Devin Townsend – Devolution Series #3: Empath Live In America
Inside Out Music
Release Date 04/08/23
Running Time: 61:01
Review by Beth Jones
As you all know by now, Devin Townsend is my idol. I saw him earlier this year (again) in Manchester, and it was stunning, as usual. And I always hang hotly on new releases coming out. I’ve amassed a wealth of the Devin back catalogue, in his various guises. I had the DTP “Ghost” album as the soundtrack to me giving birth to my first child. I’ve even got a pair of Devy socks. But, my one biggest regret is that I never got to see the Empath tour. I had tickets (they were a 40th Birthday present, purchased 9 months before the gig) and eagerly awaited the date, which fell on my 40th Birthday… And then I was bloody ill and couldn’t go. Damn my stupid carcass that always loves to ruin my fun!!!
Anyway, having watched footage and read countless emotional, gushing status updates from fellow Devy fans, it was obvious that I’d missed probably one of the most magnificent gigs to ever grace a stage. But now, with the release of the 3rd instalment of the “Devolution Series” we get to experience some of the magnificent audio recorded on the American leg of that tour, with a couple of tracks from the Montreal gig chucked in too.
After a traditional exuberant, witty, endearing introduction, the album launches straight into the chunky proggy masterpiece that is ‘Evermore’. It’s a great way to open a show, and sets the tone for the album straight away; Oozing grandiose and passion, with spectacular musicianship from every performer, completed neatly with interjections from Devin. And that really sums up the album.
The precision with which everything is performed live is, as you would expect, unbelievably good. Every sound is huge, every dynamic immaculately observed, and every pause full of electrifying energy, preparing for the next barrage of sparkling, astronomic noise! It’s like being beaten around the head with a pinata made of marshmallows, covered in edible glitter, and I bloody love it.
My only quibble is ‘GigPig’, a jam that happens a few tracks before the ever present ‘Kingdom’ closes the album. While the rest of the album is undoubtedly indulgent, and we would expect nothing less from Devy, this, for me, lapses into overindulgent noodling, and I got a bit bored with it. I know it’s just a live gig noodle, but still. But, I’ll forgive that, because the rest of everything else that this album gives is just epic.
Until the next time I get to see Devin, I’ll be alternating between this album an ‘Ocean Machine Live at Plovdiv’ to get my fix of the unique, awesome sound that is Devin Townsend.
01. Intro / Evermore
03. March of the Poozers
06. Fuck Around Section
08. Gigpig Jam
09. Forgive Me
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.