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4.34 | 104 ratings | 10 reviews
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Album · 2007


1. ZTO (1:17)
2. By Your Command (8:09)
3. Ziltoidia Attaxx!!! (3:42)
4. Solar Winds (9:46)
5. Hyperdrive (3:47)
6. N9 (5:30)
7. Planet Smasher (5:45)
8. Omnidimensional Creator (0:48)
9. Color Your World (9:44)
10. The Greys (4:15)
11. Tall Latte (1:03)

Total Time: 53:46


- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, programming

About this release

Label: HevyDevy Records
Release Date: May 21, 2007

Special edition contains bonus disc with the following tracklist::

1. Don't Know Why (7:34)
2. Travelling Salesman (2:14)
3. Another Road (4:32)

Total Time: 14:21

Thanks to negoba, Stooge, bartosso, Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Devin Townsend-Ziltoid the Omniscient

I just recently started listening to this guy, and boy was I missing out!

Ziltoid the Omniscient is a concept album about an alien named Ziltoid who wants to travel to earth in order to find 'Their ultimate cup of coffee'. They then give him a cup of coffee, but he declares it as foul-tasting. So he gives the order to attack earth. A pretty amazing story in my opinion. Even though the story is sure to bring some laughter, it isn't just the story that makes this a masterpiece.

The music features many different styles, ranging from progressive metal, to ambient, to industrial metal, to even thrash. With the short intro 'ZTO', the combination of aggressive screams and operatic vocals fits very well. 'By Your Command', one of my favorites, has more combinations of low aggressive vocals and softer vocals with the drums pounding throughout. Surprisingly the more space-infused passages contrast very well with the powerful riffing and angry vocals. The bridge has great powerful riffing and space-infused keyboards. The end of the song is a among one of the best headbanger moments I've ever heard. It then flows smoothly into the song 'Ziltoidia Attaxx!' which shows Townsend using mostly crushing screams. Probably my favorite song is 'Hyperdrive', where Townsend shows his powerful soft vocals. The way his vocals flow perfectly with the driving guitar riffs. The thrash-death track 'Planet Smasher' is another song that stands out.

One thing that really amazes me, is that he plays every instrument himself. That is quite an amazing feat with such a complex album. Overall, this is quite the concept album. If you don't enjoy a sense of humor when you're listening to music, it may not be for you but I still find this an essential album for many a metal collection. Certainly one of the best concept albums I ever heard. Hope you found this review helpful

Feel free to leave a comment!
siLLy puPPy
A solo project in the truest sense from DEVIN TOWNSEND where he presents ZILTOID THE OMNISCIENT, an album so hilarious and creative that it could have even been worthy of being in Zappa's discography. This is a concept album about a pretentious alien named Ziltoid who hails from the planet Ziltoida 9 and for some reason he decides to travel all the way to Earth in order to find the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. Yeah, a little far-fetched but in a good way. This reminds me of those Looney Tunes with Bugs Bunny and that Martian dude when he was trying to blow up planets and always got foiled by that wiley wabbit.

Devin played every single instrument on this album including the drum programming from a software program called Drumkit From Hell which was graciously provided to him by Frederik Thordendal of Meshuggah. He also wrote all the music, mixed and produced it. Devin admits that he basically withdrew from the world for four months and worked incessantly on this album in the Ziltoid cave ironing out every detail and to great success I declare.

The album flows brilliantly. This is basically first and foremost a story to be told with the music accompanying it appropriately, so maybe this could be considered a heavy metal musical of sort. An accomplished mix of his aggressive Strapping Young Lads days mixed with his more ambient solo works. Lots of nods to different types of metal in here as well. All in all a well-executed delivery system of one of the most ridiculous album themes ever to be released. In addition to creating the perfect musical accompaniment, Devin nails all the vocalizations in their corresponding roles as well, but I have to admit that when the Planet Smasher's voice enters the cast I keep expecting him to say “ME WANT COOKIE!”
When this album first came out I was rather intrigued but slightly confused. I had always known that Devin had a rather odd sense of humour. Watching the preview videos for it, I knew this was something I had to buy. In all fairness I wasn't expecting much, but what I got was probably one of my all time favourites.

The production of this album is pretty limited for Devin due to his decision to make this thing pretty much completely by himself. While the guitars and keyboards do sound giant, the drums have a very mechanical feel to them, mainly due to the fact that they where programmed. But, because of this, the drums on this album are doing things that a human is pretty much incapable of doing with his body. Vocally Devin has really shown how diverse he is, by portraying most of the characters on the album.

For those who don't know, this album is a concept album about an alien who comes to Earth looking for coffee, tries to take over the world, and then decides to learn more about himself. I know to many people it sounds stupid...and it is, but it's pulled off so well. A lot of people always compare Devin to Frank Zappa, and, yea this album proves this completely. Zappa who was well known for making rather silly concept albums such as “Joe's Garage” and “Thing-Fish.” The thing is, even though these albums where rather silly in nature, there was brilliant satire in them. In many ways, this album is a satire...a personal satire. If you read the lyrics very carefully, and even look at the image of is pretty obvious that the puppet is Devin. In many ways, this is Devin's most personal album to date. I would explain more, but then you might not want to listen to it...and you should listen to it.

The opener “ZTO” is pretty much the theme tune for the album. A brilliant way to open this rollercoaster of madness.

“By Your Command” is pretty much the opener for the album, and shows a lot what the album has in store for you. As usual, Devin's vocals are as diverse as ever. The real highlight is the rhythmic and almost chant like ending, with some absolutely brain melting riffs.

“Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!” would have been the perfect choice for a single, mainly due to its catchiness, its groovy nature and it's plain craziness. The drum programming for this song is insane. I don't think a drummer could move his feet this fast. The guitar work on this track is pretty impressive as well, even if it is rather satirical.

“Solar Winds” is pretty much the ballad on the album, and compared to the rest of it, it's a lot more gentle in nature. Some very beautiful parts in this song, with Devin giving a very honest and quiet vocal performance for a lot of it.

This album also contains the first incarnation of “Hyperdrive.” I have to admit, I do prefer the “Addicted!” version mainly because of Anneke's voice, but this original is pretty laid back and rather pretty.

My least favourite song on the album would have to be “N9.” I can kind of see why it was on the album and it does have some pretty nice moments, but in all fairness, it does seem a tiny little bit out of place.

One of my personal favourites would have to be “Planet Smasher.” With the introduction of one of the coolest ideas for a character ever, Devin voices him with an insane low death metal growl. Definitly one of the catchier songs on the album and one of the most impressive.

The album's closing epic “Color Your World” pretty much ends the album. While most of it is pretty much heavy and crazy, the middle section of this song has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music Devin has ever created. A great climax to the album.

The final song “The Greys” is very much the ending song. A very relaxed ending with a rather nice and catchy chorus. One of the more simplest songs, but still very effective.

In conclusion, this album is definitely something that everyone should listen to. It's so accessible, and its rather ingeniously done. If you don't like metal, you may at least find this album funny. If you aren't a comedy fan, you may enjoy the album's music. Pretty much, you got to respect an artist who makes a joke album, and is able to make it one of the most successful and meaningful album's they've ever done.

By and large I don't really enjoy Devin Townsend's material - which isn't to say it's bad, but it isn't really my thing. The major exception is Ziltoid the Omniscient, a prog metal alien invasion epic so ridiculously over the top that it can't help but win you over. An impressive multi-instrumentalist accomplishment by Townsend, the album sounds fantastic for a record assembled and completed by one performer; in particular, thanks to secret technology obtained from Meshuggah Townsend is able to program his drum machine brilliantly, creating a sound which is truly indistinguishable from a very technically accomplished human drummer.

As well as having a silly plot and over-the-top proggy song structures, the album also shows a clear love for heavy metal in all its forms - see, for instance, some of the vocals in Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!, which are clearly meant to be a homage to Rob Halford's legendary vocal performance on Judas Priests' Painkiller. Packed with little details like that, the album is a great listen for all fans of metal, particularly if - like Ziltoid - you are secretly a nerd.
If I were to review this album track by track you would not think it would be a 4.5 star album. I realize that not every track is not some master-piece, but the reason why I give this album such a high mark is just how much it has impacted me. This wacky character Devin created has really changed my perspective on music. Not only that, but to this day I still think it is the most entertaining to hear out of my collection. As everyone not have the same sense of humor as I, I found this album to be absolutely hilarious. I practically quote Ziltoid in my day-to-day life.

As I did say that the tracks don't add up to being 4.5 star worthy, I'd still like to clarify they are by no means bad. They are fantastic and they are songs like "Color Your World" that are just mind-blowing. But yes, songs like "N9" are noticeably weaker, but I would never go as far as to calling them bad. Never, ever, ever.

So to sum up here, Ziltoid is one of my favorite album, even though it may not be my favorite track-list. The concept of Ziltoid is enough to convince me that I should give this album 4.5 stars considering on how much it has impacted me. It's just a fantastic universe to get enthralled in. As Lateralus is a sublime serious experience, I think Ziltoid the Omniscient gets the other half of the spectrum by creating an awesome, entertaining, comedic experience. CAN'T wait for Z2 to come out!

Long live Ziltoid!
Make it Perfect...

Despite being a Devin Townsend fanboy, I had avoided Ziltoid until recently. The concept seemed too over the top, too silly, and though I like the new version of "Hyperdrive," the album just didn't appeal to me. However, I finally got tickets to Devy a few weeks ago and read that he was leaning heavily on the Ziltoid album. I decided to take the plunge so that I'd be familiar with the songs live. And I am so glad I did. Ziltoid may be Devy's best album top to bottom. It's the only album (possible exception Ocean Machine) that when the album's over, I want more.

Over the top humor has been part of Devin's artistic person all the way back to Punky Brewster and the first SYL album, but on Ziltoid he's able to unleash his silliness in its full glory. Part of the to-the-max aspect of this album is that there are sections that are VERY heavy, equaling SYL in many parts. "Ziltoida Attaxx!!!" is heavy riffing, programmed blast beats, and maniacal choruses in a perfect soundtrack to an alien invasion. (Check out the great youtube where this song is matched with the spoof movie "Mars Attacks" which likely helped inspire the album.)

But Ziltoid is not all-intense all-the-time. There are a remarkable variety of moods, often within the same song. By "Solar Winds" and the arrival of Captain Spectacular, the plot of the story starts to wander. But quickly we realize that Ziltoid is Devin's alter ego...the self proclaimed 4th dimensional guitar hero who at his heart is a nerd searching for his place in the universe. The textures and philosophical questions get deeper and more intense until Ziltoid meets the "Omnidimensional Creator" who answers the great query with "You gotta chill man." Like "It's just entertainment folks," in Earth Day, and "Cheeseburger" in the upcoming album Deconstruction, Devy chooses to bring it down to the here and now and reconnect with reality. This is part of why I as the listener, let him get away with such extremes. The humor is always partly directed at himself.

Devy's not the first artist to hide his genius behind a mask. But he may be the first one choose as his mask a puppet of a caffeine-junky alien. When the album climaxes at the end of "Color Your World" with alternating screams of "You are a puppet" and "We are all Puppets" all the angst and raw emotion that fueled SYL is full display. But at this stage is in his career, Devy contrasts this with soaring vocals singing "Stay with Me", matching the "So Beautiful" during N9, and of course the anthemic "Hyperdrive." The final song "The Greys" is a perfect example Devy at his best. Singing a soaring "Sail away for me" over a riff lifted almost directly from Metallica's version of "The Wait," Townsend evokes Enya more than thrash.

In another review, I recommended Accelerated Evolution as the perfect intro to Devy, as it had all of his elements in one album. And it does, but in the most listener-friendly version that is perfect as an introduction to his work. Ziltoid is the full breadth of Devy for the true fanatics of the man. Just as I had my reservations about the album, even now I wouldn't recommend it to listeners who have never heard Devin before.

Obviously, this isn't Terria or Ocean Machine. Both of those albums were created as intentional contrasts to Strapping Young Lad. But at this point in his career, Devy was done with SYL, and was able to integrate the two sides of his personality. And despite what seems like an impossible task, he pulls it off. The result stands as a third masterpiece in Devy's amazing catalog.

And now an album review from the mighty Ziltoid.

Greetings humans, I am Ziltoid...the omniscient. I have come from far across the omniverse to present this album review of my latest recording. While I am writing this you shall fetch me your universe's ultimate cup of coffee... Black! You have five Earth minutes.

The first part of this conceptual masterpiece makes one very important observation. That I, Ziltoid is so omniscient that if there were to be two omnisciences's I would be both! Then the music kicks in at break neck speed on 'By Your Command'. A song that is guaranteed to blow your head off.... twice! Prepare yourselves for the subjugation! This track features brilliant time sig changes, progtastic lyrics and ambient levels of scintillating soundwave effects and did I mention the breakneck drum patterns? It is during this mindwarping song that my commander comes before me and I ask him, Have the humans delivered their ultimate cup of coffee? I sip it and my reaction is one of disgust! Fetid! How dare they present this to me! Foul! They hide their finest bean! Prepare the attack! The metalicious riffs ominously pound as if some machine were stalking searching for prey. And the musical mayhem continues.

But my commander tells me some bad news. The humans are preparing themselves for the attack! But I do not flinch and reply. Excellent! Have you prepared.the Planet Smasher? And the Planet Smasher is prepared to crush the puny planet. The human with the funny American War voice states: Now listen here men! We represent the planet Earth! I want no heroes! They are coming over the horizon as we speak! We gotta be ready to take them down! Hold your position men! Do not fire until I tell you to fire! Have you got that? The troops yell as one, Yessir! Captain Spektacular is ready to attack.

'Ziltoidia Attaxx' thrashes from the speakers and absolutely drives headlong with monster guitar riffing and huge wall of sound symphonic blasts. It has to be heard to appreciate its full metal onslaught.

'Solar Winds' slows things down indeed and is a beautiful prog classic. Then 'Hyperdrive' and 'N9' bring things up to speed with massive time signature changes and killer riffs to die for!

But, I, Ziltoid, feel like a good bit of entertainment.time to destroy the planets. Which one shall it be? This one? No.too feeble. This one.yes, perhaps. Yes. This one shall do nicely. Commander. Divert all the power from the main engines to the front guns and take ninety percent of the surplus power and divert it toward the sonar awakening device. We must summon the 6th dimensional planet smasher, I feel like a bit of fun.Summon him.

The Planet Smasher awakes and screeches, Who dares awaken the planet smasher! My reply is as strong as it needs to be, It is I, the 4th dimensional Ziltoid the omniscient! 'Planet Smasher' rips out unmercifully. It is an absolute thrash metal frenzy of relentless drumming, a barrage of choppy metal riffs and megablasts of bass and beyond. A metal feast.

This is followed by other classics such as 'Color Your World' and 'The Greys.' These two amazing songs are beautifully produced, well-sung psychedelic and memorable songs. In fact all the songs are memorable... indeed!

But the bonus disc is a real let down - Dreadful music... phooey and double phooey!

When you first hear my album you may find yourself resisting its quirky humour and Monty Pythonesque absurdity... but it will grow on you... mark my words, humans.... it will grow on you like a fungus from Ziltoidia! And when it does, as your head hits the pillow you will not be able to get these metal riffs and mellow melodies out of your heads. It will haunt you day and night. You will be subjugated indefinitely.

Don't believe me? Foolish humans. I will have my revenge.... You will be subjugated. But suddenly, I feel so.vulnerable. You have not seen the last of me! You have not seen the last of Ziltoid!

Phonebook Eater

"Ziltoid the Omniscient" is 53 minutes of fun, energy, and excellent head banging action.

Whoa! I've never heard Devin so energetic, powerful, and so damn Heavy Metal!! Yes, definitely a change, compared to the odd soundscapes of "Synchestra" and the epic, apocalyptic tracks that made "Terria" Townsend's supreme masterpiece . With "Ziltoid The Omniscient", Devin starts to have a little more fun: you can hear it from the enjoyable and not so serious concept, which narrates the story of an alien, Ziltoid The Omniscient, and of course you can hear it from the sound, so powerful, (some might even call it a little banal) and traditionally heavy. But this wasn't enough to satisfy Townsend: he also recorded ALL the instruments, including a crazy sounding drum machine, wrote all the songs, as usual, and arranged everything. It literally is a solo album.

Usually, an album like this wouldn't be good in many ways, since it would almost sound like a joke, but in this particular case, the album is a masterpiece of Experimental/ Progressive Metal, surely one of Townsend's most successful albums musically speaking: each song, except some of the brief interludes and the closer, is a brilliant effort, starting from the short opener "ZTO", and the following "By Your Command", one of the Canadian artist's best songs, to the ending song "Color Your World", excluding the real closer, "Tall Latte".

Surprisingly, the structure is impressive: eleven songs, full of interludes as well as long, complex songs, technically speaking, as well as amazing and simple songs, with a highly emotive impact. Some heavy craziness, as well as some melancholic, adolescent like songs (Hyperdrive), some great melodic lines, some fast, incredibly energetic moments.

This is "Ziltoid the Omniscient", 53 minutes of fun, energy, and of course, of excellent head banging action. Enjoy!
Conor Fynes
'Ziltoid The Omniscient' - Devin Townsend (9/10)

The mad scientist of metal is at it again with this humorous and satirical delve into what can only be described as a form of comedic Space Operatic prog. Devin Townsend weaves a tale in 'Ziltoid The Omniscient' of a self-conceited alien being that seeks coffee to fulfill his time-travelling desires. In taking over earth (with his virtuosic guitar skills) a rebellion is formed, led by Ziltoid's nemesis, Captain Spectacular. While the plot is obviously not meant to be taken seriously, the music (at points) can be extremely beautiful and powerful.

The music is best described as a heavier version of the typical Devin Townsend band work, mixed with a dose of Devin's extreme metal band, Strapping Young Lad. There is some very heavy material on this record. 'Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!' is bone-shattering, to say the least, and Devin's screams have never sounded better in any of his work then on 'Ziltoid.'

The ironic thing about this album is despite its considerably high rating, it was recorded in Devin Townsend's living room! There's a real sign of talent when someone doesn't even have to leave the confines of their house to write something so entertaining. However, it is this fact in which the albums suffers the most. For the most part, the production quality is fine; while it doesn't match up to the Devin Townsend Band material in terms of sound quality, all things considered, it's very good. The thing that bothers me about this album though is the fact that all of the percussion is played by a drum machine, and not a living, breathing human being. While purely musically, things are fine and the compositions are great, the album would have just that much more power if it used real musicians. Drum machines should be left as a jam tool, not a band member.

One song that really seems to stand out is the laid-back 'Hyperdrive.' Despite it being consisting of a pretty simple guitar riff, and garbled vocals, it creates such an amazing atmosphere and feeling of loneliness, as if the listener really is travelling through the coldness of space.

While releases like 'Terria' and 'Ocean Machine' have more of an immortal quality about them, 'Ziltoid The Omniscient' is actually one of my most initially enjoyed albums, and demonstrates that you don't have to write serious music, to be serious about music.

Members reviews

Prog Geo
This is an amazing album!I like the concept.It's humorous and dreamy.Devin Townsend has the acting ability in a good level.There is a variety in music.It's atmospheric,calm,angry,fast e.t.c.My favorite tracks are:Zto(good introduction),By your command(Great beginning of the album.Very dynamic.),Hyperdrive(I like more this version),Planet smasher(funny and destructive),Color your world(maybe the best track),The greys(haunted)and Tall latte(because the listener realizes that all this,it's a dream of a clerk that he works in coffee shop).I like this abrupt return from space to reality.The only disadvantage of the album is that there is a drum machine(of Fredrik Thordendal(not of tomas haake) from Meshuggah).I recommend this album for every music lover.My grade:8/10

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