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  DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT
'Epicloud'
(HevyDevy Records)
Release Date: 18th September 2012


Ivan David

ivan david



devin townsend project epicloud

After years of exploration with a handful of records that aimed at different concepts and genres, Devin Townsend is still expanding to new sounds and perfecting elements that proved to be highlights of his past works. He is a musician that can explore many corners of the music realm and make any style his own, while still delivering interesting material full of quality and most importantly: honesty.

Every record that Devin puts out is a reflection of his current state of mind, a particular inclination or an emotional event that he is portraying spontaneously through his music.

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That being said, I believe you can only compare 'Epicloud' to other records made by Devin Townsend. The sense of adventure of 'Ziltoid' and the positive attitude of 'Ghost' are some of the things that come to mind at first listen, but the real point of reference for 'Epicloud' would be 'Addicted'.

The return of Anneke Van Giersbergen on vocals is an evidence of the chemistry that she has with Devin's material and the value that her performance adds to the songs. Even if she's not dominating through the record, her voice is powerful, expressive and not only fits perfectly with the catchy pop-oriented metal songs that constitute 'Epicloud', but also enhances the 'larger than life' feel that the album has.

This grand and positive vibe that permeates the record is presented to us in the first track 'Effervescent!' which features a Gospel chorus, an element completely new in Devin's ever growing sonic universe. 'Effervescent!' captures the listener's attention right away and provides the record with an appropriate introduction and a concept album quality.

The first 'full length' track 'True North' comes next, which shouldn't be taken as a representative song, since the second half delves into a bit of the angst driven weirdness that stands out among the happily vast atmosphere created by the rest of the songs in 'Epicloud', which have traditional 'verse/chorus/verse' structures with catchy vocal lines and memorable melodies.

So, is 'Epicloud' epic?

It's huge! Even with the simple riffs and common structures the songs gather a group of sonic elements that build a large and solid atmosphere that aims to go beyond the skies. Trademark 'Devin' aspects like multiple guitar layering and powerful operatic vocals contribute to this as well. 'Epicloud' has lots of effects and overdubs, but maintains the organic and emotional feel, which is very important.

So, is 'Epicloud' loud as well?

Loud enough.Certain moments like the song 'Where We Belong' feature mellower sections that give more variety and balance, but in general terms the record has a very strong presence and an active attitude that demands your attention.

Regarding all types of art, I generally dislike rerecordings, remakes, remixes, etc. I haven't seen the new version of 'Total Recall' but I am pretty sure it lacks all the extravagant/over the top/bloody/campy craziness that made the original so great, 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' is not the same without that grainy and dirty 70s look, and the Megadethremasters? I take the original versions any day.

Unless there is an added value I don't think revisiting previous works is a good idea. Devin's new version of 'Far Beyond Metal', featured on Strapping Young Lad's 'The New Black' was OK and the original song wasn't recorded at the studio anyway, but I was a little skeptical about the new version of the song 'Kingdom' featured on 'Epicloud'.

To my surprise, the song fits very well, it shares the energy of the record and the way the song blends with the previous track 'Save Our Now' is very well done and very clever; an exception to the rule, perhaps.

'Save Our Now' has become an addictive song when I listen to 'Epicloud'. I keep going back to it, playing it again and again. But don't get me wrong, the album is a great experience from start to finish. It is cohesive and is one of the most enjoyable records Devin has put out, full of memorable moments and interesting music.

I could go on listing musical elements, vibes and adjectives. Get 'Epicloud', Listen to it and enjoy it. I certainly am.

★★★★☆

24.9.12




WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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