One week away from our first anniversary, we continue doing what we do best…ok, well what we just do at all and that is reviewing new albums. In case you did not decipher the title of the episode, we have four new ones for you this week which have a lot more variety than the pretty heavy Episode 50. Also, Brian reviews Hatebreed’s “10 Years of Perseverance” tour, which Kyle apparently thinks takes too long, but we think it is just because he wasn’t listening and just wanted it to be done because he didn’t care. Also, that is why we have chapter skips…but we digress. Anyway, hopefully you enjoy it all…
Make sure you tune in next week when we breakdown how to get into heavy music if you know nothing about it, or, if you are already a card carrying member of the metal community, how you can help one of your less fortunate friends come to the dark side.
Reviews: The Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud, Vision Of Disorder – The Cursed Remain Cursed, Becoming The Archetype – I Am, Threshold – March Of Progress
The Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud
Brian – Buy | Kyle – Skip | Nick -Buy
Vision Of Disorder – The Cursed Remain Cursed
Brian – Buy | Kyle – Buy | Nick Buy
Becoming The Archetype – I Am
Brian – Try | Kyle – Buy | Nick – Try
Threshold – March Of Progress
Brian Try | Kyle – Skip | Nick – Try
Alright Kyle, now that I’ve been listening to Epicloud by Devin Townsend all week, I have to take issue with you review of it. The biggest thing I take issue with is “WTF” and the suspicion that you may have let Hevy Devy’s personality and some of his other music affect your opinion of Epicloud. I can certainly see where you might think “WTF” regarding Ziltoid, which is about an alien puppet who attacks Earth because we humans served him fetid coffee and instead chose to hide our finest bean from him (in Ziltoid’s opinion).
But to me Epicloud is nothing like Ziltoid. Maybe the first three tracks (including the 44 second opener “Effercescent!” are a little different and have some offbeat sensibilities, but if you keep listening to the remaining 10 songs I think you’ll find them to be anything but weird. The majority of the album is so un-weird to the point that it is regular pop-rock. Most of the songs are verse-chorus-verse-chorus structures with clean singing and catchy melodies. It doesn’t get much more plain, regular, and vanilla than that stuff on Epicloud. And as Brian said, “Save Our Now” could certainly be a radio hit. What is more mainstream than radio? They don’t play weird shit on the radio. They play the stuff that tries to appeal to the widest possible audience, which is what I feel many parts of Epicloud are.
So if you wanted to dismiss Epicloud for being not being metal, or to criticize it for it being too mainstream or too radio-friendly, I wouldn’t be taking issue with that. If this type of unaggressive sound and poppy song writing isn’t your cup of tea, then that’s fine. But to say WTF about one of the most mainstream, radio-friendly pop-rock albums of the year doesn’t hold true. I might also suggest that you put aside all that you know about Devin Townsend and give tracks 4-13 on Epicloud a “let me try that one again.” I can’t say that you will like Epicloud (I suspect you still won’t like it), but you may at least come away with a better appreciation of the talent and diversity of Devin Townsend.
I still haven’t been able to figure out if the album is called Epi-cloud or Epic-loud. The only thing by Hevy Devy that I’ve listened to is Ziltoid the Omniscient, which I love, but which Kyle mispronounced: it’s om-ni-see-ent. At least, that’s how Ziltoid pronounces it. But I’ve never really listened to any of his other stuff because he is just so insanely prolific (and prolifically insane) that I don’t know what to listen to next of his. So Epicloud fits that bill for me. After only one listen of Epicloud so far, I have to say that I was expecting it to be weirder. Where is the weirdness? Where are the aliens attacking the earth? Where is the fetid black coffee? I might have to go listen to some Frank Zappa after this to get my fill of weirdness that I was expecting from Epicloud.
After seeing DTP, I can confirm it is Epic-loud. And you are right, it is not that outwardly weird, however, if you think about the kind of album that it is and that it is unleashed until the metal community, it is kinda bizarre in the way it is so pop oriented and doesn’t really fit anywhere. If you want weird, though, try “Deconstruction” and “Addicted.” Deconstruction is the weirder album but I personally enjoy Addicted more. Neither of them hit Ziltoid levels…an album I also love…but they are good, weird, Heavy Devy.
Some Ideas from my very own personal Metal 101:
I don’t get fully into the anals (intentionally misspelled) of metal, but I have certainly increased my appreciation for metal over the years through “gateway bands”.
– American Head Charge – The Feeding
– Nonpoint – To The Pain
– Katatonia – Viva Emptiness, Great Cold Distance, and actually Dead Letter Kings
– Three – actually, Three’s back catalog will give a really unique look into the
progression of lighter (almost soul/funk/jam) music into metal
– Life of Agony – Listen to Broken Valley first, then go to Ugly, then to River Runs Red
…. This comes from a guy who watched Stolen Babies, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, and Double Townsend Penetration the day before I watched a folk show (Milk Carton Kids, what what?!) this weekend.