Devin Townsend - Terria - 2001


Being just 30 years old, with a pile of jobs and projects carried out, the Canadian musician Devin Townsend has become one of the most prolific workers on the metal and prog-metal world of these last years. When he was nineteen he had already participated with musicians like Steve Vai, that he used him as guitarist and chorus in the American presentation tour of the album "Sex and Religion", and where Devin achieved a great popularity and acceptance among American public. His following step was to form their own band the Strapping Young Lad, with which recorded three records of pure new aged -metallic dexterity and that were well received from the press, titled "Heavy as a really heavy thing", "City" and "Not sleep till bedtime", this last one recorded live in Australia, and a very valuable record for the fans of metal. Later and after participating in the tribute record to Judas Priest and Rush, Devin was fed of their band and of the record companies that tied him up, so he created his own level (Heavy Devy Records).

From this point the young musician is free to create and to develop his style without tying, creating a peculiar musical world that matches with his desires as an artist, building a characteristic and at the same time innovating style. A style based on crossing two styles that seemed impossible of uniting. A new age mixture of developments, atmospheres, spaces of relaxed and mystical sensations with the wild and rawest face of the metal. In 1997 "Ocean Machine" was published and in 1999 "Infinity" was born. Two works based on the lines and style that I previously commented you. In 2000 "Physicist" saw the record market as a collection of songs of speed-metal mixed with simple melodies.


"Terria" is the new creation in the 2001 with a Devin that explores with in the sounds that the nature suggests him, creating environments of extraordinary greenness and humid visions, mixed with an extreme of hard edge guitar playing and desperate screaming, folding them into a symmetrical form, with a surprising result of a very strong contrasts.The concept that seems to go unfolding along the record is the constant fight of the nature against the monster of the destruction that man represents. "Olives" (3:21) is a brief introduction and first look to the basic idea of Devin, harshly almond-shaped landscapes produced by the human being. "Mountain" (6:32) is harder in its assembly, with a rhythmic guitar that shows two faces, the candy and the less sweet one, with thrilling and changing developments. "Earth day" (7:34) shows with all its power the contained rage in a musician full of beauty and composite delicacy, marked by a fury that emerges constantly. The production of this "Terria" is spectacular, the sensation of being siting down in an immense field punished by the elements is constant. "Deep peace" (7:34) is a pretty piece of great melodic and more changing rhythms laid on lines of grandeur, massive and controlled developments coming from all the instruments. "Canada" (6:57) is the continuation of the previous one with small parenthesis, silences and vocal harmonies. We follow with "Down and Under" (3:43) where the acoustic guitar appears, leading to a gradual increment of power that comes from most relaxed melodies to ecstasy and excess of decibels. "The fluke" (7:16) is a simple song with a quick rhythm and great strength that breaks to return to the new age formula. "Nobody's here" (6:54) is a ballad with a great volume with pretty melody and very good arrangements and production, although rather repetitive. "Tiny tears" (9:12) is the longest and also the most calmed one, very similar to the previous one, the robotic and at the same time ethnic voices fill this song, also wrapped around immense guitar playing. "Stagnant" (4:55) closes the CD with a typical American or Canadian metal song, with boasting guitar.


A work plenty of meaning. A record that hasn't left anything in the production and that has turned out to be an exceptional practice of this formula that this Northern American is carrying out during these last years. This new delivery is wisely filled by this so raw and so natural environment at the same time. A record full of power, that can be excessive to the fragile hearted progressive ones, and that will be perfect to the most restless and risked ones.

author - date - rating - label

Jordi Costa - October 2001 -   - Inside Out