Addicted review by Devin Townsend Project

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  • Released: Nov 17, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (77 votes)
Devin Townsend Project: Addicted

Sound — 9
Even if it's not his intention, Devin Townsend is quickly proving himself to be one of the most versatile musicians in any genre. While his work with extreme metal project Strapping Young Lad was usually an assault on the senses, the vast majority of his solo output has been the polar opposite or as close to that description as you can get. Fueled by mellow, ambient arrangements, solo endeavors like The Hummer and Ki seem like they could not have been possibly been touched by the man behind such crushing metal tunes as Underneath The Waves or All Hail The New Flesh. For the new album Addicted (released only about six months after his previous record Ki), his current outfit The Devin Townsend Project has combined the best of both musical worlds with impressive results. Addicted is not what you would call light listening. With every song delivering an epic-type approach to songwriting, the Devin Townsend Project's fourth album (Townsend's 11th solo album in total) is a veritable wall of sound. It's hard to characterize the record as any one specific genre, which makes the listening experience a fascinating one. The opening track Addicted! (by the way, exclamation points follow each title oddly enough), there's an array of computer/sci-fi samples, thick banshee-like vocals, and good, old fashioned distorted guitar. Universal Ball! does not ease up on the energy, but only adds intensity with its industrial vibe and operatic vocals. Townsend's range and power are insane, and guest vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen (who sounds like a long-lost member of ABBA) is a fitting match for the multi-talented artist. There are plenty of twists and turns on Addicted, and Supercrush! is a perfect example of the craziness. Starting out with a slower, chugging guitar and the cherubic vocal stylings of Giersbergen, the chorus explodes with a wall of sound that showcase the male and female voices trading off. In many ways, the 10 tracks could be compared to orchestral pieces. Numbered! stands out in this aspect for its grandiose construction, at times almost sounding like it would fit perfectly in an over-the-top musical at least one that doesn't mind pinch harmonics and some badass percussion.

Lyrics — 7
If the fact that every song features an exclamation point didn't tip you off, reading the full song text should indicate that Townsend has one of the oddest approaches around to lyric writing. There's something quite vague and mysterious about each song, but it's not because Townsend is caught up in a thesaurus. He just prefers to keep things simple, fairly repetitive, and very cryptic. Take the song Hyperdrive!, which features the casual lines, Where the river flows; Sail away, Hey, I'm sorry; Everyday is a new day; Hooray for love. Nothing is ever truly clarified from beginning to end, but given Townsend's amazing skills as a musician, one has to believe that he knows exactly what he's doing. Of course, that still doesn't help in the deciphering process.

Overall Impression — 8
With Addicted, you get the feeling that Townsend has some pretty lofty goals as a composer. You'll be barraged by a variety of sounds and instruments while listening to the CD, so be prepared for something far different than the traditional rock arrangements. Townsend has dabbled in a variety of genres, and the new album in many ways touches on them all again only on a grander and heavier scale. There's never quite the metal peak you'd get with Strapping Young Lad, but there's enough of an industrial vibe to keep things aggressive. Yes, those heavy moments are usually interwoven with big, keyboard-driven, epic choruses, but it makes for a wildly refreshing combination in the end.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    no.mop wrote: jasterofpuppets wrote: Devin Will be on tour with cynic and BtB&M. I can't wait to check em out. Scale the Summit is with them as well. This is an AMAZING album. Great listening for the entire length.
    What? I was already going to show (or hoping of going), but those 2 tokens make it better. I must go now.
    woo! Great album! got mine autographed (along with ki) and hand drawn cover along with some merch!
    Amazing album. Some of these songs should be on the radio. I was happy to see Devin on the front page of UG
    Farking great album, probably my favourite of 2009. I don't know how he did it. If it was a combination of his writing experience building up over the years to conclude with the process of making this album or the fact he was sober when he composed it.
    AMAZING album, I preordered a signed copy and the songs are just addicting!! The Dev is still outdoing himself. Deffinetly one of my favourite albums of the year along with the Great Misdirect.
    Devin is the current musical genius of our time. He doesnt know how to make bad music....
    well if SYL didnt work out at least he's continuing his solo project. thats sometimes the best thing to do when band members dont cooperate like what happened with me. I might have to go solo myself so yeah. glad he's still playing music.
    Devin Will be on tour with cynic and BtB&M. I can't wait to check em out.
    That would be insane!
    Possibly one of the worst things i have heard, I can't believe I'm going to have to sit through this when I go to see Between the Buried and me Scale the Summit and Cynic in Tampa.
    It's pretty good not that heavy but def a good album for Devy fans. That chic was pretty good too.
    Apparently Devin was at a local clinic I went to a couple months ago... It was fairly crowded and it's harder to recognize him without his skullet. Dammit.
    con job
    This was my least favourite of all of Devin's solo albums.... It has skyrocketed to my second favourite from him. Fantastic album
    jasterofpuppets wrote: Devin Will be on tour with cynic and BtB&M. I can't wait to check em out.
    Scale the Summit is with them as well. This is an AMAZING album. Great listening for the entire length.
    Never listened to him but I've heard good things before. Maybe I'll pick this one up.
    Second! lol Anyway, I heard Nibz (tentative title) to Supercrush on youtube and I got, well, addicted to that song, I still repeat that every time I hear it on my playlist. All in all, this album is surely one of my fav. albums of this year. The sound is so mindblowing and after seeing the Pro Tool edit session with Devin, I must admit the layers he uses are awesome, so the sound comes out as powerful as it does. I'll definately give this one the highest rating. Devin WTF!
    the Devin Townsend Projects fourth album
    Addicted is the second of a four album project. Its a great album, a real must buy! This guy is truely amazing at what he does, he worked so hard on this album he got shingles!!! lol If that doesn't say BUY THIS ALBUM then I don't know what will
    Senor Kristian
    Great review. I was a bit sceptical at first, when I heard that it was focusing on the pop-elements of metal. But I should have known that if anyone is able to incorporate pop-elements and still make great music, it's Devin. Devin Townsend!
    Easily one of my favourite albums of the year, A true masterpiece by Dev
    Devin is such a wonderfully talented musician. This album, although I'm still not as keen on it as Ki atm, is amazing.
    Universe IN A Ball Fantastic album, Ki makes a lot more sense now. Going by how good these past two albums are I can't wait for Deconstruction to arrive!
    I love this album. Listened to it several times a day since my signed copy arrived nearly two weeks ago, and I'm still noticing things I haven't heard before!
    Devin Townsend makes very interesting music. It's not for everyone, but damn if he's not progressive.
    Great record I have to say. I do like the experimentation he is doing on the record as well.
    I love this new album, even more than Ki. In fact, I think I love everything Devin Townsend has ever done I look forward to seeing him next year.
    coincidentally, devy is going to be writing a metal'll be called Z2 and it'll be the sequel to Ziltoid The Omniscient. Personally I can't wait.
    on of...if not my favorite album of '09 such power, emotion, hard work, passion and even fun was put into the record and Anneke's vocals are stunning!