The Devin Townsend Supermegathread!

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by keithb, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. jonajon91

    jonajon91 New Picture

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    Cant wait to learn the bass part for this one.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'm also having a similar reaction to what I had with the first track....

    It still feels unfocused to me. There's some element of direction missing - it feels like a salad of short ideas that never quite combine to make a cohesive whole. There are parts that feel like they could be expanded into a fully realized idea but it never quite gets there. If there was a strong vocal melody over the whole thing to tie it together then I think it could work, but it doesn't have that. Maybe it's trying to re-create the vibe from Deconstruction - where sometimes that all-over-the-place writing came across as intentional, but it's just not landing this time.

    It's like each track so far is a collection of little one-idea micro songs that are only vaguely tied together:

    [Nice chuggy bit]
    [Acoustic bit that probably should have been a bridge somewhere]
    [Chorus! ...already?]
    [Higher energy tension building piece that would feel at home on a Ziltoid track]
    [Cartoon sound effect?]
    [Chill/low tension poppy upbeat thing with notes all over the place and another chorus for reasons]
    [Finally back to something similar to the first chuggy bit... I like this part in terms of how it's voiced]
    [Something that feels like a proper chorus]
    [Break for some space noises]
    [Meow?]
    [I don't even know what to call this part...]
    [What sounds like an attempt to build up to a crescendo type deal]
    [Immediately diffuse all tension to go back into a poppy chorus :( ]
    [Did we remember to put blast beats in? No? OK PUT SOME HERE]
    [End on a good chorus-y note, I guess]

    Meh?
     
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  3. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Oh my God I can't believe he actually put this out. It's so disjointed, it's a bunch of things that don't fit together just copy-pasted and cut together to make something "silly" and "original" that comes off as babby's first project and is a horrible assault on the senses.

    I am talking, of course, about that atrocious animated cat music video. Holy moly that's bad. Definitely in my top 10 worst music video list.

    I really like the song though, but I do think it's still not, I dunno, "great". It's not wow-ing me like Ki, Addicted, Ghost or Casualties of Cool did, where my reaction was "omg I've never heard anything like this before". It's still not deviating very far from the DTP formula in terms of "feel", if that makes sense. Yeah it's more chaotic and there's bleeps and bloops and whatever, but it's still got that same stale DTP vibe to it.

    I'm hoping that he's releasing this as the most DTP-like song and that the rest is going to be more unique and creative. And if not, oh well, still a 6.5-7 out of 10 Devy song.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  4. isispelican

    isispelican SS.org Regular

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    I love the adventurous nature of these songs so far, unique and refreshing!
     
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  5. Captain Butterscotch

    Captain Butterscotch SS.org Regular

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    This album might be The Last Jedi of Devin Townsend’s discography.
     
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  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I think if I had been blown away by the song, the video could have complimented it. As it stands, it does kind of parallel the track though: It's a bunch of things that are ok on their own, mashed together in a way that doesn't quiiiiiiiite feel cohesive. Cat animation? The "lol cats are random" thing lately is kind of tired, but the animations themselves are fine. Why is it on top of entirely different kinds of animations. Why is there this one super sci-fi shot of a spaceship getting shot at that repeats a bunch of times? It's a cool shot but I don't know what's happening narratively speaking.

    I can't help but wonder why the trend lately is content that amounts to "lol heavy music listeners like cats too". We get it: Cat's aren't "metal", so there's some juxtaposition there. We don't aaaaaaaaaaall need to make the same joke at the same time.
     
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  7. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Yeah, I agree. The Genesis video was all over the place and there wasn't a narrative and it was basically just a expressionist visual tapestry, which is totally fine because everything was visually cohesive, even if it wasn't thematically. The one time it breaks, with Chekov's octopus puppet, it works as a dumb joke because it comes and goes quickly. The cat video has four distinct types of visuals (Flash animation, 1990's Reboot-tier CGI, live action footage, and still images) that don't fit together at all and are mixed up and layered over each other all the time during the whole video. It's really, really ugly, and not in a good way.
     
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Such a huge contrast between this and the last one though. Transcendence, while not without it's own flaws, was very focused sounding. Those songs feel complete and well executed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was the period where Dev was taking writing feedback from the rest of the band? Now that that feedback has been rejected, we're right back to idea salad.
     
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  9. ChugThisBoy

    ChugThisBoy SS.org Regular

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    Yes, you're quite right. He let the other members of the band to have their input on the record. He also had Nolly to help him with the production, drum sounds and what not.

    I think that he didn't reject all the feedback for Empath as he had Mike Keneally and Nolly (for example) to help him with some things and give him opinions. "Idea salad" is pretty good representation of his music for sure but I think that he appreciate honest input on his work too. But again, it's Dev without a leash so we can expect anything IMO.
     
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  10. skvld

    skvld Active Member

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    That is not how I saw the video at all. To me, it was visually and thematically establishing the tropical island world that Devin imagined for the album, with some fun additions to reinforce the dynamics of the music. For me, both the track and the video fit perfectly with Devin's description of a tropical island with both threatening and non-threatening creatures living together.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  11. skvld

    skvld Active Member

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    I think Devin was taking suggestions and writing more collaboratively on Transcendence. I think that's a healthy creative motive, but I'm not sure that the suggestions were very good, because I thought the album was very bland.
     
  12. ChugThisBoy

    ChugThisBoy SS.org Regular

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    I've had similar thoughts on it as well. The album is great but it feels almost too serious for Dev. I kinda know what he wanted to accomplish with it but if you listen to the B-side, it has more 'free' vibe to it, imo. I don't know how to properly explain that :(
     
  13. skvld

    skvld Active Member

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    If you listen a few more times, you might start to notice that there are musical themes which are repeated in different variations throughout the track. I agree that some of the transitions between parts can be a little jarring, but I do not hear the track as just a bunch of disparate ideas pasted together in sequence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  14. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    I dig this track way more than Genesis. It feels a little more disjointed like Deconstruction material was but I think it'll grow on me.
     
  15. musicaldeath

    musicaldeath Herald of Djod

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    I am enjoying this. Maybe I'm weird. But listening to it at work, I am enjoying it. I almost have a what's going to happen next feeling from it. That may get exhausting eventually, but for now, I am enjoying this.
     
  16. ppinkham

    ppinkham SS.org Regular

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    Most people aren't going to "get it" with this album because traditional song structures are just not there, but it is almost impossible for anyone to get an idea of what Empath is like by the two songs released so far. The whole album is meant to be heard as one piece. Damn the labels for always wanting the slow roll-out, and wanting to release "singles." lol

    There are no singles on this album. The closest thing to a traditional song is "Spirits Will Collide," and it probably should have been released first. Still, even though it is more of a traditional song, it in no way represents the album. No one "song" on the album could, except maybe "Singularity" if released in its entirety.

    IMO, it's the best thing he has ever done. I don't even hesitate saying that, and I have been a fan since the Vai days. This isn't an album, it's an epic.
     
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  17. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    Weird acid-trip/insomnia-induced sensory disconnect.

    That song was...not exactly satisfying, but in a good way?
     
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  18. drmosh

    drmosh Sir Paul of the Mosh Contributor

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    when i heard it I thought of it more as an exercise in how to make the same riff sound different a million times
     
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  19. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD ERG Drummer! Contributor

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    Being able to see (well, hear) what goes on inside another person's head is always going to be... not what we expect, at best. For someone like Dev, who is intensely creatively focused, has bipolar disorder (and probably comorbid anxiety) and (if I understood correctly) has a history of drug use... it's gonna be fucking weird as hell. In a way that's only ever gonna be 100% understandable to Dev himself. He's decided to take a huge risk, make himself vulnerable, and basically expose what it's like inside his head. And we get to go along for the ride!

    Is it what I would make, given his resources? Of course not. But Empath is gonna be the ultimate psychedelic rollercoaster, made by a master architect. Maybe you don't like rollercoasters; maybe you won't like THIS rollercoaster; but it won't be like any ride you ever ridden, and it will be unforgettable.
     
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  20. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    The more I listen to Evermore the more it vibes with me (still hate the video though). It flows a lot better after repeated listening, and that chorus is so freaking catchy. 9 more days til release!

    EDIT: I just found out one of my favorite animators made the cat animations in the video and now I feel bad for ripping on it so hard. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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