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Years from now this release will be looked back upon as a crazy red-haired stepchild of the early 2000s that took music to an outlandish area at the time. This album indeed is far more evolved than any other thing out there. It is also heavily experimental.
Throughout this release Townsend proves again and again why he is the most talented musician in the world. The production is absolutely awe-inspiring and the musicianship is ridiculous. The songwriting while experimental is about as steady and catchy as it gets. There are hooks here that you will not find on another record. The array of vocal styles, the satirical but somehow meaningful lyrics, and the overall bombastic nature of this album take it places where no other album has gone and these are wonderful places.
The start is a great segue form Addicted to Deconstruction. It is a subtle, atmospheric, electronic song that slowly gets heavier. It is a thought-provoking tune and has a beautiful presence before busting out in maniacal heaviness. Perhaps the only flaw of this album is the way it transitions into the next track Stand. Stand is an epic one, and a heavier one. Certainly there are more than a few riffs here that will get people going. There is an interesting bit of choirs in this song and it brings in once again a bazzillion different influences. The part at 7:48 is not to be missed, just classic Townsend that will bring to mind Ocean Machine. Then it busts once again into heaviness.
The next track, Julaar harks back to the Infinity record in many ways with its almost whimsical approach. It also hearkens back to Addicted in a way. The chorus is chaotic and almost black metal like. This blends into Planet of the Apes, one of the best tracks here. IT starts off a bit jazzy, then gets into some anthemic rhythms. At 3:32 the "Messhugah" part is extremely catchy. At 5:58 is just classic feel-good Townsend, just a beautiful section of course not devoid of Townsend's lighthearted humor.
Way of ways, and in a way I'm heading toward the sky!
We never will die, we never know why...
Just never hold back now, and I'll be happier still!
Oh! Everybody will know, I am so happy now!
I've got a little boner!
This busts into some awesome heaviness into the awesome Jesus/Jihad part. 7:42 on this masterful speedy almost like speed metal prog part, it is incredibly infectious. It ends with an experimental guitar solo and a nifty bit of electronics. This busts into Sumeria which is a symphonic almost melodic black metal song at points. It features big barbaric sounding choirs but also plenty typical high-pitched backing vocals. It is not a black metal song though, despite the influence, it sounds like a progressive metal song gone extreme if anything, there is influence form all over. The chorus is almost poppy and extremely catchy. The singing at the end is almost like those bubblegummy pop bands, but the melody is so much more sophisticated so that it actually works.
The Mighty Masturbator needs its own paragraph. Just an epic tune. IT borrows influences and even lyrics form past Townsend songs in the beginning. This is the first song that Townsend really shows off his vocals. After the calm intro the song goes out of control in all different directions, following a number of styles. Then at a point it turns into a completely new genre of music I would say. It is like bombastic orchestral chanting electronic ziltoidian industrial progressive metal. Just exemplifies the creativity of this guy. Then the guest vocals come in, they are okay, as are all of them on this album. The end of the album has an epic build up, and then it fades into a carnival with Ziltoid as the host saying some funny and bizarre shit.
Pandemic is a stomper. The operatic vocals just barely work here, but they do, good on Townsend to incorporate that. This one also has an Easter egg reminiscing Ki near the beginning. The chorus is discordant but somehow catchy. Deconstruction starts with some fart noises and some humorous commentary. The only thing that can be said about this song is that it is absolutely off the wall insanity. Townsend went far beyond the insanity of SYL with this one. It is complete with farts, Oderus Urungus, wanky guitar solos making fun of the band that take it seriously, mispronunciations of the word happiness, and all kinds of other humorous treats. Around 7:10 is what Devin Townsend is all about, if the vocals do not make you cry I don't know what could. This dude has obviously cemented himself as the most diverse and probably most talented singer ever. It is just awe-inspiring.
Poltergeist is another bowel-rattler. There is just some cool-sounding tough-guy stuff at the beginning ala SYL. The ending is just crippling, on line with such masterpieces as Dynamics.
If your poor inbreed soul hasn't been twisted into a million knots and your anus transformed into 5000 gaping holes after this album, I really don't know what to say, I really don't.