I have always enjoyed Devin Townsend’s unique musical sensibilities and style, and the latest release from this musical iconoclast is no exception….some might find the kitschy, sardonic sci-fi trappings and storyline of this latest project a bit much, but any fan of “Mystery Science Theater” or Kurt Vonnegut will feel right at home here.
The first completely “solo” project from Devin (although he has always worn many hats both in SYL and DTB, on this release he literally was a one-man show, writing all the lyrics and music, and performing on all instruments, assuming all production roles, etc.), it is different from both his older Strapping Young Lad and Devin Townsend Band projects in that it is more humorous and conceptual thematically, but musically it is very much a continuation of his previous work.
This latest epic from Devin is a campy science-fiction concept album telling the story of an omniscient alien being named Ziltoid who needs a rare substance from Earth in order to be able to bend time and space to his will….and that substance is….coffee. Black. Fun stuff, but not for those who take everything too seriously. I have personally always enjoyed Mr. Townsend’s quirky sense of humor, which has always been revealed in smaller doses on his previous work, and had fun seeing him fully embrace and run with it on this latest offering. Musically, and for fans of his previous work, this album has some great, heavy, bombastic metal moments as well as sublime, spacy prog-rock interludes, coming off like SYL’s “The New Black” meet”Terria” and “Ocean Machine”. Recommended!