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Townsend, Devin, Project: Ki

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.

Track list:
1. A Monday
2. Coast
3. Disruptr
4. Gato
5. Terminal
6. Heaven Send
7. Ain't Never Gonna Win...
8. Winter
9. Trainfire
10. Lady Helen
11. Ki
12. Quiet Riot
13. Demon League

Added: July 30th 2009
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Artist MySpace Page
Hits: 3541
Language: english

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Townsend, Devin, Project: Ki
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-07-30 19:12:37
My Score:

And so it begins...another phase in the career of Devin Townsend. Ki is the start of a four CD concept package from the Devin Townsend Project, a sort of 'cleansing' for this talented Canadian artist after many years fronting the insane extreme metal act Strapping Young Lad. Now that SYL is laid to rest (a sad fact for many fans), Townsend can concentrate on other, more artistic matters. As mind-blowing and out of control as SYL were, this new outing for Devin can certainly be perceived as more 'artistic' and down to earth. Ki, for the most part, is an atmospheric and dark foray into prog, post rock, and ambient metal. Rarely do things get extreme here (though the excellent "Disruptr" does feature some crushing riffs and growls), instead, Devin lays down plenty of clean guitar parts supplemented by light keyboard washes, stable rhythms, and melodic vocal sections. In reality, you could label most of Ki as atmospheric pop music injected with brief passages of crushing metal. As strange as that might sound for a Devin Townsend record it actually works quite well, the lulling vocal sections keep you drifting into a tranquil state of mind before the occasional outburst reminds you that this is after all Devin Townsend you are listening to. Plenty of acoustic guitar and bluesy warblings finish things off at the back end of the CD, and a part of me thinks this is the calm before the storm as we wait for parts 2-4 of this saga, and that Devin has some crazy mayhem in store for us in the very near future. Let's see what happens, but in the meantime, this is unexpected yet highly enjoyable stuff from this visionary artist.

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