So now we approach Devin's biggest challenge to date. Now before releasing this album, Devin pretty much did say this was going to be his heaviest and craziest album. Now, I was expecting something big and crazy, but this takes it even a step further.
Musically this album is batshit insane. Pretty much anything Devin could think of has been crammed into this affair. The best way I can describe this album is actually to compare it to the “Euthanasia Rollercoaster” which is a concept created by Julijonas Urbonas. The rollercoaster is supposed to actually kill you in the process but give you also a great sense of euphoria among the impact of death. Pretty much, this is what this album will give you. A great euphoria out of something that is probably driven by insane fear and confusion.
The concept is present on the album, but it isn't a story driven one. The rather absurd idea story of the a man going to the devil and being presented a cheeseburger that holds all the secrets of life, but he can't eat it cause he's a 'veg eh ma tarian' is present, but its not a linear narrative. In fact many of the lyrics are pretty much absurdist vignettes, with Devin pondering life and reality by presenting some rather interesting images and words throughout. Pretty much, the music does the talking on this album.
The only negative I would have with this album is that some of the tracks aren't as enjoyable by themselves. As part of the album, they are perfect companion pieces but by themselves they do sound rather confusing at times. I recommend listening to this from start to finish. Another negative I would hold against the album would be its production. Because everything is so big in style and production, a lot of sounds can be at times sound watered. I think a good sound system really is needed to blast this album with.
The opener “Praise The Lowered” is a nice calm intro to what will be a rollercoaster. I love the first half of this song a lot actually. The second half is a pretty great introduction to the musical tone of the rest of the album.
“Stand” is more of a heavier and slower affair. With some great build ups throughout, Devin and Mikael Åkerfeldt's duet works a treat in this track with a great mixture of tones.
The only possible single for the album is “Juular.” An insane affair that sounds like Disney movies in hell, the guest vocals from Ihsahn provide an evil and angry approach to a rather calm metal affair.
“Sumeria” is a Gojira sounding song with some pretty earth shattering riffs. Joe Duplantier's vocals are as usual sounding great. The ending of the song also features some very pretty vocals from Paul Masvidal, which is a perfect segue into the next track.
The most insane song on the album has to be “The Mighty Masturbator.” Starting off rather prettily with some nice instrumentation it builds up to a big epic chorus. Then it changes into a rave pretty much, and then ends with some almost patriotic sounding instrumentation that wouldn't go amiss at a presidential inauguration. Also, Ziltoid makes an appearance on this song, which is always great to hear. Greg Puciato's vocals are amazing, as usual too.
“Pandemic” is one of the fastest and most extreme moments on the album. With some great operatic warbles from Floor Jensen, the 2 work a charm on this track.
The title track is the real highlight and climax of the album. Starting off with sounds of defecation and rather drunk ranting, it bursts into to some Devin's best guitar work...and in my opinion his bet vocals. The songs ultimate climax is the cheeseburger bit, which when you hear it, you will quote it for the rest of your life. The ending is incredibly epic and beautiful. Also, Oderus from GWAR does some great vocals on this song...as usual and the guitar solo from Frederik Thorendal is pretty mind blowing.
The ending song “Poltergeist” is pretty much a great ending to a crazy affair, and in many ways could be the closest thing Devin has gotten to Strapping Young Lad in a long time.
In conclusion, this has to be one of the craziest album’s I've ever heard in my life. Devin promised crazy and that's what we got. The problem with this album is...is it too crazy. I believe it is, and that's the reason I like it. This album really isn't for everyone, but if you like jumping into pits of alligators while having an epileptic fit, then this is definitely for you. You really have to respect the lengths Devin went to make this album, from orchestra's, choirs, guest vocalists and the time effort putting into writing, arranging, recording and performing this beast of an album. In many years when the planet is taken over by aliens, it's this album that will scare them away.