346: DEVIN TOWNSEND

The fact is, I could continue the format of the past two days, spending each day focussing on various projects and chapters of the great man’s influential and biblically prolific career, but there’s less than three weeks left of the year.

Today’s post, in a sense, is about the man himself.

Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Project were both hugely important and definitive chapters in the Hevy Devy story, but that barely scratches the surface. There’s Casualties of Cool, the dark and dirty, Americana/Folk project, Devlab, the ambient noise album, Ziltoid the Omniscient and it’s sequel, the sprawling space opera, the run of albums branded The Devin Townsend Band and of course everything simply labelled as Devin Townsend. The short version of it? Devin Townsend is prolific in a way few artists could ever dream to be. The breadth and variety of his output, and the consistency in quality, is truly remarkable.

Townsend really is an always-creating sort of artist. He’s been open in the past about the number of things he’s working on at any given time. He also, while clearly having a foundation in a grandiose sort of progressive metal, will readily venture wherever his instincts take him, regardless of expectations.

Where I think Townsend really shines, as someone who has loved his work for a looooong time, is an album like Empath, his 2019 release. It highlights and combines many of his greatest strengths – big djenty riffs, glorious symphonic flourishes, a wacky sense of humour, and most importantly a sense of joy.

Because while Strapping Young Lad may have been angry and jaded Devy with a skullet, screaming at the sky, modern Devy is a man exuding love, light, laugher, and chaos. Devy’s music is joyful.

And no matter the topic at hand, the presentation is one of a beautiful, grand, triumphant explosion of positivity. And I think the main reason we feel this way when listening is because of the man himself.

Anyone who has followed Townsend’s career with any interest will attest – Devin Townsend is one of the most genuine, warm, and humble people working in the industry today. I can confirm Devy is the real deal, because I was able to experience it first hand when I met him.