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Is Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence The Best Argument For Metal As An Art Form? | Album Review

Some people say that heavy metal is not an art from. We say: listen to the new Devin Townsend Project album Transcendence!

Source: Album Artwork

Source: Album Artwork

It feels like over the last five years or so there has been a sudden surge in the amount of Devin Townsend appreciators. Apart from him releasing some of the best and most innovative music (never mind metal) of his career during that time, and the sudden surge in the popularity of tech-metal, Devin as a person has become a bastion for all modern, forward-thinking, cerebrally switched-on metalheads to rally around.

Transcendance is, quite simply, an album that most tech and prog metal bands wish they could write. Everything from the production down to the minutiae of each section of each song has been carefully deliberated over by one of the finest minds in the alternative scene. The production is so weighty, with enough slam to make the rhythm section give that gut-punch feel but not so “dense” as to take away from the beautiful melodic sections.

Safe to say that if your bag is entirely full of 2 minute punk songs there may not be that much to enjoy on the album; it clocks in at well over an hour long, each of the ten songs varying in length from Offer Your Heart at just under four minutes to the epic centrepoint of the album Higher at nearly ten minutes long. “Epic” is a word often misused when talking about music, but it is the only word that is truly fit for describing art as majestic as a song like ‘Higher’.

At no point though does it feel like any of the songs are elongated for the sake of it. Each section feels exactly as long as it should be, and never does the album repeat itself unnecessarily.

If you enjoyed the Dream Theater album from early this year then this is the album that will show you just how good that kind of music can be. It’s hard to imagine anyone actually disliking this album. Yes, some might find it too long, but listening to Devin Townsend on this kind of form executing these marvellous ideas in the way that only Devin seems to be able to, feels only just shy of having a religious experience.

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