DEVIN TOWNSEND — Deconstruction (review)

DEVIN TOWNSEND — Deconstruction album cover Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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)
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adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
For me this one is definitely better than Ghost. In regard to the longer tracks I find them drawn out because they generally just didn't have the same impact on me as shorter ones did.
Xaxaar wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Both are fantastic albums, but personally I consider this one a masterpiece.
more than 2 years ago
Funny, my brother said this album was decent but not so great but LOVED ghost. I'll have to grab em and listen myself

Xaxaar wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The Mighty Masturbator feels too drawn out? I feel like it ended too soon!


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