BravePicks 2016 - DEVIN TOWSEND PROJECT's Transcendence #12
December 20, 2016, 2 years ago
Another gruelling year of heavy metal mastery is almost over! And all the votes are in and the compiling is complete! It's time to celebrate the winners and call out the not-so winners! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2016 throughout December! And once again our devout scribes put their collective metal minds together to build the ultimate lists including individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments, Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2017? and Metal Predictions For 2017. All will be showcased come the New Year!
'Tis the season to commence the good, bad and ugly of 2016! Let’s rock!
12) DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT – Transcendence (HevyDevy)
Canadian metal master Devin Townsend returned this year with Transcendence from his band The Devin Townsend Project. Devin knows how to keep listeners on their toes delivering the most extreme musical moments to calming, folky numbers. Transcendence brings a balance of the past and present and is one of Townsend’s strongest offerings to date.
The man himself told BraveWords:
“I think a lot of that with this record is that I had written so many songs and presented them to the guys as opposed to typically saying 'Okay here are 12 songs and this is how they go...' Within the parameters of how it got massaged together, the fact there are some of these longer progressive bits is more of an indicator of the personalities of the people involved rather than a conscious decision. There's enough shrapnel in those songs that we could have done a record of three minute songs or a record of eight minute songs. It seems like the ones that gelled best with everybody were a decent cross-section between the two."
Townsend agreed you could call Transcendence "art on a leash":
"I certainly credit the guys in the band, management, the label, the artists and everybody who was involved to try and rein it in a touch. I think that's why Transcendence is a challenging album for me to appreciate because there's a feeling of... embarrassment with it. It's like 'Okay, Dev there are all these things that come naturally to you and we're going to pull back on the reins to make things a bit more palatable.' And I'm saying 'Yeah, but I wanna do a symphony rooted in sex and violence and I want it have this metaphor and....' Then they say 'Or, we do a cool ten song record and a cool cover, then you can go play...' (laughs). I spent a lot of energy really trying to participate without feeling like I was being condescending. As opposed to 'Okay, we'll do it your way' we really had to work together and it was challenging for me. As a result of this project and doing it for six months, I constantly felt that I needed to change. On this record I was very rarely able to say 'Hey, this is your fault!' because everybody was being so careful with me and so kind, allowing me to do what I want."
Read more here.
Scribe Carl Begai rated the album 9.0/10 stating:
“Transcendence is the Devin Townsend Project's return to form, putting things back in focus and turning in a rather prog-heavy record, opting for songs both long and short over the space of a comfortable ten tracks.
“Much has been made of the fact that all members of the Devin Townsend Project participated in the writing of the songs for Transcendence, and if you stack the material up against Z2 and even Epicloud, it's easy to hear it did make a difference in the end. Sure, folks that can't stand Townsend's love of reverb on vocals and guitars and the kitchen sink will remain unimpressed, but those that have been on board for the long haul will agree Transcendence deserves to be at the top of the pile with previous DTP outings like Addicted and Deconstruction.”
Read more of the review at this location.
(Photos by: Rebecca Blissett)
BravePicks 2016 Top 31
12) DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - Transcendence (HevyDevy)
13) WITCHERY – In His Infernal Majesty’s Service (Century Media)
14) ABBATH - S/T (Season Of Mist)
15) DARK FUNERAL - Where Shadows Forever Reign (Century Media)
16) ASPHYX - Incoming Death (Century Media)
17) GOJIRA - Magma (Roadrunner)
18) THE DEAD DAISIES - Make Some Noise (SPV / Spitfire)
19) INSAHN - Arktis. (Candlelight)
20) NAILS - You Will Never Be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast)
21) CROWBAR - The Serpent Only Lies (eOne)
22) BORKNAGAR - Winter Thrice (Century Media)
23) ENTOMBED A.D. - Dead Dawn (Century Media)
24) TREMONTI - Dust (Fret 12)
25) OPETH - Sorceress (Moderbolaget/Nuclear Blast)
26) HAMMERFALL - Built To Last (Napalm)
27) EPICA - The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)
28) DARK TRANQUILLITY - Atoma (Century Media)
29) SUMERLANDS - S/T (Relapse)
30) RUNNING WILD – Rapid Foray (SPV)
31) AVANTASIA – Ghostlights (Nuclear Blast)