Album Review: Devin Townsend – Lightwork

Devin Townsend Announces Live Album

Album Review: Devin Townsend - Lightwork
Reviewed by Daniel Phipps

Canadian artist Devin Townsend has returned, it’s been three years since Devin “retired” The Devin Townsend Project and collaborated with a number of musicians to release the Empath album which if I’m being honest was my favourite piece of work from Devin since Accelerated Evolution. Now Devin is set to release Lightwork, a ten track collection of material due to see the light of day at the end of October.

With Lightwork the biggest initial change was that Devin brought in a producer (long time friend GGGarth Richardson). This is something that Devin has wanted to do on one of his records and forms part of his internal project checklist if you will. The reasoning for wanting to work in this way on Lightwork was to aid the material selection and bring these new ideas to fruition. As it’s become the norm for Devin Townsend you can never quite know what to expect with any new record and Lightwork does it’s own thing and has its own identity within Devin’s back catalogue, and with working with GGGarth and the guidance he offers has given the opportunity for different aspects of the album to shine.

Album Review: Devin Townsend - Lightwork

Lightwork focuses on a more melodic side of Devin Townsend’s songwriting, especially early in its run length. I’ll be quite honest and say that it’s even got quite a commercial vibe in places with songs like “Lightworker” and “Call of the Void” having big powerful choruses which in all honesty could be chart topping hits. Along with the melody of display Devin utilises a lot of electronic sounds predominantly in the background to really fill out the songs, this is not really a new thing for Devin to do but they seem more audible compared to older works. This really adds to Lightwork and gives it an extremely thick and layered sound. The more electronic sounds found within the record are given centre stage during “Dimensions” where Lightwork turns away from the melody and gets slightly heavier, this track has a bit toned down Strapping Young Lad or early Ministry vibe, which is mixed with a bit of Infinity era DT. This track is also one of the only examples where Devin offers a more aggressive vocal approach to his performance on the record. As Lightwork progresses through its run length you do find some “louder” songs start to creep in, such as the aforementioned “Dimensions”. You also start hearing a lot more of the electronic side of things going on during the background of the back end of the album with songs such as “Celestial Signals” which has a big thick sound and powerful chorus with choir vocals being heavily used in parts. Even with these thicker louder tracks I still felt the melodic tones within the songs but they have a bit of an added bite. The more you listen through the more you discover which lets be honest is always the fun part of any release Devin has his name on.

Lightwork is an extremely interesting listen, I keep hearing new things on every spin and these things sometimes make you see a track in a whole new light. Devin continues to find ways to craft his releases so that they are able to feel completely fresh and he does not fall into releasing predictable sounding records. 

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