Townsend, Devin: Ziltoid Live At The Royal Albert Hall (3 CD/DVD)
If you are at all familiar with metal music there is no doubt the name Devin Townsend will ring a few bells. After being discovered by a record company in 1993 he was asked to sing lead vocals on Steve Vai's Sex & Religion album. Soon after Townsend formed the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad who had a successful run of albums from 1995 to 2006. In 2002 Townsend formed the Devin Townsend Band and in 2009 The Devin Townsend Project came into existence. Over the course of his career and various projects Townsend has been incredibly prolific having released over twenty studio albums and various live albums. Which brings us to Ziltoid Live At The Royal Albert Hall.
Progressive metal is not what one usually associates with the famed concert venue but it has proven to be a perfect setting for Townsend's over the top rock opera. The story of Ziltoid takes '50s sci-fi campiness ala Flash Gordon to new heights. A bizarre alien comes to Earth in search of a planet to colonize and the perfect cup of coffee. No one but Townsend could turn this into the sprawling epic that it is.
My edition contains three CDs and one DVD. The first disc is the entire Dark Matter CD taken from Z2. With tongue firmly planted in cheek the story continues accentuating Townsend's unique sense of humor. You got to love artists that don't take themselves too seriously. The music is classic Townsend; huge walls of sound with thick heavy guitar riffs, grand orchestral elements and massive vocal choirs. It also needs to be said Townsend's voice sounds great throughout the set. The storyline is propelled via the narration and works well within the overall concept.
The second disc is a collection of songs taken from various albums throughout his discography. Highlights include the pulse pounding "Namaste", taken from the Physicist CD and featuring Townsend's perfectly harsh vocals, the catchy "Night" with its tasty keyboards and heavy guitar crunch, the wonderfully atmospheric "Deadhead" and the incredibly catchy power pop/metal of "Christeen".
The third disc features three tracks from Ocean Machine, starting with the beautifully emotive "Funeral" and followed by "Bastard" and "The Death Of Music", totaling almost thirty minutes of some of the most provocative live music you are likely to hear.
The DVD contains the same tracks and sounds and looks great. This is a big production with cool lighting and background screen and multiple camera angles ensuring excellent footage of all the musicians.
The accompanying booklet is as majestic as the music, containing a multitude of photographs spread over twenty-four pages.
Whether you are a fan of Townsend or not, one has to respect the amount of work that went into this production. A mind blowing rock show of the highest caliber, this is easily recommended for all fans of progressive metal who appreciate the humorous side of life.
1. From Sleep Awake
2. Ziltoidian Empire
3. War Princess
5. March Of The Poozers
6. Wandering Eye
8. Ziltoid Goes Home
9. Through The Wormhole
10. Dimension Z
4. Earth Day
8. Lucky Animals
4. The Death Of Music
5. Universal Flame
• Same track listing as above
Added: March 9th 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
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