Many fans lamented the day Devin Towsend closed the book on Strapping Young Lad. Especially with City (1997) and Alien (2005) are landmark records when it comes to sheer sonic violence. He got his act together and started to work on a four album endeavor under the Devin Townsend Project moniker. This resulted into four distinctly different albums, namely the jazzy/rock and roll styled Ki, the pop metal of Addicted!, an ambient/folk record called Ghost and Deconstruction, the heaviest of the bunch. Let’s see what it has to offer.
Deconstruction is probably the closest that Devin Townsend will ever come to his former band, musically speaking. It’s a very intense effort, but it doesn’t match the sheer nihilistic ferocity of Strapping Young Lad. His latest effort is made from an entirely different headspace, which shows in the incredibly focussed and controlled manner of songs like “Stand”, “Juular”, “Plant Of The Apes” and “The Mighty Masturbator” are presented to the listener. What has remained is Devin’s profound love for weird arrangements, his manic vocals and his trademark juvenile humor. Deconstruction mirrors the diversity of The New Black and it reminds me a lot to the harsher moments of Physicist and Synchestra.
The musical accomplishments are matched by the amount of guest musicians on Deconstruction. People like Ihsahn (ex Emperor), Floor Jansen (ReVamp), Paul Masvidal (Cynic) and Tommy Rogers (Between The Buried And Me) turn this album into a very memorable listening experience. They each bring their own distinct flavour to the song material. Compositions like “Sumeria”, “Pandemic” and the title track are other fine examples of Devin’s creative mind and skills.
Deconstruction does have the infamous wall of sound that Devin Townsend is known for. It hits you like a wall of bricks and it underscores the manic and relentless character of this album.
Devin’s latest creation is just as over the top as he can make it. It may not be as merciless as your typical S.Y.L album, but it’s still good to see he’s able to make soul-shaking and simply deranged music. I’m sure Deconstruction will end up in my year list, probably in some capacity with its twin record Ghost…