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Devin Townsend Project: Ocean Machine-Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv

Canadian mastermind of the bizarre, Devin Townsend, is back with a live album on the heels of previous live efforts The Retinal Circus (2013) and Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2015). The man is certainly no stranger to grandiose projects and Ocean Machine: Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv certainly fits the bill. Townsend is back with his Project band, this time backed by the Orchestra and Choir of State Opera Plovdiv. The show was recorded on September 22, 2017 in Bulgaria.

The concert is split into two parts, a ‘By Request’ portion covering material throughout his career and a performance of the entire Ocean Machine album. The first part contains twelve tracks beginning with a splendid performance of “Truth” from the Infinity album. The addition of the orchestra and choir works supremely well here and the band is as tight as you would expect. Townsend’s music as always been slightly over the top and dramatic, which the orchestra emphasizes even more so. The excellent “Stormbending” taken from Transcendence is equally as riveting with the guitars of Townsend and Young getting the full treatment. The band dig down deep into their discography with the never before played live “Om” from their 1998 EP Christeen. The melding of the orchestra with progressive metal showcases outstanding musicianship from the entire band. VanPoederooyen is an absolute beast on the drum kit. A ferocious dual guitar attack begins “Failure” before settling in with Townsend’s spacey atmospherics. The wacky “By Your Command” demonstrates Townsend’s considerable sense of humour but it also emphasizes how tight and ripping this band is live. The catchy “Bad Devil”, love the choir in this one, and the dramatic “Higher” are also excellent. The first set ends with the part tender/part heavy “Deep Peace”, showcasing Townsend’s stellar guitar exploits.

The second half of the show features the entire Ocean Machine album minus the orchestra. Although not as symphonic as the first set, the band’s performance shines here taking these tunes to the outer limits of excellence. It also features John “Squid” Harder, who played bass on the original album. He unfortunately suffers from MS and it’s clear the two musicians have a deep friendship.

Narration begins the opening track “Seventh Wave” followed by heavy dramatics including great vocals and choir. The dynamic “Life” incorporates soft and heavy elements. The keyboards are bubbly and melodic and I have always appreciated how Townsend weaves in poppier elements into his brand of progressive metal. “Night” is next with a great keyboard sound followed by the melodic/symphonic metal treat that is “Hide Nowhere” before “Sister” showcases Townsend’s excellent acoustic guitar. His vocals and guitar work are incredibly tender demonstrating his multifaceted talents. The rest of the tracks further reveal the band in incredible form.

Many of you have heard this is Townsend’s final chapter with DTP and I can’t think of a better way to end such a creative and productive era as this fine evening in Bulgaria. Another excellent release from Inside Out Music.

Track Listing:
CD I - By Request
1. Truth
2. Stormbending
3. Om
4. Failure
5. By Your Command
6. Gaia
7. Deadhead

CD II
1. Canada
2. Bad Devil
3. Higher
4. A Simple Lullaby
5. Deep Peace

CD III ��" Ocean Machine
1. Seventh Wave
2. Life
3. Night
4. Hide Nowhere
5. Sister
6. 3 A.M
7. Voices In The Fan
8. Greetings
9. Regulator
10. Funeral
11. Bastard
12. Things Beyond Things
13. The Death Of Music

DVD ��" Full concert at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv

Added: September 30th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 286
Language: english

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