Devin Townsend has delivered entertaining, diverse music during his career, having been through some major lifestyle changes after Strapping Young Lad broke up, and hence Ki represents the start of a new phase from this talented artist. Being the first of four albums, carrying the name 'Devin Townsend Project' with each to feature different musicians, these will vary to suit the style of Devin's material, which I gather will get heavier as it progresses. I'm sure we are in for some exceptional/assorted material from all those involved as each of the albums are released, and undoubtedly keep us guessing as to what we can expect to hear next.
When these albums have been completed, the plan is to release an 'ultimate box set' and play selected shows, taking a capable lineup of exceptional musicians and performing the material from these recordings, which should certainly be a memorable experience, for those fortunate enough to witness these performances.
Ki is the title of the first album in this new series, joining Devin for this recording is keyboardist Dave Young, whom Devin has previously worked with, plus accomplished drummer Duris Maxwell (having performed with the likes of Heart, Jefferson Airplane and The Temptations), and on bass is Jean Savoie, also a talented musician.
"Ki is a subtle introduction to a sprawling theme", so all will be revealed throughout the series of albums, but for now we have Ki to commence with. As you move through the thirteen tracks on Ki you experience the different moods, restrained and calm to other aggressive occurrences, staying more on the lighter/rocking side of Devin. A track like "Coast" features top notch vocals from Devin, and his guitar playing is also very notable, while other pieces have some great groove in addition to his engaging playing on the title track amongst others. If you're looking for more metal from Devin that will come, and sure this album has it's teaser with "Disruptr", but for now give this new album a go and experience his fine music.
Listening to Devin's compositions throughout the years, they are indeed much more of an engaging experience than most. Ki is another splendid release, something we have come to expect from the ever dependable Mr Townsend, all I can say is bring on the remainder.
1. A Monday
6. Heaven Send
7. Ain't Never Gonna Win...
10. Lady Helen
12. Quiet Riot
13. Demon League