Sound — 9
This album is the second release from Townsend since he gained a distaste for touring and self promotion thus putting a Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band on a seemingly indefinate hiatus. Due in part to this new attitude the record was entirely written, produced, and preformed by Devin without the aid of any additional band members. However, dispite this change none of the album ends up sounding artificial or uninspired paying homage to just how talented of a song-writer Devin is. The sound of this album is very close to that of The Devin Townsend Band and Strapping Young Lad, however it offers a new approach to both without seeming tedious or overly redundant. The album's most unique and strong element is the song writing which stands out as being fresh, catchy, and progressive. Devin manges to make the melodies and rhythm sections in every song very strong and memorable yet also cohesive melding the songs together into a album that flows remarkably well throught. Adding to the album's charm and humor is the overall concept that permeates through every song about an epic struggle between and alien Ziltoid the Omniscient and Earth. It's an obvious parody that works well to give inteast to the record, but at the same time serves to take away some of the emmotional depth of his previous works.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of the album are very dedicated to the concept of the album and driving the story onward. Therefore there is and abundance of spoken dialog and narration meshed into the songs that not only serves as humorous interludes but also as effective tension and release elements in the songwriting. Because of the concept the lyrics are not emotionally deep at all however they are hilarious and quite unique. The brutal side of Townsend's vocals are present in full force in this record but often take the second stage to the ever increasing melodic quality of his clean vocals. To put it bluntly some of Devin's most inventive and catchy vocal melodies are present on this album. It is for that reason alone that this may full well be his best vocal performances out of all of his records.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall the record is derivative of Devin's previous works but it represents their best qualities. Even so he manages to introduce enough new elements into the album to be distinctive and to impress the listener with his wit and musical ability. I recommend everyone that likes Devin's music to pick this record up as it may very well be one of his best. However, if you are not a fan of concept albums and or cheesy humor you may have your senses offended enough for you to dislike this album.