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Devin Townsend By Your Comman Playthrough

Our benevolent overlord Devin Townsend has done a playthrough of the Ziltoid the Omniscient track with redone/remixed guitars and drums and It’s pretty awesome to hear it updated a little bit sound wise. The only problem is that the video is slightly out of sync with the audio. It’s still worth watching, regardless of the issue. Make sure to check it out after the jump.

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It’s no secret that Devin Townsend is influenced by pop music and mainstream rock, at least from a production standpoint. Leading up the release of his 2010 album Addicted, Devin openly admitted to being influenced by Nickelback‘s record Dark Horse, saying, “I had a real think about this and I thought that I would go out and buy the record. Maybe it’s some sort of high-art that I’m not getting. So I got it and it sounds phenomenal! Mutt Lange did it and Randy Staub did it, it sounds incredible, but every song is about [Chad Kroeger’s] penis!”

On top of this, it’s undeniable that some of Devin Townsend’s latest material — specifically, 2012’s Epicloud and its spiritual successor in 2014’s Sky Blue — is the musician’s most accessible work to date, with explosive hooks and major orchestrations that mirror Devin’s more positive outlook on life in recent years. Naturally, one would expect Devin to want the music to sound the part, and no matter how you feel about pop music, its more reliable flow and volume of income provides the genre with the best music production around.

However, it wasn’t until recently — via an interview with Decibel Magazine — that Hevy Devy admitted to going as far as working directly with the people responsible for the music of chart-topping pop rock acts such as Nickelback and Daughtry, and it turns out, the whole process rubbed Townsend the wrong way and he now refuses to let the track see the light of day.

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Devin Townsend Fredrick Morgan

It’s no secret that Morgan Agren is one of the most absurdly talented drummers out there right now, but it may be lesser-known that he just released his debut solo record entitled Batterie Deluxe. While Agren may be known best for his work in the dizzying 1997 album Sol Niger Within by Fredrik Thordendal’s Special Defects, this new record is closer to the schizophrenic tendencies of electronic acts like Aphex Twin. The whole album is streaming now, so check it out below! View Full Article »

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On January 10th, 2015, progressive metal heavyweights Periphery came to Carrboro, NC to play at Cat’s Cradle in support of their upcoming double-album, Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega. This was the first date of their tour with support from Nothing More, Wovenwar, and Thank You Scientist, and was also the first time the band has begun performing new material like “The Bad Thing,” “The Scourge,” “Alpha,” and more. I got a chance to speak with the three guitarists of the band, Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb and Jake Bowen about the structuring of the album, the politics of picking tours, how album reviews should be done, and much more!

So this is the first night of touring in support of your new album Juggernaut, which I’m really hyped on after hearing it a bunch over the past week. Didn’t the album start off as a story and then the music came with it?

Misha: It’s all kind of together. Juggernaut to us was just the idea to do a concept, and it’s been many things throughout the years. At one point in time it was going to be our first album. “Icarus [Lives!]” was supposed to be on Juggernaut, and there were a bunch of themes going with that initially. It was this hyped thing, but I think we all got in a room after Clear and when we were touring. We were talking about what we envisioned it to be. I think we all were saying we want dark, epic, theatrical, ambient…that kind of stuff, which was a very different vibe from Periphery II. That was more notey and upbeat and playful.

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Let’s keep it brief, okay folks? This is the second part of our Top 50, Album of the Year list. At the end, you’ll find our Top 10, while tomorrow we’ll have individual staff members’ top 10 lists and our Outliers section: albums that were placed on individual top 10’s but didn’t make the Top 50 list.

The albums you’ll find here were ones that had broad consensus among our large group of staff writers and editors as truly excellent representations of the worlds of metal and other heavy music this year. No doubt you’ll find things to quibble with, but we’re proud of this list and the entries therein.

If you haven’t yet, check out Part I of this list, listing numbers 50 to 26. Alright, OK, no more words. Let’s get to it!

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dtp-poozers-video

With the advent of Z2 in each of its halves—Sky Blue and Dark MattersThe Devin Townsend Project rocket ever forward onto huge, musical things. We can all admit that Devin Townsend is an unstoppable force in our world, but with Inside Out Music and Century Media in his corner, his power is immense. Much like Ziltoid, honestly.

That said, we are now blessed with a music video for Dark Matters‘ “March of the Poozers,” the part of the new Ziltoid tale where the Poozers rally together and invade Earth under the guide of the now-upset Queen Blattaria. But you know, maybe listen to the album to get the whole story. Please enjoy and be terrified by the lyric video. And I even made you some wallpapers!

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To see photos from this show, click right here, but read on for delicious video.

Savvy YouTube users are a godsend and if for whatever reason you weren’t in Chicago last week (distance, illness, bein’ a little bitch, etc.) and missed this stop on the Abstract Reality Tour, you’re in luck, because you are covered. Users James Reeves and SuperKingster09 were clever enough to record the official Toontrack stream.

Definitely enjoy these awesome sets from that night. Linked below in order of performance, we have Monuments, Animals As Leaders, and The Devin Townsend Project!

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Having just released Z2, both discs garner much critical acclaim, Devin Townsend, as The Devin Townsend Project, took to the road in a Toontrack-sponsored tour with djent/shred maestros Animals As Leaders and palm mute masters Monuments for the Abstract Reality Tour.

The Metro in Chicago was one of the stops on this mammoth tour, and with The Devin Townsend Project and Animals As Leaders switching off headlining duties, Tosin Abasi and crew had to cede the closing spotlight to Devin Townsend and his intrepid gang. Pictures below of a fantastic performance!

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two-weeksThe Thanksgiving holidays are upon us and all the mirth has put us a week behind on our review of our reviews. The Last Two Weeks in Reviews after the jump.

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Clément Belio – Contrast

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Open minds/personal pronouns alert. Confession time: I’ve been trying to review this album for months. If you’ve been following the blog this year, you know that I have a pretty good turn around rate for reviews. However, this one has just haunted me in the best kind of way. What is Contrast by Clément Belio? It is a practice in imitation as inspiration. It is the essence of eclecticism. It is bewildering, delighting, decentralized and insane. By the composer’s own words, it is a patchwork of everything he loves in music, thrown into the melting pot of his brain. And so, I’ve waited for months for this to coalesce into a review. This is my feeble attempt at finally jotting it down.

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