Devin Townsend Project
May 22, 2017
If you are familiar with Devin Townsend’s incarnation as the frontman of the musically more aggressive Strapping Young Lad with their mélange of death, thrash and black metal, Devin Townsend Project marks a turning point and a step or two away from screaming to a more blended nuanced, atmospheric and introspective effort.
Devin Townsend has been a staple within the realms of heavy music and is a consummate performer and affable showman, who has been broadening horizons and pioneering progressive metal over decades. Having proven himself as a gifted composer over and over again, Devin Townsend has mastered the art of playing with musical tension and tonight’s incarnation was testament to his abilities at orchestrating a show full of variety that seamlessly transitioned from heavier, tense and quiet to lighter moments and back, which was soaked up by the adoring and willing crowd.
Yes, there are bombastic elements galore and it feels a bit indulgent at times, but that is part of the DNA of progressive music.
The set consisted of a well-matched mix covering the highlights of DTP’s catalogue and was carried by Devin’s charisma and banter, which informed the rapport with the audience and added an additional layer of entertainment.
The musician in the ranks of DTP delivered a tight performance, flawlessly laying down the tapestry of dense hard rock and ambient elements, all fundamentally rooted in metal, that served as the foundation for Townsend’s versatile vocal delivery ranges from screaming / growling via singing to falsetto excursions into what can be perceived as borderline operatic territory as well as his mastery of the six strings, which runs the gamut from tapping, sweep-picked arpeggios, poly- and powerchords to fingerpicking.
A feast for the eyes of the musicians in attendance.
Devin Townsend seemed like a chap who is genuinely happy and at ease with what he is doing, which radiated and resulted in an engaging performance that had the audience either joining in for choruses or moving during the heavier sections.
Photos by KAVV