hell,” which is the drum program developed by Tomas Haake of MESHUGGAH. Other tracks like “Solar Winds” and “Color Your World” have extremely mellow sections with soft clean vocals and ambient guitar. “Planet Smasher” is one of the more bizarre songs containing deeper vocals and chants with a sensibility similar to NINE INCH NAILS. The rest of the album runs the distance between the styles described with plenty of anthemic choruses and infective guitar riffs.

This album is highly recommended to anyone seeking an amusing yet exceptionally talented detour from your typical metal releases. Despite its humorous nature, this should stand out as one of the most creative albums of 2007 thus far. (Inside Out Music)

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