The Devin Townsend Project - Addicted
InsideOut Music
Industrial/Prog/Pop Metal
10 songs (46:49)
Release year: 2009
Devin Townsend , InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Goat
Album of the month

Stage two of this four-part 'being taken seriously' project takes a wildly different step from its predecessor, but keeps in line with past albums from Canada's second best musical export. Now, whatever name his past outings has taken, from Devin Townsend to The Devin Townsend Band to Ocean Machine to Ziltoid The Omniscient, there's no denying that they've all been praised without restraint by his fans, seemingly incapable of telling the difference between a genuine masterpiece such as Infinity and a slight misstep such as Ziltoid. Genius is a label given to many yet deserved by few - the greatest artists make as many mistakes as they do masterpieces, and nothing is taken from their status by admitting this. So, after finding the first part of this project, Ki, to be a fascinating if uneven piece of Prog that's more than worthy of the Great Bald One's name - for yes, if you've somehow missed the news, the skullet is gone - I was rather dreading Addicted for fear that it would be a step down. This wasn't helped by the rumours that it was going to be akin to The Devin Townsend Band's Accelerated Evolution, which is far from a bad album but isn't amongst Heavy Devy's best.

Well, Addicted is a pretty unique beast in the Townsend oeuvre. Those who have never heard of DT's world will continue in their sorry little lives, clinging to that ignorant bliss, but fans will simply love it, without a doubt. Imagine Accelerated Evolution with a heavy Pop influence and lashings of female vocals, then turn that image on its head - Devin continues to confound and confuse whilst simultaneously making music that redefines what Metal is all about. The gradual build-up to the Industrialised opening title track is like a gathering wave before the tension is released come the perfection of the song itself, a catchy blast that is at once typical Devin and different from anything that he's done before. Universe In A Ball! continues the theme, Industrial Meshuggah-esque Metal with a prog edge and catchy songcraft, before Bend It Like Bender! goes all Venga Boys on you with pure Europop, dance beats meshing perfectly with Dev's typical sound to create a hybrid that'll stay stuck in your head for weeks.

Part of the reason that track is so great is, of course, guest female vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen, formerly of The Gathering and here an excellent addition to Devin's already brilliant voice. Her vocals on the likes of Supercrush! are simply amazing, and whilst the rest of the band that he's assembled for this album are, of course, excellent, members of The Devin Townsend Band returning to lend a solid hand, Anneke's contribution is what takes this album from being pretty darn good to little short of fantastic. Fans of the Ziltoid album will love Hyperdrive! above all, a cover that relies on Anneke's vocals and completely transcends the original, but I defy anyone to identify a sub-par track on this album - the overriding theme of exuberant happiness clear from the moment you put the album on.

I nearly wrote a paragraph about the fact that all! of! the! songs! end! in! exclamation! marks! and how annoying that is, but I soon realised that it isn't annoying at all, the wholesome and uplifting nature of the music taking the listener along with it. Devin Townsend is one of the few artists certain to bring me out of a black mood, past works like Bad Devil from Infinity simply packed full of the man's personality and neuroses in a way that's guaranteed to entertain. I'd describe him as the Woody Allen of Metal - more reliable, less Jewish and without the dodgy "stepchild" relationship, sure, but equally capable of taking the mad world we live in and describing it in amusing yet heartfelt form. I could go on and write about the fascinating depths of In-Ah! which initially sounds like some throwaway Muse track but soon reveals itself to be something much, much more, not to mention the delights that await you in the last couple of tracks, Numbered!, Awake! and The Way Home! all doing great things, but I'll content myself and you by shutting up and recommending this album unequivocally for everyone reading.

Still, I can never quite believe that Dev hasn't taken the money and run, gone off to produce fulltime or work for Hans Zimmer or whoever's flavour of the week in the film score business; we Metalheads are lucky that such a man loves us enough to make music like this which by its very nature (the odd harsh vocals, Metal riffs) will be enough to repel the mainstream whor(d)es and keep the good stuff for the underground, the people who care enough about great music to go hunting for it. Devin's MySpace speaks about how this is an album for people to enjoy, simple as that, heavy without being dark or depressing, that sounds good with a positive feeling - I couldn't sum it up better myself. A mini-masterpiece from the master, without a doubt.

Killing Songs :
all! are! great! but! Universe In A Ball! Bend It Like Bender! Hyperdrive! In-Ah! Awake! and! The Way Home! especially! are! awesome!
Goat quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by The Devin Townsend Project that we have reviewed:
The Devin Townsend Project - Z2 reviewed by Joel and quoted 93 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 91 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Ghost reviewed by Cory and quoted 72 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Ki reviewed by James and quoted 87 / 100
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