Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Casualties of Cool: Casualties of Cool (expanded edition)

Originally released in 2014 but now available from Century Media in an expanded edition with previously unreleased material, Casualties if Cool is the ambient/country project featuring Devin Townsend & Ché Aimee Dorval, the vocalist who many will remember as appearing on Townsend's Ki album. Yes, you read that right, Devin Townsend and country mentioned in the same sentence. Truth be told, this is a pretty remarkable album, that somehow slipped under the radar for many back in 2014, partially funded by the crowdfunding site PledgeMusic and not really released with much fanfare. Somewhat of a marriage of Devin's atmospheric & ambient flavors of the Ki and Ghost releases with lush, melodic country and folk styles, Casualties of Cool is a mesmerizing album that really surprises in its simplicity and intoxicating nature. Dorval is given plenty of lead vocal slots (though Devin does sing as well), and she makes the most of it on alluring cuts such as "Daddy", "Flight", and "Hejda", while sharing the spotlight with Townsend on "The Code" and the bluesy "Pier". Much of the instrumentation consists of airy synth washes, percussion, flutes, and some acoustic guitar, all of it very meditative, ambient, and atmospheric. "Forgive Me" sees the emergence of some tasty blues guitar to saddle up next to Dorval's sultry vocals, and the haunting "Bones" contains some of the most heart wrenching melodies on the album, as Townsend's dreamy vocals float around Dorval's more passionate passages. Probably the only real 'upbeat' tracks here are "Deathscope", with its electronic drum rhythms and layers of guitars, and the majestic "The Bridge", the latter reminding very much of Devin's epic/progressive solo material.

Definitely very different but certainly quite enjoyable and rewarding, Casualty of Cool is another intriguing release from the masterful Devin Townsend. Don't be put off by the 'country' tag here, as this is nothing like the country pop that you hear all over the place these days. If you are a Townsend fan, give this one a shot if you missed it back in 2014.

Track Listing
1. "Daddy" 5:11
2. "Mountaintop" 5:33
3. "Flight" 5:32
4. "The Code" 4:41
5. "Moon" 6:28
6. "Pier" 3:39
7. "Ether" 4:50
8. "Hejda" 3:40
9. "Forgive Me" 6:00
10. "Broken" 1:59
11. "Bones" 3:39
12. "Deathscope" 6:13
13. "The Field" 4:01
14. "The Bridge" 8:13
15. "Pure" 4:08

Added: June 19th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1668
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Casualties of Cool: Casualties of Cool (expanded edition)
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-06-19 15:57:24
My Score:

It should not come as a great surprise Devin Townsend has reinvented himself again, this time delving into country music with his latest album Casualties Of Cool, a reissue of his original 2014 release. Townsend has continually put out high quality material and although he never sounds quite the same on any individual album he does have a distinctive sound which even the most seasoned listeners may have a hard time identifying on his latest effort. This time around the players are Devin Townsend (vocals, bass, guitar, atmosphere), Ché Aimee Dorval (vocals) and Morgan Ågren (drums). Guest musicians include Kat Epple (flute, woodwinds), Jørgen Munkeby (sax), Dave Young (additional keys), Mike St-Jean (additional drums), Jeff Schmidt (additional bass) and the Sångkraft Chamber Choir.

Once I got over my initial reservations, you know, one of the most revered musicians in the world of progressive music delving into country music, this album really started to grow on me. This is not a country album per se, but it is certainly a major influence. Because Townsend explores heavy ethereal soundscapes laden with moody atmospherics and psychedelics not being a fan of country music shouldn't be a deal breaker for you and you just might really enjoy this.

This set includes two CDs and one DVD. Highlights include the chill out country flavoured atmosphere in "Ether", the ambient flute forming the bulk of the surreal and lovely "Where You've Been" and the full blown country twang in "Forgive Me" where the vocals of Dorval ebb and flow with the surrounding quiet interludes. The rockabilly vibe in "Deathscope" is also pretty tasty before the music takes a left hand turn into the avant-garde where static sound effects and an overall general weirdness add to the album's eclectic nature.

The third disc is a bonus DVD and includes a live performance at The Union Chapel, London as well as an informative interview with the man himself.

Really, only Devin Townsend could have created something like this. It's hypnotic and ambient grooves and psychedelia sprinkled with a layer of country flavouring explores territory I have not heard in my forty plus years of listening to music. Really, Townsend should be very proud of this creation.

© 2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content © Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by