Devin Townsend Band - _Accelerated Evolution_
(Spitfire Records, 2003)
by: Xander Hoose (
On almost the same date as his Strapping Young Lad album, Canadian musician Devin Townsend released a follow-up to his personal project -- already the fifth in line (after _Ocean Machine_, _Infinity_, _The Physicist_ and _Terria_). Now operating under the moniker Devin Townsend Band, Devin has attracted four band members to create a new musical chapter in his life: _Accelerated Evolution_. Most surprising is the absence of Gene Hoglan from the line-up; drums are handled by Ryan van Poederooven instead, bass and keyboards by the Young brothers and guitars by Brian Waddell -- all newly recruited. The result is a fresh sounding album that is more melodic and heavy metal / rock-influenced than _S.Y.L._ or _The Physicist_, yet more song-oriented than _Terria_. Some of the songs on the album, like "Storm", "Suicide" and "Sunday", have a lot in common with his earlier _Infinity_ work, but the songs do sound less frantic and more mature. In some ways, Devin performs a lot better with _Deaccelerated Evolution_ than his latest Strapping Young Lad album: there is more variation, and the songs are more memorable and layered than their one-dimensional _S.Y.L._ counterparts. _Accelerated Evolution_ will appeal to a somewhat different (if not older) part of the metal scene than Strapping Young Lad, but it would be stupid not to give this album a try just on that basis. For those who thought _Terria_ was going too much in the wrong direction, _Accelerated Evolution_ will probably come as a relief.
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