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4.16 | 54 ratings | 9 reviews
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Album · 2011


1. Praise the Lowered (6:02)
2. Stand (9:36)
3. Juular (3:46)
4. Planet of the Apes (10:59)
5. Sumeria (6:37)
6. The Mighty Masturbator (16:28)
7. Pandemic (3:29)
8. Deconstruction (9:27)
9. Poltergeist (4:25)

Total Time 70:49

Bonus Track. Ho Krll (5:58)


- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, programming
- Ryan Van Poederooyen / drums
- Dirk Verbeuren / drums
- Mikael Åkerfeldt / vocals (Stand)
- Ihsahn / vocals (Juular)
- Tommy Giles Rogers / vocals (Planet of the Apes)
- Joe Duplantier / vocals (Sumeria)
- Paul Masvidal / vocals (Sumeria)
- Greg Puciato / vocals (The Mighty Masturbator)
- Floor Jansen / vocals (Pandemic)
- Oderus Urungus / vocals (Deconstruction)
- Fredrik Thordendal / guitar (Deconstruction)

About this release

Label: HevyDevy / InsideOut Music, 20th of June, 2011

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and xaxaar, bartosso for the updates


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So, this is the intense and chaotic progressive metal album that comprises one fourth of the original concept of the Devin Townsend Project (which has since progressed into six albums with "Epicloud" and also "Sky Blue" from the "Zed Squared" double disc). Having all five of Strapping Young Lad's albums (Devin's other band from 1995 to 2006), I was expecting something really similar because the reviews I had read suggested so. Devin said in an interview that this is where he wanted to take Strapping Young Lad, and in another interview he said in response to a question about reforming SYL that "This is the kind of metal I want to do now".

Considering all this, I found my expectations were not met. Instead, I was faced with a mountain of creative music that I realized was going to take some time to explore and become familiar with. There is only one track here that I feel is similar to SYL's music, "Poltergeist" (an interesting title as the simultaneously released sister album is entitled "Ghost"). The rest of the album covers a surprising range of music, though still in the metal mould, from "Praise the Lowered" with lots of mellow and dark electronica to the 16-minute plus "The Mighty Masturbator" with various metal shades as well as a club music section, to the wild theatrical ride of the title track.

Fans of Devin will know that he has often worked with female vocalists (at least five that I can think of) because he writes music with a certain vocal quality or sound in mind that only woman can provide. He once said that he doesn't need to work with male vocalists because he can do most of what he needs himself. On this album, however, he wanted to make a real metal statement and called in quite a host of male guest vocalists. At first, I found the guests are not so easy to pick out. Devin is an accomplished screamer, growler, shouter, and sneerer, as well as singer, howler, whisperer, and crooner. After several listens, I was better able to identify the guest vocal performances, particularly Oderus Urungus on the title track, Ihsahn on "Juular", and Paul Masvidal and Joe Duplantier on "Sumeria". Some have complained that the guest vocalists weren't used to their full capacity; however, I only feel the Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth has taken the most time to pick out considering his vocal talents.

The album alternates between shorter songs ranging between 3:29 and 6:37, and longer ones ranging between 9:27 and 16:38. My general impression of the album is that it is a precursor to the "Zed Squared" disc, "Ziltoid Dark Matters" because it includes an orchestra and choir and in parts sounds like a metal musical. It is loosely a story about a man seeking the secrets of the universe and finds himself in Hell before the Devil who offers him a cheeseburger which contains all he seeks to know. But he can't eat the burger as he's a "vege-ma- tarian" and so his quest ends in vain. I believe the message here is that we can't expect to solve life's mysteries as long as we cling to a single ideal. The limitations we impose upon ourselves through restricted belief systems will forever blind us to the truth.

The music is generally dark, brooding at times, full of rage at others, and very intense. At other times though, there are some slower moments, some of which are rather beautiful. The height of the theatrics lie in three songs: "Juular", "The Mighty Masturbator" and "Deconstruction". "Juular" features a choir singing back up and if you've seen the video with the train riding through a hellish landscape, you'll understand how the choir's vocal contribution suits the image of a train. When Ihsahn sings the chorus, the choir and music may inspire images of a very dark scene in a Tim Burton movie.

"The Mighty Masturbator", in spite of its humorous title, is mostly quite serious, though the part about saving the world features some goofy spoken dialogue. Ziltoid himself makes a guest appearance here, first in voice only and later announcing that he is indeed Ziltoid the Omniscient. There's this crazy club music section where Greg Puciato sings "We praise God. He lives inside of us," and later "We praise ourselves," and finally, "We praise Satan". I find this part really cool to listen to and the meaning of the three statements together could be interpreted rather deeply and philosophically. The song concludes with a carnival atmosphere and Ziltoid introducing some freak show characters like the four-face boy, the man with seventeen testicles, and the Mankee Brothers who provide flatulence free of charge.

The wackiest, zaniest song on the album is the title track. Beginning with two scientists discussing the brain while using a toilet (Devin's toilet humour fetish in full force here), the song seems to jump from theme to theme, mostly including wild, over-the-top guitar soloing, machinegun fire drumming, a choir (who sing "All beef patties, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun" in one part), and some crazy dialogue provided by Devin and Oderus (and I'm sure a third party). Fredrik Thordendal of Messhuga contributes a crazy guitar solo, too. This song really allows Devin to indulge in his elementary school boy humour with plenty of farts, toilet sounds, misplaced emphasis in the word happiness (hapPENIS), and some nose clearing and bizarre vocal sounds. It is the craziest song I have ever heard that still pretends to be serious.

I can't say there's anything I don't like about this album. True it will not impress everyone. People who prefer their metal a bit simpler or more serious can also spend their money elsewhere. But this is one very imaginative album and one that slowly grows. Recommended for the adventurous.
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 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 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.

The Block
As weird as this may sound, Deconstruction was my introduction into the wacky and wonderful world of Devin Townsend. Though, I guess nothing is as weird as Deconstruction itself. Being new to this type of metal, I had no idea what to expect from the album itself, so I was definitely flustered the first time I listened to the album. But eventually it all came together, and I saw what a fantastic album this really was. Unlike most new music that you can either say you like or dislike right away, or after a few listens, Deconstruction took me a long time to actually appreciate it. After I finally started to enjoy the album, I found out what it was about; a man who receives a cheeseburger from the Devil, but can’t eat it because he is a vegetarian. If you’re like me and you immediately said, “What?”, you’re as equally as confused as I was. With all these weird topics, strange noises, and soaring guitars Devin Townsend almost reminds me of a metal version of Frank Zappa, with equal amounts of genius and craziness

Deconstruction was released along with a much softer, un-crazy Ghost, which is no where near as creative as the former. I’m glad that Devin Townsend put all his craziness into this one album because it makes it all the better. Also he put all the heavy stuff on this album while leaving the lighter stuff for Ghost. This I think is a brilliant idea because it provides two totally different albums from one person. Deconstruction, besides being very out there, has an almost avant-garde feel to it in spots to go along with its main genre, prog metal. Of the two epics on the album, “Planet of the Apes” and “The Mighty Masturbator”, “Planet of the Apes” is probably my favorite. “Planet of the Apes” has some great soaring guitar parts, especially some of the solos, and the vocals by both Townsend and Tommy Giles Rogers, of Between the Buried and Me, are absolutely amazing. “The Mighty Masturbator”, which you can probably guess the topic of the song, is another great track with more awesome vocals and colorful vocals. The only thing about “The Mighty Masturbator” is that, to me, it seems a little drawn out, but in the end it is still a fantastic song. My favorite track, though, is probably the title track. This is the song where our main character finds himself confronted by the Devil and offered the cheeseburger. This song is perhaps the craziest of them all, filled with great lines, complex guitar riffs, and fart noises. Yes, fart noises. At first I was skeptical about them, but they fit into the song just fine, and add to the overall weirdness level. All the other songs are just as good, and there truly are no weak spots on this album at all.

What surprised me the most about this album where the guest vocalists. I just assumed Devin Townsend worked on his own with a few studio musicians, but I was wrong. And these aren’t your run of the mill guests either. There’s the above mentioned Tommy Giles Rogers, Ihsahn of Emperor, Floor Jansen, who also works with Arjen Lucassen, and most notably Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. All these vocalists are superb, and when mixed with the great compositions on this album, a great record is made.

After putting aside my skepticisms about this album to start off I discovered the genius that is Devin Townsend. This album is full of craziness, but there is control on this album too that keeps it grounded and easy to listen to. It might take some time to get into this album, but once you do you’ll enjoy it just as much as I have. This is yet another great release of 2011 and easily deserves 4.5 stars.
If not one of the most impressive albums you'll hear this year, Deconstruction will surely be one of the most entertaining. Devin Townsend has always been known as a musician willing to experiment with the wacky side of music, and the third album in the Devin Townsend Project series is among his craziest thus far. Although not outdoing Ziltoid the Omniscient in terms of over-the-top wackiness, Deconstruction is certainly among the more insane albums in Devin Townsend's catalog. This concept album revolves around a man who meets the devil, receives a cheeseburger (which he cannot eat, for he is a vegetarian), and other topics like farting and masturbation. Although possibly a bit too lyrically "juvenile" for your average prog metal listener, the unique and intriguing compositions keep Deconstruction from ever feeling like a boring vehicle for middle-school humor. And, for what it's worth, I personally find the crazy lyrical concept to be extremely interesting and well-done. With Deconstruction, Devin Townsend has convinced me that he is "the Frank Zappa of metal", and a genius visionary for 21st century music. People who enjoy progressive metal on the more unique, experimental, and creative side should find plenty to love with this effort from the Devin Townsend Project.

The music on Deconstruction is every bit as crazy as its lyrical counterpart. From a songwriting standpoint, expect plenty of technicality and odd song structures, but also a few melodic (and even beautiful) sections are contained within the CD. This album covers damn near every emotion in existence, yet never feels incoherent or poorly written. The instrumentation is also quite varied; lots of different vocal styles, keyboard tones, and guitar techniques are used on Deconstruction, and it's even complete with a full orchestra. A symphonic feeling is present throughout most of the album, even if it's in combination with about five hundred different stylistic traits. Deconstruction is a busy album with very little breathing room, and this is a wacky journey from the first note of "Praise the Lowered" until the very end of "Poltergeist". Remarkably enough, the album never loses any steam in spite of its 71 minute playing time. Arguably the highlight of Deconstruction is the sixteen-and-a-half minute epic, "The Mighty Masturbator". Although every bit as lyrically insane as the song title implies, this is a truly remarkable piece of music that is filled to the brim with memorable hooks, technical nuances, and entertaining antics. Deconstruction is virtually free of weak moments, though, and I'd have a tough time picking out my least favorite track here. Devin Townsend is a truly gifted songwriter, and there are enough jaw-dropping moments on Deconstruction to satisfy me over and over again.

One thing that will immediately jump out about this album is the prominence of guest musicians - something very rare on Devin Townsend's other works. Deconstruction hosts plenty of metal legends, including Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth), Ihsahn (Emperor), Tommy Giles Rogers (Between the Buried and Me), Paul Masvidal (Cynic), Oderus Urungus (Gwar), and many others. Although it may be a slight disappointment to hear some of these guys only contribute a few lines to the album, Devin Townsend makes sure that the guest vocalists never get in the way of the music itself, and in that sense, I'd say it's a good thing.

On Deconstruction, Devin handles all of the instruments except for drums; truly a remarkable feat considering the complexity of the music here. Blistering guitar work mixed with amazing vocals and complex keyboard sections are always present, and the fact that Devin can handle all of them is admirable, to say the least. Mr. Townsend is also responsible for Deconstruction's sleek and powerful production - the polished sound suits the music perfectly, and I can't think of a production that would've sounded better for this album.

Deconstruction took a while for me to fully appreciate, but I can safely say that giving it the attention it demands was worth it. Devin Townsend is one of the most important musicians in modern metal, and with this album he's proven his genius once again. Deconstruction is unquestionably among my favorites from 2011, and will probably remain one of Devin Townsend's strongest efforts until he ceases to make music. People who enjoyed the over-the-top antics of Ziltoid the Omniscient should love this one, and anyone with a craving for truly original progressive metal should get Deconstruction in their collection as soon as possible. I'd say a big 4.5 stars are deserved for this terrific album. This is one of 2011's highlights for sure.
For those looking at the other Devin Townsend Project outputs, they may be missing something from the rest of his catalogue, especially if they miss Strapping Young Lad. Ki had a really heavy mood, but used soft instrumentation and atmospheres to convey it. Addicted used solid metal instruments, but used them to create really catchy and colorful moods. This is the album where Devin brings back his sound full swing, over the top everything back together into his full fledged prog metal album Deconstruction.

In terms of sound, it can be compared mostly to his solo album Ziltoid: The Omniscient. It's got a lot of the progressive sounds under fairly heavy riffing. The humor's there, though unfortunately Devin has switched Ziltoid's clever tongue in cheek over the top humor for some sophomoric cheeseball toilet jokes. The main difference is that Deconstruction's instrumentation's significantly heavier, and the song structures are more chaotic on the whole. That being said, there are also some unusual "circus" style noises that permeates the album, giving it a unique, zany feeling under the heavier shell.

This album works best as a whole and the highlights don't stand out as much because it's more of a cohesive work. That being said, the title track is probably the highlight. The riffs are crazy and fun, especially when it comes to Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah when he guest stars and pulls out a solo. The humor is decidedly more self aware, like Ziltoid, especially when the choir begins to sing about cheeseburger condiments. Other standouts include "Juular", which is a short, fast-paced track with some dark riffing, and the guest vocals of Ihsahn certainly give the track a more nightmarish attitude. "Sumeria" gives a very large crushing feeling, and the intro verses are absolutely stunningly epic. It's as bombastic as it comes, and brings a large scale feeling to the album. "Stand" is also a highlight, with some midtempo heavy riffs that are downright groovy.

At a look at the album tracks, though, and you'll notice that I've neglected two of the longest tracks on the album, "The Mighty Masturbator" and "Planet of the Apes", which together make up a good thirty minutes of the album. They are good too, but don't quite match up to what one may expect from an epic. Rather, they are simply long extensions of the album. For "Planet of the Apes" case, it starts off with some awkwardly timed riffing and verses, but makes up for it with a heavy but ethereal outro along with a nice catchy chorus. "The Mighty Masturbator" is made up of several long sections of music sort of glued together, going a while in some repetition of some standard Devin riffs and arpeggios, going into a dance rhythm, and ending on a pompous orchestral riff. The dance section hurts the song a bit, though, there's some rather repetitive annoying beeping that goes on for an extended period of time, and it never seems to end.

Along with just a couple awkward sections, this album has maybe a few flaws. The production is good for the most part, as to be expected from Devin, but there are a lot of loud parts in the album, also to be expected. At the most chaotic and heavy, the instruments drown each other out, which becomes a problem sometimes. It also is the cause of some of the other problems, most notably the guest vocals. A handful of the artists stand out, such as Ihsahn, Floor Jansen, and Paul Masdival. At other times, you'd hardly notice that they're there, partially because of the chaos. Because of this, they don't bring the variety to the album that they could.

At the heart of it all, though, Deconstruction is still a solid release for Devin. It's got all the trademarks: the walls of sound, the melodic arpeggios, the humor. It's not really a Ziltoid, Terria, or even Alien in the case of Strapping Young Lad. It may be the heaviest release in the "Devin Townsend" realm, but that may pull it back a bit. The three albums listed aren't quite as chaotic as this one, but somehow they manage to be over the top and tongue-in-cheek when it needs to be, which this album seems to lack. They also have their strong moments of beauty and melody, which are a bit absent from here. That being said, it's still a Devin Townsend album, and he's still got the touch to make a good album such as this, a worthy release and a good one from 2011.
Conor Fynes
'Deconstruction' - Devin Townsend (7/10)

Throughout the course of a prospective four album series going by the name of the Devin Townsend Project, musical mastermind Devin Townsend has traversed virtually every corner of his musical vision, from folky ambiance to atmospheric rock, to extreme metal, be it of a poppy, or progressive variety. Long awaited since the first pair of Devin Townsend Project albums dropped in 2009, 'Deconstruction' has been hailed as Townsend representing 'what he was trying to achieve with Strapping Young Lad', his former flagship band, which was well-known for their antics, crushing heaviness and over-the-top nature. Suffice to say, the Devin Townsend Project has seen some mixed success since its inception, but as far as 'Deconstruction' goes, this is the closest thing of the Project to the sort of music that Townsend is best known for; tongue in cheek, bombastic progressive metal. In no shortage of ambition or complexity, 'Deconstruction' is Devin Townsend's crowning achievement in terms of this particular series, but much like the other three albums, it does not compare to the sort of perfection Townsend achieved earlier in his career.

If 'Ki' represented Devin's ability to restrain himself and use moderation, then 'Deconstruction' is its direct antithesis; a work that can be considered over-the-top in just about every conceivable way imaginable. Besides being about as long as a single disc will permit, 'Deconstruction' shows an almost unrelenting bout into complex arrangements, orchestrations, and- not to mention- a load of guest appearances from some of modern metal's most recognizable figures. Of these are Paul Masvidal of Cynic, Ihsahn formerly of Emperor, Joe Duplantier of Gojira, Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me and- certainly of note- Oderus Urungus of GWAR, with whom Devin Townsend has had a lasting working relationship with. All of the elements that can be associated with Devin Townsend's heavier material are here in greater definition than they have ever been; operatic vocals, (bad) humour, incredibly heavy riffs and some rhythmic experimentation. The entire thing is certainly a spectacle, and sounds about as theatrical as I have ever heard Devin's work. Of another particular mention is the use of a full orchestra and choir here, which got me excited even months before hearing the actual record.

Of course, the album is brimming with promise, even if it was only still on the drawing board. Where the faults in the formula start showing up are not the ingredients themselves, but rather the way Devin Townsend uses them, or in this case, fails to use them. For instance, the full orchestra that Devin employs here can be heard on some of the more dramatic moments of the album, but are almost always drowned out behind the metal instruments, which seemingly never slink out of the spotlight once they are there. The guest cast of vocalists was another major selling point for 'Deconstruction', but hearing some of metal's most recognizable and greatest vocalists only being alloted a single verse or two feels incredibly underwhelming. Of course, Devin Townsend's vocals here are in top form; his clean operatic vocals are some of the best he has ever recorded.

The biggest joy here is the cheer over-the-top theatrics of it all, as well as the overbearing complexity that never seems to abate. The complexity comes at a fair price though; none of the songs on 'Deconstruction' ever feel like they will become classic tracks in Devin's repertoire. Unlike songs on 'Terria' which were able to marry intensity with incredible melodies and memorable moments, it almost always feels as if the intensity is at 100% throughout 'Deconstruction', and this can make even the most sweeping passages sound hazy in the context of the album. Even so, 'Deconstruction' is certainly an entertaining effort, despite it's intentional lack of discipline and lack of focus. Of course, this is only an album that will grow with each listen, and while some of Townsend's lackluster humour here will turn some listeners off from the start, there is a wealth of nooks in 'Deconstruction' that should keep an adventurous listener exploring worth many listens.
Phonebook Eater

“Deconstruction” is one of the LP’s thanks to which Devin Townsend will be remembered.

I could have reviewed this a little earlier, but my opinion and rating would have been very different. This for me was what you call a grower, it took me quite a few listens to get into it fully. In fact, now I consider “Deconstruction”, third album of the Devin Townsend Project, one of his best works, and one of the finest albums of 2011.

I’ve always been a Townsend fan, but I lost a little track of him when the DTP started, with “KI”. When seeing that this third album was coming up, I picked up “Addicted”, and I really enjoyed it. This though is even better. “Deconstruction” is most definitely Devy’s most ambitious and progressive album to date; landmark albums of his like “Terria” and “Ziltoid” were much more accessible than this monster. Musically, Devin changed a lot; his style, despite being more experimental and progressive, is heavier, more chaotic and confusing than ever. “Deconstruction” is pretty out there, enough to be labeled Avant-Garde Metal. But there’s much more; there’s Ambient, Electronic, Industrial, Death Metal, and quite possibly even Thrash/ Speed Metal. It’s a complex and massive album full of everything. However, they are still some classic Devin elements, like the surreal melodies, the vocals, and the typical wall of sound that makes Townsend’s music so mind blowing.

There are countless guest musicians on this album, which shows how the Canadian metaller intended this to be the masterpiece of the Project. And what guests: Mikael Akerfeldt, Tommy Giles Rogers from Between The Buried And Me, Ihsahn, Joe Duplianter from Gojira, Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan and many others. I’ve got to say that my two favorite guest spots are the ones of Ihsahn and Joe Duplianter, both excellent growlers. Yep, almost like an Ayreon album.

The album is full of humor, an element that isn’t new in Townsend’s music. In fact, the album is a concept album about a man that ends up in hell, meets Satan, that offers him a cheeseburger, which will make him know the secret of the universe. But the man can’t eat it because he’s a vegetarian. Almost hard to believe, but that’s how it really is. The first two songs, “Praise The Lowered” and “Stand”, are for me perfect songs, flawless in every way. All the other songs have many moments that are most definitely worthy of competing with these two, and even surpass them, but some other moments lower the quality of the track, like in the long songs, the excellent “Planet Of The Apes” or the epic sixteen minutes of “The Mighty Masturbator”. “Juular”, which features Ihsahn’s growls, is another great song. “Sumeria” has some weaker moments, but Joe Duplianter’s vocals put this up to a whole other level. The title track is the most chaotic, along with the closer “Poltergeist”, which honestly I don’t care much for.

Despite some flaws that can be found along the album, “Deconstruction” is an excellent album, one of the LP’s thanks to which Devin Townsend will be remembered, years from now.
Deconstruction is one of a pair of albums released by Canadian musician Devin Townsend under his Devin Townsend Project moniker in 2011. It is paired with the album Ghost. Deconstruction focuses on Devin’s metal side, while the other album focuses on his more atmospheric side. On Deconstruction Devin and company perform a form of extreme progressive metal, with some symphonic traits. The album features a number of guest vocalists including Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt, former Emperor frontman Ihsahn and former After Forever and current ReVamp singer Floor Jansen, as well as many others.

Opening the album is the song Praise the Lowered. It lulls into a false sense of security due to being very distinctly not metal most of the way through. Paul Kuhr of November's Doom provides guest vocals here. The song is a good start to the album, and transitions nicely into the next song, Stand, which is a nine and a half minute epic and the song with Mikael Åkerfeldt’s vocal appearance. Stand is very much a highly of Deconstruction for me, especially the climatic end. A good transition again into the much shorter but no less epically amazing Juular goes down very well as well. Three tracks in and it is already firmly established that Deconstruction has a really great flow to it. It needs that really. While there are several tracks on the album that you can just listen to as stand-alones, the album has the most impact when taken as one big musically journey.

Strangely for me, being the sucker for a lengthy epic that I am, I find myself actually enjoying most of the shorter tracks on the album more than epics such as Planet of the Apes and The Mighty Masturbator. I still enjoy these songs of course, but as part of the bigger picture, which as I stated above is the best way to listen to Deconstruction. For me the true highlights are songs such as Juular and Sumeria, although as I already mentioned, Stand is a very clear highlight. The closing Poltergeist is also pretty good. My problem with most of the longer tracks, Stand aside, is that they feel way too drawn out, especially the sixteen and a half minute piece The Mighty Masturbator.

Deconstruction is a crazy album though, not that I expected anything less from something with Devin Townsend behind it. There are many unexpected sounds in the album, including some electronic leanings as well as some ‘circus’ moments that seem to crop up in progressive metal music every now and then. Many of the lyrics are eyebrow-raising in their ridiculousness as well and there are some fart noises in the title track, and much talk of cheeseburgers. The title track is pretty much comedy metal. Personally I’m more for a serious take in progressive metal, but I can still appreciate the skill in the musicianship in this track.

In summary I can hear very well why many metal fans will likely consider Deconstruction to be among the best or even the best album that will be released in 2011, but for me there were actually very few tracks in it that I can safely say I really loved. The album is a solid and powerful listening experience as a whole, and the technical skill of Townsend is mind-blowing throughout, but I also found it quite distracting the way the album can drift from really powerful and intense tracks to over the top comedy, as those farts are only amusing for so long before they become a hindrance to enjoying the positive side of the title track, since really this track is just as intense and powerful as anything on the record. If the album was more like Devin’s Ziltoid the Omniscient release then I wouldn’t have had such a problem with this, but on Deconstruction this sort of stuff just isn’t doing Devin any favours.

But overall this really is an excellent album, but it just doesn’t scream masterpiece at me all the way through, although it certainly has its moments. The fairest I can be is to say that it falls short by a very narrow margin. I do highly recommend this album though and I expect that others more into Devin’s past work will enjoy it much more than I did, and it’s easily the better of the two Devin Townsend Project albums released in 2011.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 8.4/10)
"Fart noises ruined Deconstruction." ...What?!

My favorite album of the year so far (and it'll likely stay that way). This album is the most entertaining thing I've heard since Ziltoid. Along with genius instrumental song writing, Devin Townsend blends an element of comedy with his lyrics. Even with the comedic elements, there are still serious moments in the album that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The cameos in the album also make this album really something else.

Praise the Lowered - An excellent start to the album if nothing else. It starts off calm, but then hits to a more extreme tone. I doubt anyone will say that this is the best song off the album, but I don't think it's trying to be. It's just an excellent kick off to an excellent album.

Stand - I STAND! Damn, this song is good. Mikael Akerfeldt and Devin Townsend together, how could you possibly give this less than a 10? The song is definitely very climatic, hitting off the climax when Mikael Akerfeldt gives off his signature growl. I could just keep on glorifying the song in this review, but better off just hearing it yourself.

Juular - Not really filler, but just glue to put the epic songs on the album together. Once again, I think the song does what it's trying to do. The particular feel this song gives is the circus-like aspect and it does it very well.

Planet of the Apes - The second longest song on the album and my least favorite "epic" one...but it still retains a 9/10 from me so I hope it shows how much I like this album. It definitely has some great moments, as all the songs do, but this song does have the low points as well. And to be honest, I'm just being very critical; it is a very, very good song, but it is still shadowed by others.

Sumeria - Joe Duplantier AND Paul Masvidal in the same song. It uses Joe's harsh vocals perfectly to create a heavier mood and the outro with Paul Masvidal is flawless; also a great transition into my favorite song on the album: The Mighty Masturbator.

The Mighty Masturbator - Definitely my favorite song on the album. The 16 and a half minute long epic does not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination. This is Devin Townsend's longest song to date and I hope to see more songs of this length in the future. This song is what the album is about. Having humorous lines and using Greg Puciato's vocals for the serious, more agressive parts. Even has a guest appearance from Ziltoid! One of my favorite songs ever created. Ever.

Pandemic - This song definitely shows Devin Townsend's more crazy, chaotic, fast paced side. After the circus-like outro of The Mighty Masturbator, it is a good brace for the song Deconstruction.

Deconstruction - Now this song is just plain crazy, but I love it. This song is indeed crazy, it still does have good musical quality. I really don't know what else to say, just that this song is absolutely absurd. If you take all your music seriously, this is definitely not for you; but if you think you can laugh at your music, this song should be one of the best experiences you will have.

Poltergeist - The last song of the album. This album doesn't really go out with a bang, but it definitely is an enjoyable piece. Once again, I'm just being extra critical of this song because it is on such a good album. But this song definitely leaves a good taste in your mouth after finishing the album.

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