Devin Townsend (band) - Infinity
It was around this time (at the beginning of the millenium) that Devin Townsend slowly began cracking the ice of a larger world for him and his music. After working with Steve Vai and releasing various projects under various banners, it was time for him to set something deep in stone. What really happened, however, was something of a spiritual journey through the musical cosmos, and a drastic shift in mentality for both Townsend and the music. Infinity is representative, like all DT projects, of his mental status at the time and it's clear throughout these 10 spaced-out epics that, at the time, he was far from the darkness of Strapping Young Lad and the bitter depression of Ocean Machine.
What seemed to have happened to him is religious in nature, but far more personal than what most of us would consider religion to be. Infinity is Townsend finding the depths of the human spirit and reveling in their vast beauties. "Truth" is one of the best openers on any album, guitar-driven and truly sky-high in it's epic nature. Chants of "Hallelujah! Hello!" seem to represent finding oneself. "Christeen" was actrually written for Devin's cousin (or niece, one of those), and it's very catchy. No doubt this is why it turned out to be a single, and one of the first to get some airplay. I really like the video. "Bad Devil" is the reason why I'm a Devin Townsend fanatic today, as it was the first song I had ever heard from him and it immediatly hooked me. It's got a catchy southern groove to it, which is at times dark and sleazy and at others bright and quick as a freight-train.
Every song has something unique to offer. "War" is a grooving monster, highlighted by Devin's emotive vocals and spastic trade-offs towards the middle. "Ants" is the true definition of 'Devin-sanity' as I like to call it; a myriad of musical thoughts thrown together so violently a true sense of on-the-edge horror is created. "Colonial Boy" is a beautiful classical-inspired number, somewhat of a waltz and Townsend delivers one of his most impressive vocal performances. "Unity" and it's pillowy comfort is almost a total contrast to the rest of the record, and it makes you think the album ends on a soft note before "Noisy Pink Bubbles" and it's acoustic glory brings the noise back.
Infinity is damn near a perfect record that rides emotional highs and lows like your favorite theme park rides. A true spiritual connection resides between the music and the man himself, and feeling that is mostly what gives the album it's impact. I may be a Townsend fanboy, but it's for good reason; he's the most creative musical artist I've ever had the pleasure of hearing.
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