I featured The Devin Townsend Project's latest (at the time) releases, Ki and Addicted, with an article, now I continue (and finish) the cycle, with the upcoming pair of releases from the madman that is Devin Townsend, with Deconstruction and Ghost. The first two releases were a clever mix of ambient and heavy/extreme metal, with Ki being more on the ambient side of things while Addicted brought elements of industrial music. That first pair was plenty for any other band, but Townsend seems fixated on going above and beyond (Deconstruction and Ghost haven't even been released yet and he's already announced the name of his next record). I'm covering them as a pair because they are being released in that fashion; while they aren't directly linked, the project seems to follow a sweeping style-arc which flows together rather well. If he (Townsend) had released all four at one I'd probably put the entire project into a 'Weekly Dose of Prog.'
trapping Young Lad (Townsend's previous band/project) would release, coming across borderline thrash/NWOAHM with bits of lighter vocals (but still heavy instruments, especially the percussion) thrown here or there for effect. Although it sounds weird, it actually works really great, bringing Deconstruction a much more memorable feel then the previous pair of releases. My one complaint of the album, however, are the longer tracks. It seems that the songs that cross the ten-minute marker just can't pull it together well enough to warrant that amount of time. "Planet of The Apes," "The Mighty Masturbator," and "Deconstruction" are the main examples of this ("Stand" keeps it together pretty well, plus it's just under ten), with certain parts that work very well - namely the beginnings - but they just lose focus, or change styles too much, or have to much out there stuff (spoken word and whatnot - "Deconstruction" anyone?) to be as enjoyable as the rest of the album. Other then that, the album is almost priceless.
All in all I prefer the heavier feel of Deconstruction over the rest of The Devin Townsend Project's releases. While most of them hold some type of metal within their covers, Deconstruction is by far the fattest, gorged on the blast beats of a few of the tracks. Ghost is just too far away from the rest of the releases for me to really take seriously - although it does live up to its name rather well - at least from a metal standpoint.
The project as a whole has been very interesting, four albums crossing over a dozen genres and styles, all under the same moniker; very interesting. I gave Ki and Addicted another spin in preparation for Deconstruction and Ghost, and I feel that doing the same for all four in a month or two would be very beneficial. These releases just cement the notion that I really, really need to hear more from Devin Townsend, his various persona, projects, and Strapping Young Lad. The man is either a genius or insane, or somewhere treading back and forth over that line.