The Devin Townsend Project - Ghost
HevyDevy Records
12 songs (1:12:45)
Release year: 2011
Devin Townsend , HevyDevy Records
Reviewed by Cory
Major event

At this point I am sure everyone is fully aware of The Devin Townsend Project four album opus, beginning with Ki and Addicted released in 2009, and recently concluded in Deconstruction and the finale Ghost. Those of us that have long hung on every note played by metal’s “Mad Scientist” have certainly found plenty to rejoice in with this undertaking, be it the laid back bluesy prog feel of Ki, the addictive melodies of Addicted, or the more recent Strapping Young Lad’esque Deconstruction. Yet for all the massive metal madness that has come from Devin over the past two decades, would it surprise you to learn that Ghost is little more than a whisper in your ear?

If each album represents a different aspect of Devin’s perspective on his life, then Ghost is testament to the finding of his own inner peace after years spent on an emotional roller coaster. Not one malevolent note is present on this album. No screams, no rage, not as much as a sarcastic word. Instead he strives to create a profound sense of peaceful surrender to whatever influences have lead him to this point, and it is up to the listener to decide if they want to dismiss this for the non-metal album it is, or follow him into a place he has never shown them before. Devin uses little to no distortion, instead focusing on acoustic melodies backed up with pan flutes and soft layered vocals. Words are often indistinguishable, and the listener is left with simply a melody that builds a tranquil atmosphere of peace and joy.

I believe the strength of this album can be found in its ability to connect to the listener’s happier moments in life. For instance when listening to it I find myself thinking about the forth coming birth of my son, and the joy that will bring to my wife and I. Of particular note to me is the track Feather, with perhaps the most memorable song structure on the album and certainly its highlight for me. Unfortunately this also identifies the weakness of the album, in that the ambience can only hold your attention for so long before everything just blends together and loses any memorability. This is an album without hooks of any sort, or really anything to latch onto unless you are looking for that calm atmosphere. Listens will be limited to say the least, and you might find yourself dusting off this album once every blue moon when the mood strikes you, and even then you won’t remember what you heard, only that you are much calmer than you were before.

Ghost is exactly what I think Devin intended it to be. While many a listener will be turned off by its complete lack of dynamic and anything remotely metal, others will relate to its ability to reflect those special moments in our lives where we find ourselves completely at peace with ourselves and the world around us. I would not consider this album a success by normal measures, but there is certainly value to be found for those of the right mindframe. This is the very definition of a try before you buy album, and I encourage you to look up YouTube samples prior to purchase (unless you buy the special edition of Deconstruction, which this is added to). A unique album to say the least, though it begs the question: What will Devin pursue next now that he has completed this musical journey with such a profound sense of closure?

Killing Songs :
Does not apply
Cory quoted 72 / 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 - Deconstruction reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Addicted reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Ki reviewed by James and quoted 87 / 100
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