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Devin Townsend - Epicloud + Epiclouder - 93%

trollhammer666, October 21st, 2012

Epicloud. I'm not sure if this is supposed to mean epic and loud or whatever an epi-cloud would be, but I was really excited to hear this and was not disappointed a single bit. We were all warned the lyrics on this album were going to be simple, and for the most part they are. I find most Devin Townsend lyrics to be rather simple though, so it's not a shocker. Overall, the instruments sound amazing. One thing I love is that for the majority of the album you can hear the bass very clearly. The drumming sounds great, like a refined SYL-type deal on the heavier songs. Devin did a great job and from what I've read so far there has been a lot of criticism for this album. I think it is another feather in his cap.

A rarity for metal, we are introduced to Epicloud with a gospel choir that repeats a verse that is also found in track two and tracks thirteen, but there really is no point to it. They should have merged this opener with track two, or better yet, left it out completely. Now, onto the goods of Epicloud. First off, here we can find Anekke, quite famously known as the chick who sings in DTP. As usual, her voice sounds absolutely breathtaking. She and Devin trade verses back and forth in a few songs and we all know they do it very, very well. As the album progresses we hear solid staple after staple. Kingdom is in my opinion the best written track on this album. It has heavy riffs and drumming for this supposed 'hard rock' album. Devin sings with wild clear howls and Anekke backs him up during the main verse, sounding absolutely perfect. It has a beautiful, relaxing chorus as well. There is no need for the skip button because every song brings something new to the table and does it with perfection. Lessons, a short instrumental, really brought me back because it sounds like something you could find on Synchestra or an old school Devin Townsend album, ah those were the days. But here we are now, and things still sound great thankfully.

Alright, now that that's said and done, just when you think things couldn't get any better, there is a second disc packed with demos of songs that didn't make it onto album entitled 'Epiclouder'. Here we get a healthy dose of anything from western sounding string plucking soft rock to traditional Devin Townsend heavy metal. It's not even like there shitty songs that didn't make the final cut, it's basically a whole other album for you to listen to. All the songs featured on the second disc are quite diverse, each sounding like they’ve individually taken a part from one of DTP’s previous releases. Singing styles range from evil genius banter to rambling cowboy vocals to arguing couples over heavy riffs. One song I must mention from here is Quietus, an enchanting Ki sounding song with endless build-up that will lift you off your feet with Anekke's wicked backing vocals and its steady instruments the way through. I honestly don't know how this song didn't make it onto the primary disc. Also, Socialization, probably the heaviest song on disc two that sounds like it's taken from Deconstruction with a seriously fucking wild SYL guitar solo and unholy demon chants in it. Epiclouder is packed with haunting and mesmerizing choruses that either sound like they were written by a genius locked in an insane asylum or are sweet enough to melt your heart over and over.

Throughout Epicloud I get this 'life is fucking awesome so just live it' sort of vibe and I fucking love it. It's just a bonus that it's Devin of all people singing it, too. The man’s voice is so flawless, and for me he is by far the easiest clean vocalist to listen to that I've ever heard. I am so happy that Anekke is here on this album. She is a wonderful singer and I hope she is on future DTP releases as well. Everything sounds so complete on these two discs. I can't get enough, and you won't either.

I think Epicloud sounds like Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction, and Ghost all morphed together and thrown into a musical. Seriously a must have for the casual metal head, since I'm sure all the Devin Townsend fanboys have this already (like me). Just a god damn masterpiece.