|Review: Devin Townsend - Terria|
Label: Inside Out Music
Year released: 2001
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: May 27, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 4.47/5 (89.33%) (15 Votes)
One of the more bizarre titles in my collection, Devin Townsend's third full-length is a grand release. Featuring an immense atmosphere, unrestrained songwriting, and the charismatic vocals of Devin himself, Terria is a concept album of sorts - a tribute to the earth. This is one of those albums where you think to yourself; "Man, this guy must have been on drugs to come out with this material". In reading a recent interview with Devin it seems as though we wouldn't be wrong in thinking that. An album that should be listened to as a whole is how Terria works – dipping in to listen to the odd track is certainly a bad approach – you need to hear this the whole way through. Over an hour of listening can be a pretty big investment of your time; however I've found this release works well in the morning or at the end of the day. Personally I find it's a great one to turn down the lights to, just lay back and absorb its demented genius.
What I've found pretty cool about Terria are the wall of sound parts, for example the intro to "Mountains" which hits with a force the equivalent of a punch from a giant. With this release the tracks dip in from crushingly heavy into some really chill atmospheric parts. I'd never realized how good a singer Devin actually is; his melodic stylings are absolutely fantastic, his raving mad-man stuff is undeniably fun, albeit a little on the goofy side. "Earth Day" is a phenomenal track where everything comes together nicely, from the ever excellent stick-smashing of Gene Hoglan and the fretless bass-work of Craig McFarland to the tasteful keys and piano work courtesy of Jamie Meyer, and of course everything else courtesy of Mr. Townsend. Terria excels in successful fusing a myriad of metal influences into a atmospheric background, the ebb and flow of the album is flawless – Terria works so well as a whole. However from the middle and towards the finish line the album becomes a little more chill, having an effect much similar to a fire burning out – however that's not to say the music becomes any less potent, quite the contrary. Throughout the duration of Terria you get a feeling of being enveloped by the material.
As gay as it sounds, I see Terria as a lot more than a metal release, this is a piece of art created by a damn fine songwriter. It will be interesting to hear the future works of Devin Townsend now that he has stopped with the drugs and cleaned himself up. However drugs or not there's no denying the immense atmosphere the guy created with this release. I would recommend this album to pretty much any metalhead with an open mind, and of course to Progressive Metal fans. Whilst not the fastest, or heaviest release we've seen from Mr. Townsend and despite how melodic and chilled out this can become at times there is never a point where boredom sets in. Much like a tidal-wave Terria crashes over; leaving you fragile and gasping for air afterwards. Epic and compelling, hell I've got no problem calling this beautiful. Recommended
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