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DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND Synchestra Inside Out (2006)

The biog accompanying this release stated that Devin Townsend couldn't have made this album if he hadn't done the last Strapping Young Lad album and boy am I glad he did!

Whilst not a fan of Strapping Young Lad I love the DTB albums and this follow-up to the superb 'Accelerated Evolution' is simply stunning. It is not as accessible as the previous DTB album but overall it is more rewarding as the soundscapes contained within this released are truly out of this world.

Starting with a gentle piece you are lulled into a false sense of security (there are even the sounds of birds singing!) before a quick tap of the conductor's baton and we are off into swirling guitars and speed metal drumming.

'Triumph' is a standout and features one of Townsend’s past accomplices in the shape of Steve Vai. Needless to say Vai rips it up on the old fret board. The lyrics on this track are very personal as well dealing with Townsend’s bipolarism.

The array of musical styles on here is never ending from a metal edged polka on ‘Vampolka’ to the lullaby ‘Babysong’. The production as ever is faultless with the orchestrated guitar riffing present throughout.

Another superb and rewarding release from Devin Townsend that gives up new delights on each listen. This is certainly his most progressive release so far and will easily feature in ‘Best Of’ polls come the end of the year.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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