THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND – Accelerated Evolution

The prolific mastermind Devin Townsend has just cooked up yet another great solo record. Recorded at the same time as STRAPPING YOUNG LAD’s SYL, Accelerated Evolution can best be described as an album forging some new ground for Devin while simultaneously containing elements from his previous solo records (Ocean Machine, Infinity, Terria). With a new full band line-up in tow, Devin churns as a mixture of heavy-handed chugging chords, clean melodies, and driving beats awash with atmospheric keyboards. Accelerated Evolution explores more heavy rock-based riffs and arrangements among his patented, futuristic “pop-metal” foundation. As with every release, Devin proves that he is one of the best vocalists in rock music today. His soulful clean/screaming vocals are just so damn infectious. He only injects more emotion into his words with his ability to command a wide vocal range and hold out long notes. The album is solid from start to finish. The listener is never forgotten or abused with repetitious, weak or prolonged songs. There are some skillful guitar solos from Devin this time around, something in his arsenal that is seldomly used. There are some solemn tracks on here such as “Deadhead” and “Away” mixed in with the album’s feel-good songs. “Traveller” and “Slow Me Down” are catchy like a good 80’s pop song. You won’t forget the vocal hooks after one listen. For the more rabid fans, there is a 2-CD version available. The second disc is composed of Devin’s PROJECT: EKO, which is 3 tracks that explore his interest in melding guitars with light electronica. It’s nothing too outstanding but it is interesting to hear a new side of him. There’s no reason why anyone into rock music would not enjoy Accelerated Evolution. It’s damn good. In a perfect world, Devin would be king. (Inside Out Music)

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