Devin Townsend – Lightwork
Inside Out Music
Release Date: 28/10/22
Running Time: 55:59
Review by Simon Black
First off, apologies on the lateness of this. We normally try and get reviews out in advance of release date and not look back, but we promised to do this one and when the planned reviewer ended up having to focus on a family emergency, yours truly stepped up. That would be a monstrous helping of serendipity, right there…
I have come to the Devin party somewhat late in general, having only really started listening to some of the recently released lockdown fillers in the Devolution series, but I am familiar enough now to know that whatever you are going to get from this prolific and creative powerhouse could pretty much go in any direction. This direction though, has a change here with Townsend actually working with a producer for a change (GGGarth Richardson). Now, they’re good friends anyway, but that doesn’t mean that Devin has not been challenged throughout this process, which to be honest every musician needs from time to time – musical genius or not. We’re also used to Townsend working on his own musically, but there’s an impressive array of guests too, and the overall feel of the record is expansive and epic as a consequence.
The just short of an hour’s runtime of this record positively flies by, with music that is more Prog Rock than Metal this time out, with the kind of huge mood and key change shifts that masters like Pink Floyd (snorting Frank Zappa) would pull off when at their peak. It’s moody, yes; it’s heavy, yes – but not in the crushingly down-tuned way that one would expect. Neither is it as aggressive vocally, and although Townsend does add more extreme vocal layers in there, the singing is nearly all in a much cleaner register, which being Devin Townsend he pulls off as effortlessly as everything else he touches. The subject matter feels dark and moody, but this ain’t the sequel to “Empath” (let’s face it, nothing could be), but neither does it go down the crazily experimental and somewhat unlistenable route of last years’ “The Puzzle / Snuggles”. But then when you are as prolific as this man and generally able to put out several releases of new or live material a year, then sticking to one direction or formula would quickly get stale, and that’s not gonna happen here.
Relaxed and melodic, but still roaringly and soaringly powerful when it needs to be, this is a positive triumph.
‘Heartbreaker’ Official Promo Video
04. Call of the Void
07. Celestial Signals
08. Heavy Burden
10. Children of God
Devin Townsend – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Synth, Computer, Orchestrations, Co-Producer, Mixing
Anneke Van Giersbergen – Vocals
Ché Aimee Dorval – Vocals
Morgan Agren – Vocals, Drums & Percussion
Mike Keneally – Guitars
Steve Vai – Guitars
Darby Todd – Drums
Federico Paulovich – Drums
Diego Tejeida – Keyboards
Nathan Navarro – Bass
Jonas Hellborg – Bass
Elektra Women’s Choir – Choir
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