Since returning from my vacation late Friday, I’ve been catching up (sporadically) on metal developments while I was away. Quite a few of them turned out to involve Devin Townsend. He is as multi-talented and as exuberantly creative as anyone working in metal today, and as I’ve learned again recently, his live shows are also fan-fucking-tastic. So, I pay attention when I see anything new about him, and I’m collecting in this post all of the recent items I saw — though DT is both so prolific and so unpredictable that I may well have missed something.
The first item is captured in the poster above. No sooner did DT finish his four-night series of special shows in London last week (one of which our own Andy Synn reviewed here) than he announced another very special London show — though this one is nearly a year off in the future. This one he’s billing as the biggest show he has ever done and the culmination of his entire career. It will involve “an art exhibition, actors, Ziltoid, stilt walkers, fire breathers” and a host of guest musicians “playing music that has never been attempted due to the size of the songs and the need for certain things“. The extravaganza will happen on October 27 at the Roundhouse, and tickets went on sale last Friday. Details are available here.
By the way, for poor schmoes like me who are too distant from London to make this show, it will be filmed for DVD.
After the jump, I’ve got three more items, and all of them are listening experiences.
Bent Sea is a new grindcore band with an eye-catching pedigree. It was started by Soilwork/Scarve drummer Dirk Verbeuren (who plays guitars as well as drums for Bent Sea) and it also features Aborted vocalist Sven de Caluwe and a guy on bass named . . . Devin Townsend. The Verbeuren-Townsend connection isn’t a complete surprise, since Verbeuren played drums on DT’s Deconstruction album, but the idea of a Verbeuren-de Caluwe-Townsend grind band, with DT on bass? Surprised the shit out of me.
Bent Sea’s debut album is called Noistalgia, and you can buy a digital download on a song-by-song basis here. You can also download the title track for free by right-clicking on this link and saving the file. Or, you can listen to it right now. It’s pretty nuts.[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/01_Noistalgia.mp3|titles=Bent Seas – Noistalgia]
That just whet my appetite for more. So, I listened to two more tracks from the album — the longest one (“Fool For Life”) and the shortest (“Blast Beat Barrage”). “Fool For Life” veers from psychedelic sludge-trudge to jet-fueled dragster and back again (and you can very distinctly hear DT’s bass playing, too). Very cool track. “Blast Beat Barrage” is exactly what you guess it will be, and it’s over before you know it. Here they are:[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/11_Fool_For_Life.mp3|titles=Bent Sea – Fool For Life] [audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/03_Blast_Beat_Barrage.mp3|titles=Bent Sea – Blast Beat Barrage]
(Thanks to TheMadIsraeli for tipping me to this item.)
In my oh-so-humble opinion, Devin Townsend’s Deconstruction album is one of 2011’s highlight releases. But it turns out that DT recorded songs (or parts of songs) for the album that never made it into the final release. One of them was an unfinished song called “Mad At My Dad”. Instead of including it on Deconstruction, DT completed recording the track and gave it to Terrorizer, which is featuring it in the November 2011 issue of the magazine. The song has also been renamed — it’s now called “Terrorizer”. DT explained the process as follows:
“Dirk and I had a shared love of NAPALM DEATH and EXTREME NOISE TERROR, and all that stuff from that era and we didn’t actually realize that we both loved it, so when we were in the studio doing ‘Deconstruction’, I was, like, ‘I have this riff, give me some beats!’ It was one take — it shits the bed half way through, then it comes together at the end, it has a vibe and it was perfect! That sound has always reminded me of the whole Terrorizer vibe.”
There are people who will never get past the fact that Strapping Young Lad is no more. Yeah, I’m one of those people. This song sounds as much like SYL as anything The Devin Townsend Project have done to date (or at least anything that’s coming to mind at the moment). I fuckin’ love it.
Here’s one more track that didn’t make it onto the main release of Deconstruction, though it is available as a bonus track if you buy the album from iTunes. This one is called “Ho Krll”. It’s not nearly as “new” a development as the other items I’ve included in this post, but I only heard it yesterday for the first time. It begins deceptively, with dreamy clean vocals and tinkling notes, but about 50 seconds in, the song starts to hammer with an almost industrial rhythm. It includes flashy Verbeuren drum work, cool synth interludes, and a range of DT vocal stylings. But mainly, it maketh me want to headbang.