Feb 28 2007, 1:08
Hey, I may be only a year late, but I finally wrote a review for this incredible album. It is also my first review submitted to The Metal Archives. A Triumph Indeed.
After listening to an album countless times it may have a tendency to become boring and dull. This is not the case with Synchestra
On Devin Townsend
's second album with "The Devin Townsend Band
", he seems to be taking a more experimental approach than he did with Accelerated Evolution. One glance at the page for this album helps reveal what I mean. Tuba, hammond, mandolin -- just some of the instruments listed. This is not your average metal record. The instrument playing is superb and the band blends together perfectly. The guitar work is fantastic. There are plenty of mellow acoustic interludes, but enough crunchy riffs to keep everybody satisfied. The drumming is also memorable; Ryan Van Poederooyen is certainly an overlooked artist. The keyboards are simple, yet effective. The aforementioned, strange and obscure instruments provide a nice change from the standard guitar/bass/drums/keyboards seen in most metal bands. The bass is a bit lacking, but manages to poke through during a few songs, most notably during "Notes From Africa". Then there are Devin's vocals, which are some of the best he has ever put on record. The production is excellent as well, which helps create a beautiful, moody atmosphere. The atmosphere itself is constantly changing; "Mental Tan" creates a feeling of space, whereas the ending of "Notes From Africa" leaves a jungle impression. Staring at the album art may help give the listener a better idea of exactly what they're about to hear.
The songs themselves are truly moving, sweeping, and exciting. They grab the listener and will not let go. Of course, Devin manages to fit in his trademark humor during the tracks "Vapolka" and "Vampira". These help give a short break from the powerful tracks sandwiched around them. Make sure you check out the hilarious video for "Vampira".
Devin continues to pump out consistently brilliant work, and Synchestra only shows he has no signs of slowing down.