The Devin Townsend Project - Z2
InsideOut Music
Progressive/Ambient/Heavy Metal?
Disc 1: 12 songs (58:00) Disc 2: 11 songs (61:00)
Release year: 2014
Devin Townsend , InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Joel
Album of the month

The mighty mad musical genius known as Devin Townsend, does not need any introduction to most people, here or throughout the world of metal music. From his earliest days, singing on Steve Vai's, Sex and Religion disc to Strapping Young Lad, and his ever evolving solo career. There is no script that he follows yet in everything he does, you can hear his signature style. With Z2 it is broken up into two discs, Sky Blue which is the Devin Townsend Project and Dark Matters, which is continuing story of Ziltoid the Omniscient. Normally for such a review, I would break down the songs individually, unfortunately for the size of this release, and the narrative nature of disc two, I am going to leave it up to you, to use your imaginations on what to expect.

Much like everything that came before Sky Blue(from Ki to Epicloud) has that mix of ethereal and ambient to dynamic and heavy. Anneke Van Giersbergen(Ex-The Gathering) has she has been a long time collaborator of Devin's, is also featured throughout the disc. Rejoice opens things up, with Devin's signature layers upon layers of music, and some haunting vocals from Giersbergen. The disc definitely sits a happy middle ground between Ki and Epicloud. I believe this disc has some of Devin's best vocal performances. Songs like Fallout, Midnight Sun, A New Reign and Universal Flame, definitely highlight the vocal performance. If your a fan of the Devin Townsend Project and have enjoyed the various releases, this is definitely something you will want to listen too. Listen for the "Universal Choir" on Before We Die, thousands of submissions that came in from fans, that Devin selected to sing back up to him on the disc. A nice touch to get his fans involved, but at the same time, it adds something more than just another layer to the song. I enjoy Epicloud a lot, for the songs on it, but this is a logical progression in the Devin Townsend Project, and is a great standalone disc on its own.

So the mighty purveyor of coffee has returned, Ziltoid The Omniscient, the character that Devin created seven long years ago. So the question asks, where will Ziltoid go, what else of his story will be told, will he finally find that ultimate cup of coffee, or will he disappear into a galaxy unknown?
So the Dark Matters disc begins with the title track of the double disc, and feeling a lot like a rock opera meets an old sci-fi radio show. Increasing the epic-ness with choirs, and crazy musicianship, the opening track with narrator and all, sets up all things that will come. As I said before, I will not spoil the story here, as there is a lot of it here. This may turn off people looking for a disc that has more music, than talking(narrating). Some songs suffer in length due do to the narration, but I don't believe the music itself suffers for it. One of the longer tracks, War Princess, featuring Dominique Lenore Persi of Stolen Babies(she is the War Princess), suffers from length and some repetition, but it does not slow the story down. Former WWE Champion and lead vocalist of Fozzy, Chris Jericho, definitely hams up the acting on March Of The Poozers(when you listen to it, you'll understand what a Poozer is) and a few other tracks as Captain Spectacular. Definitely difficult to review a disc like this, since there is equal parts narration as well as their is music. What I can say, is I couldn't stop laughing throughout the entire disc, and I am sure that would be a compliment to Devin. As a few things I have read online, he wanted this album to be fun, and for the story to not be taking too seriously. Obviously it does take some sort of mad genius to put an album like this together.

I really enjoyed both parts, and listened to them individually at two separate times, and while they are both here , they are definitely different. The Devin Townsend Project songs of Sky Blue show one side of the man's personality, maybe Ziltoid is another, only a little more zanier than usual(if possible!). It is definitely difficult to score both discs together, so please leave your comments below, and let me know what you think of this release as well.

Killing Songs :
Fallout, Midnight Sun, A New Reign and Universal Flame
Joel quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by The Devin Townsend Project that we have reviewed:
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 - Addicted reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
The Devin Townsend Project - Ki reviewed by James and quoted 87 / 100
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