Townsend Band, Devin - Accelerated Evolution

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut Music
Catalog Number: IOMCD 120/SPV 085-65582
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:57:00

Balancing between lunacy and geniality, that is the reputation of Devin Townsend, who at the age of 19 began his musical career together with Steve Vai and has grown tremendously since then. Shortly after the release of his first album, under the name Strapping Young Lad, he started his own record label, HevyDevy Records, because he never wanted "to compromise artistic value or musicality in favour of commercial success or image." Accelerated Evolution is his seventh release, outside his work with Strapping Young Lad and other projects he has participated in, and is very difficult to compare with others, as Devin Townsend writes according to his emotional state and the way life inspires him.

Accelerated Evolution is a mixture of styles, varying from speed metal to ambient, which makes it a very progressive album, but it also means you have to take your time to let it grow. Personally, I do not particularly like some of the vocal parts on the album. Devin screams a lot on the album, although on other parts he sings quite good. Despite the variety of styles, the emphasis lies on heavy, especially heavy guitars. A few highlights on the album are "Storm," which could almost be called a ballad, but then a metal ballad; "Deadhead," with a very good drum and bass sound by Ryan van Poederooyen (what's in a name?) on drums and Mike Young on bass and a dark and mysterious sound. This is also the longest track on the album, [at] just over 8 minutes, and one of my favourite tracks of the album, as this sounds well balanced and the screams are bearable. Another very good track is "Away," again a dark and moody song with a good guitar sound, not fast, even a bit slow and this gives the song a nice atmosphere, almost ... again ... a ballad, with hardly any vocals in it. The last two songs, "Sunday Afternoon" and "Slow Me Down" are also quite good and show that in spite of his love for screaming, Devin Townsend is both a very talented composer and guitar player.

Accelerated Evolution is a really heavy album with some very good songs on it, but it took me quite some time to enjoy listening to it. The screaming in most of the songs did not appeal to me and therefore this album will not be one of my favourites. But I have to say, this is a good metal album and very progressive because of the complex compositions. Musically I like the album very much, but the vocals part, although good, are not my cup of tea. Maybe Devin Townsend could stick to writing and playing guitar and let someone else sing? So my advice: listen to this album before you buy it to see if this is your kind of music.

Similar bands: Strapping Young Lad

[This review originally appeared April 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Depth Charge (6:04) / Storm (4:38) / Random Analysis (5:59) / Deadhead (8:05) / Suicide (6:45) / Traveller (4:12) / Away (7:49) / Sunday Afternoon (6:20) / Slow Me Down (4:35)

Special Edition includes a second disk with: Project EKO: Locate / Echo / Assignable

Devin Townsend - lead vocals, choir, chorus
Brian Waddell - guitar
Ryan Vanpoederooven - drums
Dave Young - keyboards
Mike Young - bass

Strapping Young Lad - Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing (1995)
Strapping Young Lad - City (1997)
Ocean Machine: Biomech (1997/2001)
Strapping Young Lad - No Sleep Till Bedtime (1998)
Christeen + 4 Demos (1998)
Ass-Sordid Demos (2000)
Official Bootleg 2000 (2000)
Physicist (2001)
Infinity (2001)
Terria (2001/2003)
Strapping Young Lad - SYL (2002)
Strapping Young Lad - Tour EP (2003)
Accelerated Evolution (2003)
Ass-Sordid Demos II (2004)
Devlab (2004)
Strapping Young Lad - Alien (2005)
Synchestra (2006)
Strapping Young Lad - The New Black (2006)
The Hummer (2006)
...presents: Ziltoid The Omniscient (2007)
Strapping Young Lad - Center### (7" vinyl EP) (2007)
Strapping Young Lad - 1994 - 2006 Chaos Years (2008) Ki (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 11th 2002
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1166
Language: english


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