Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Devin Towsend Project "Dark Matters" (2014)


Its time to talk about the second half of the new Devin Townsend double album "Z²". In the build up to its release I was much more interested in the "Sky Blue" half, while most media outlets were focused on the return of our beloved coffee addicted alien friend Ziltoid! In 2007 Devin released the first Ziltoid record which mixed his unique blend of Metal with a comedic musical about an alien named Ziltoid who visits earth demanding their finest cup of coffee. The cult popularity of the album has set a high grade for this follow up, which I was expecting to be the less enjoyable half of Z², however I have myself pleasantly humbled by this straight forward and entertaining record.

From start to end this album engaged me with its glorious sound and tongue in cheek humor, combining the two effortlessly. Its no surprise this album has a similar production and aesthetic to Sky Blue, with Devin no longer working on his own the Ziltoid franchise benefits from the additional musicians who give this album much warmth and depth that "Ziltoid The Omniscient" lacked. From song to song the album unfolds its story through entertaining tracks that are exciting, integrating the characters and narratives with a touch of class. There wasn't a moment of filler and the story and music both climax together, ending the album on a high with the outstanding "Dimension Z".

In a nutshell, I felt Dark Matters took "Ziltoid The Omniscient" and stepped it up a notch, better production, no drum machine and more cohesion and consistency from song to song. The story and comedic narrative is obviously an important element, but being a silly tale about a coffee loving extra-terrestrial, this squeal didn't need more than some good laughs and humor to justify its relevance, and it did exactly that. Five years in the making, Devin has delivered a rock solid record of which every moment is satisfying. 

Favorite Songs: From Sleep To Awake, Ziltoid Goes Home, Dimension Z
Rating: 7/10

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