Sound — 10
"Deconstruction" is the third album in a 4 album series by the over-the-top, probably insane Canadian musician Devin Townsend. The goal of these 4 releases is to put a magnifying glass on all the aspects of Devin's personality, highlighted by his newly found sober mind and self control. "Deconstruction" is meant to explore his more aggressive tendencies. In other words, Devin f--ks the place up. "Deconstruction" in a nutshell is everything you felt when that kid stole your lollipop, your dog died, or you found out that Wintersun's "Time" was postponed for another year. All that times a hundred. Devin himself said that "this is the most antisocial record I have ever written, and even surpassing stuff I wrote for Strapping Young Lad." This is a completely unique body of work, and isn't really like anything Devin has written. The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and a choir are all playing during a majority of the playing time, along with down tuned seven string guitars, thundering drums, bass, and Devin's vocals. The album's production is fantastic. Everything that needs to be heard is heard. An extra mention should go out to the vocals. Swarms of what sounds like beasts and undead screaming to angelic falsettos, the vocal variety is huge, and utterly satisfying to hear as a listener. Not to neglect all the other aspects: the guitar playing is tight and heavy, littered with headbangable riffs and mind boggling solos, supported by a subtle but deep bass and primal drumming, giving all the insanity a pulse.
Lyrics — 8
Lyric wise, this album is a concept album. In short, a man in search for the meaning of life meets up with Satan (as you do). Satan answers his question with a greasy cheeseburger but the man, being a vegetarian, can't munch on it. This where some possible negatives could come in. For those in search of a serious release this album might not be the greatest. Most of the music is very serious, but tidbits of Devin's humorous side are unavoidable. I personally find the lyrical approach refreshing, but I can see how that opinion could vary.
Overall Impression — 10
The overall sound of the album is chaotic and very, very heavy. The album does kick off with a fairly jazzy beat reminiscent of some works from the album Ki, but very quickly turns into a juggernaut that doesn't stop pummeling. Within this chaos however, things rarely get dry, which is a huge strength of the album. Devin is always popping up with something different, and its really quite hard to absorb all at once. Every song has it's own devilish persona, all the way from the fist pumping "Stand", to the black metal/evil gremlin workshop-esque "Juular", to the comedic "The Mighty Masturbator" and Meshuggah inspired "Planet Of The Apes". Blast beats, harp arpeggios, jazz fusion solos, unique melodic lines that appear only once, palm muted polyrhythms, farts, you name it (no typos there I can assure you). We can't forget the guest musicians who also add to the dense mix, whether it be growls or a guitar solo. Songs flow very well despite the vast expanse of content, which is again a huge plus. Even within the noise, "Deconstruction" still has its melodic, softer side to show, which doesn't take away from the listening experience, but adds to it. The album is a must hear for people who enjoy expert musicianship, and who don't mind pummeling chaos. A chaos however which balances aspects of noise and melody perfectly, and leaves you incredibly satisfied after a listen. The magic is in how Devin manages to put so much into an album, and it still being cohesive, not repetitive and most importantly, incredibly enjoyable. One of the best, of not the best of 2011 without a doubt.