Ocean Machine is a solid Metal album with a lot of atmospheric stuff. A fan favorite.
Ki is a moody album that is pretty mellow for the most part. It does get heavy at times but it is in very short bursts. Probably not the best one to do first, but I found it very interesting early on discovering his music.
Addicted is the album that got me into Devin. Very catchy short Metal songs, poppy at times. I think this is the best one to start with because it's easily his most accessible. Devin's music is often dense both in the songwriting and production department, so most of his albums (including the two I listed above) are growers. Addicted grabs you right away. The simple songs also make it easy to digest his distinct production styles, making it easier to get into his other work.
Edit: Would normally link songs to try out from each album but I think it's better to just go into it fresh.
I'd still like to do a Devin discography discussion. Been listening to him a lot since seeing him live.
I'd also suggest Terria (for his wall of sound 'reverb metal' style), Deconstruction (for his prog-insanity cyber metal style), and Accelerated Evolution (for his hard rock style).
Devin is really interesting. He is one of of the only artists in my iTunes that gives me albums for when I want to chill out /to go the sleep (Hummer, Ki, Ghost, Casualties), albums when I want to rip someone's head off (SYL and Decon), and pop metal prog (recent DTP stuff/solo works) for more conventional moods.
Terria and Deconstruction are among my favorite Devin albums, if I had to pick two those would probably be the ones (or Ki for some variety). But I really wouldn't recommend them to a newbie, except for Deconstruction if you're a big SYL/extreme metal fan already. This is from personal experience; I tried both those albums early on in discovering Devin and I didn't get either of them until much later. Terria actually put me off of his music altogether the first time. It took checking out his more accessible albums and getting used to his production/songwriting style first.
Accelerated Evolution is a good one though. You get a great variety there but it's all accessible. I was tempted to put that on my list but I think Ocean Machine covers that side of him just as well and I wanted to keep it short but with as much variety as possible.
The interesting thing about Devin for me is that despite his wide range of styles, I still have to be in the right mood to enjoy any of his music. He definitely has a signature sound that exists in everything he does, no matter the style.
The new album is growing on me btw. Secret Sciences is my favorite lately.
That's an interesting point - I suppose it depends on where you're coming in from and what you hope to find. I was really looking for an album with lush & layered production and processed/reverb-y guitars, and Terria fit the bill (I was trying to find an act that had those traits that wasn't an 80s AOR act or Dream Theater variant). Though if that type of stuff isn't immediately your bag, Terria might be a bit much.
I know a lot of people have some problems getting into him because he's just this weird blend of industrial, metal, pop, shoegaze, prog, avant garde, new age, and rock. I agree; I have to be in the right head-space to really enjoy it. Sometimes I just want something more unified/cohesive (Iron Maiden anyone?).
Hi everybody. I think that Bottom Line is one of the better albums Dev has put out in a while. It feels like a great deal of work has been put into this that we haven’t seen since he originally embarked on the 4 album Project series.
I liked it. Not one of his best but easily better than Z2. When he says he's getting burnt out on Metal I can believe that after listening to Transcendence. Still some great tracks though. Stormbending and Failure are both awesome. I also really like Secret Sciences (probably my fav track) and Offer Your Light (awesome Maidenish harmonies).
Some decent bonus tracks too, as usual. Can't remember the name but there's a really cool instrumental.
I loved that he included Canada as a choice - that was one of my favorites off of Terria.
I remember reading somewhere that it's actually a huge pain in the ass for him to reproduce some of the lesser played stuff because he has to try to recreate the samples/ambiance tracks from scratch for the backing tracks (something to do with crashed hard-drives and moving computers years ago, so he doesn't have them easily accessible anymore). Kinda interesting hearing about artists having real world problems like that.
What's particularly impressive about that performance is that it's near the end of a 2+ hour set (after a series of vocally challenging tunes). The fact that he can still hit those shrieking highs, and that his non-screamo singing voice is still intact at this point, is quite something. The majority of metal singers start to sound fried/out of tune when bouncing back forth between cleans and screams/growls as the set list progresses. Townsend makes it look easy.
Ever since he went off booze and pot, his live voice has improved immensely. I don't think he could have pulled this off on stage 15 years ago. I saw him play recently at a small club and he sounded exactly like all of these youtube clips.
I'm gonna prepare a discussion thread on Devin Townsend. I think it's a better option than a Survivor since we can make longer breaks and most of us are n00bs when it comes to half of his material anyway. Then later it would be easier to do a proper Survivor. Albums to discuss: all Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend, The Devin Townsend Band, Devin Townsend Project and Casualties Of Cool albums. Don't think anything else of his is worth discussing. He didn't write anything for Steve Vai and everything else is either not serious stuff or just EP's or demos.