Ziltoid The Omniscient Review

artist: Devin Townsend date: 02/04/2015 category: compact discs
Devin Townsend: Ziltoid The Omniscient
Release Date: Jun 5, 2007
Genres: Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal
Label: InsideOut Music
Number Of Tracks: 11
Leave it to Devin Townsend, one of the most colorful and prolific characters in the world of heavy metal to come up with such a bizarre and whimsical concept album as Ziltoid The Omniscient.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
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reviews (3) 17 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Ziltoid The Omniscient Reviewed by: Rebourne, on june 05, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Ziltoid The Omniscient Reviewed by: gamesplayswill, on february 04, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Devin never fails to pound us in the a-se with walls of sound, accompanied by thick bursts of distortion and echo, all ground into a concoction of madness and delight. He is on a whole new level in songs such as "N9" and "By Your Command." One would think that Devin "cheats" to produce such an insanely difficult arrangement of music like bands such as DragonForce (nothing against DragonForce, don't worry.) But you'll soon find everything he plays isn't necessarily tampered with.His guitar is coated in effects, but that's about it.

In short, every guitar riff is detailed to fit the context of the song, and every drum beat (programmed in by himself) can surprisingly work with every song on the album. The bass work is nothing terribly special, but as a bassist I can tell Devin has put some work into giving the bass it's own little short segments in songs such as "Colour Your World." (Devin plays everything in the album, just so you know.) Sometimes, the thick layerings from the album can be a bit too much for the tired mind, hence why I've knocked one mark off. Nothin' personal Dev. // 9

Lyrics: "Seven, what do you MEAN a SEVEN!?"

The lyrics didn't do it for me, I am sorry to say. Devin rehashed a couple of verses from previous albums like "Ocean Machine," which was a massive turn off for me since it felt like he was cheating us a little. Don't be fooled though, the lyrics ARE pretty good. But sometimes you just listen to a song like "Hyperdrive" and think to yourself "Y'know, another new line in that verse could really texturize the vibe so much more..."

On the other side of the spectrum...

DEVIN. IS. A. VOCAL. GOD. Forget Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, forget Ozzy Osbourne and Michael Kiske, Devin Townsend is easily the best male vocalist I've ever heard. And that's a VERY hard competition (listen to the first verse of "Kingdom" by Devin, and tell me that he can't sing). Not only can he provide big pushes of raw vocal power, but he can scream like a bloody newborn. If I met him, I'd ask him how the hell his throat hasn't dried out and torn. I must admit that sometimes he really can't beat a dose of good ol' vocalists like Rob, Bruce and Kiske, but damn... he is talented. // 7

Overall Impression: If you told me that a coffee drinking alien from another dimension starred in a concept album, I would immediately lose hope for the metal community, but it works in a magnificent context. Ziltoid, the alien protagonist, represents a little creature within us all. Hatred, self-loathing and jealousy, he's a teeny weeny green goblin that we all have had at some point during the week, or even the day.

It's punchline at the last track "Tall Latte" left me staring at my bedroom wall for a full half hour, contemplating on how odd, and how vast our life is. I don't want to spoil anything... so SPOILER ALERT, I REPEAT, SPOILER ALERT!!!

Ziltoid discovers that he is merely a puppet in the mind of a human, and that his existence is a made up fantasy, Ziltoid is still a conscious being though, so he reacts with horror and terror stricken in his eyes. It really makes you wonder about our own mortality, are we just on a sub-level compared to something greater? Is this earth some sort of lie? It is a very thought-provoking album, if you let your mind wander.

This brings me to the next point. Devin Townsend is a genius when it comes to taking you on journey into his mind, he can transition his thoughts extremely well through his voice and guitar. In songs such as "Planet Smasher" and "The Greys" you hear the emotion, you hear the characters shrieking and talking, you feel their sorrows, their anger and pride. He picks out a cast of characters and messes around with them in such a way, that it entails such an emotional journey.

But... the album could just be about an uptight alien who gets p-ssed off with everything. Eh.

Love the concept, love the feeling, love everything!... except from this one little thing... I mean, he writes good lyrics, but what the heck does any of the lyrics link with? I mean, songs like "The Greys," "Colour Your World" and "ZTO" are self explanatory, but some lyrics in songs like "The Planet Smasher" and "Hyperdrive" just don't seem to make much sense in any kind of context. In Devin's defense, most songs don't usually have strict lyrics. So I guess that's something. All in all, a very solid and wonderful album. // 9

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overall: 10
Ziltoid The Omniscient Reviewed by: Sintera666, on november 27, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Alright, when I first found out about this album, I didn't think too much of it. I was thinking that this is going to sound softer than Strapping Young Lad (I am a huge SYL fan) but I was still going to get it sooner or later. Then I went onto youtube and watched the ddr version of Ziltoidia Attaxx and it blew my mind away! I soon bought the album off ITunes and was hooked. I am now officially in love with Devin Townsend. Not only did he grabbed a choke hold on the whole Sci-Fi theme, he turned it into something amazing! It starts off with ZTO, (I'll talk about the lyrics later because they are really funny) which sounds truely metal. But it gets even better from there. This album tells the story of the 4th Dimensional Ziltoid the Omniscient and the planet Earth. Trust me, and to those who think this is gimmicky and don't even pay attention to this album, this is a must have for metal fans especially SYL fans. // 10

Lyrics: Devin Townsend is amazing. He sings these songs with such ease going from normal singing to his high pitch screaming to even gutteralls. The lyrics give the perfect mood and gives you a sense of actually being there. // 10

Overall Impression: Now this is the first album I've heard from Devin Townsends vault of solo albums, and it kicks ass! SYL fans will not be disappointed with this album. And to those talent seekers, Devin Townsend did everthing everything by himself on this. He wrote the songs, he played the guitar, did all the vocals and voices, and he used Toon Tracks Drumkit from Hell. This canadian bastard should get more recognition than he's getting because he is a metal genious. // 10

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