Strap yourselves in and get ready for another journey across the soundscapes with your friendly and loveable Canadian, Devin Townsend. You’re about to go down into a wormhole of strange and wondrous creativity coming out in aural form. Prepare for Lightwork, aptly named, this album is dynamic, creative, cinematic and above all, epic, it makes for incredibly easy listening, which is great because when it comes to Devin Townsend’s music, there are so many layers to it and you can never get everything on the first listen.
Straight off the bat, this guy’s voice is just phenomenal, the range, the way he uses it to set the mood and tone of a song, just as much as his guitars or synths, is just unreal. Yes, that might sound obvious to some people but there are bands out there who use the vocals as the filler part of the song, it’s all about a riff, definitely not the case when it comes to this guy’s music! He keeps his voice cleaner and more ethereal throughout this album but does also throw in some of his classic screams to change it up and make great use of his dynamics. The track Heavy Burden creates a strange effect with multiple voices being blended and layered over each other to sing one line, it’s incredibly well done to have it so clean, it took a few listens to grasp the full effect and hear the multiple layers, this is the kind of creativity that I appreciate, out of the normal thinking that makes the music much more interesting.
Devin Townsend is a busy man, Lightwork is the 5th album he has released in the last 2 years. He released the Quarantine Sets he streamed during 2020, then also Snuggles and The Puzzle and now releasing this little gem. Releasing this amount of content or music just goes to show that he is in this for the art and enjoys showing off his creativeness or it could be that he just needs to get all the crazy music out of his head and will just unleash it upon the world, either way, its good fun. During the creation process there was a drop of Call of the Void that would be named one of the singles for this album, the other being Moonpeople. These two tracks are probably on the lighter sounding side of the album, but they are just as experimental as the rest. They set the tone that the vocals and synth instruments are more the focal point here than the heavier element. It’s all still there and is more the foundation or the gel holding the songs together.
It wouldn’t be a Devin Townsend album without some completely out there sounds and when you get to Dimensions and hear that incredibly in tune guitar solo (he writes in sarcastica font) you will just smile and laugh because, why the hell not!? Dissonant, I think is the term professionals use with these types of things. Heartbreaker shows a bit more of the weirder side of his creativeness with the number of layers to his music, the guitar riff in this song just has a really nice sway to it, you won’t be able to help but get into it. My favourite track on this album is Celestial Signals, this song is epic, it has a massive sound and will make an incredible addition to the live set. I can see a stadium singing and moving to this one.
From start to finish, Lightwork will have you moving and singing along in no time. It is light at times, it is heavy at times, it can also be downright strange at times, but that’s why you come along to the Devin show, something new and different.