Archive for the ‘Devin Townsend’ Category

Anger Management: Devin Townsend

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Every fortnight, we check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

Ziltoid is back! The coffee-loving alien hell bent on world domination has returned in this sequel of sorts, titled Z2 (Ziltoid Squared). Devin Townsend originally formed the concept of Ziltoid as a bit of an in-joke with himself in 2007, and also to prove that he could write, record and mix an album completely by himself on a shoestring budget. The end result was an entertaining sci-fi metal extravaganza, reminiscent of his earlier work in Strapping Young Lad. Nowadays you rarely see one of his sets without an appearance by Ziltoid (via video screens) and one or two songs from that album.

Z2 is comprised of two full-length albums. The first disc is titled Sky Blue and is more akin to Devin Townsed Project material complete with guest vocals from Anneke van Giersbergen (similar to Epicloud and Addicted). There is no clear thread linking this album to the Ziltoid storyline; the 12 uplifting tracks symbolise a celebration of life in Townsend’s pop-metal style soaked in layered melodies and synth. Highlights include ‘Fallout’, ‘Warrior’ and ‘Rain City’ (which could have easily been lifted from Ocean Machine).

The second disc is titled Dark Matters and is a narrated War of the Worlds–style epic tale of humans against their extra-terrestrial invaders. Musically it is very similar to the first Ziltoid album – heavy mechanized metal with an avant-garde twist, interspersed with voiceovers to tell the main story. The difference between this album and the last is that Ziltoid arrives on Earth first as a celebrity instead of an invader. The antagonist in this tale is the War Princess from the planet Titan, who pursues Ziltoid to Earth after she finds out he stole one of her beloved ‘Poozers’. The stolen ‘Poozer’ makes his/her way back to the War Princess and tells of the existence of coffee on Earth, which holds a mysterious power…

It all sounds a bit ridiculous – and it is, but Townsend is totally self-aware which makes it even more fun. Due to the overwhelming success of his crowd-funding campaign for his ambient folk-rock outing ‘Casualties of Cool’, he was able to stretch the budget to fund this release, as well as build better puppets! The Ziltoid tale will also be told live on stage next year at the historic Royal Albert Hall (!).

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM on RTR FM 92.1.