Inside Out [Release date 27.10.14]
Ziltoid the Omniscient is back! Yes he’s back on one disc of this double album, the more melodic side of Devin Townsend is on the second disc ‘Sky Blue’. Also back is former Gathering vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen, who is much in demand having just completed an album with Arjen Lucassen and toured with the Sirens. Oh and Dev kindly invited 2,000 fans to record their voices to form the Universal Choir who feature on a few songs.
‘Dark Matters’ is presented like one of those classic sci-fi radio serials. The story follows the story of Ziltoid as he tries to save the earth from the War Princess and her vicious army of Poozers. Oh and we have Captain Fantastic who turns out to be Ziltoid’s half-brother and yes coffee features heavily in the plot again.
The music on this disc is amongst the heaviest he has recorded, although the melody still remains key. The spoken word interludes are good fun and don’t wear thin on repeated plays. The epic ‘War Princess’ throws in all sort of musical and vocal ideas, whilst ‘March Of The Poozers’ is great listening fun, as is the whole album.
The ‘Sky Blue’ disc picks up where the ‘Epicloud’ album left off, highlighting the insanely catchy melodic metal side of Devin Townsend. Not a bad song to be found and highlights for me are ‘Warrior’, the chorus and whole song are just so damn catchy and ‘Silent Militia’, where Dev does metal disco, I kid you not -just listen to the ‘borrow’ of a famous dance tune riff on the beginning of the chorus.
‘Before We Die’ is just so damn uplifting, with the Universal Choir I think back in action? ‘Forever’ shows he can do ballads and throughout the album the soothing vocals of Anneke van Giersbergen are a perfect foil for Dev’s more err lively vocal moments.
How Devin Townsend keeps making music of such a high standard is quite amazing as few bands or musicians can match this. Long may he continue and Ziltoid can be seen next at the Royal Albert Hall, not something you’d expected to have said when he first made his appearance! ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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