Devin Townsend Project - Ki

13 songs
66:31 minutes
***** ****


Devin Townsend has been a metal icon for quite some time, and has gathered enough international popularity that he doesn’t need to be introduced anymore. Two years ago, he amazed me with the hyperactive Ziltoid The Omniscient, and Ki offers again something entirely new. The only thing you can rely on with Devin Townsend is his unpredictability.

He’s chosen this time the name Devin Townsend Project which is scheduled to release four albums. Ki is going to be the quietest in the series. The following Addicted should be heavy and fun. The third part Deconstruction might remind of Strapping Young Lad. The final instalment will be an as yet untitled ambient album. All four albums are planned to be released this year, with a rotating roster of musicians. Next year, a boxset with all four CDs plus a lot of bonus material will follow.

On Ki, Devin Townsend was like always in charge of songwriting and production, plays guitar and sings. Unlike in the past, he’s showing himself from an unusually mellow side, and rarely kicks in the distortion pedal of his guitar. The music is at times so laid back that it feels more like pop, jazz, blues or trip hop than metal. The strong bass guitar adds a certain Primus touch. Although Devin’s vocals are this time more relaxed, he can’t do without at least a few anger outbursts. The album is running for more than an hour, but Devin Townsend manages single-handedly to keep the tension. His sound is hard to describe and works most optimally under headphones. You should best start out with the eccentric title track where the master delivers a near operatic performance on a track which shows parallels to Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

Ki is a lot of fun and makes you hungry for the following three parts that should be released in the near future. One thing’s for sure: there will be tons of surprises waiting for you!

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