While it’s more evolution than reinvention, Transcendence is up there with Devin Townsend’s best and shows that the maestro is still willing to push in new directions.
For die-hard fans like myself, a new Devin Townsend release is nothing short of an event worthy of a national holiday, with so much of the anticipation coming down to not knowing what to expect. Townsend’s output has become increasingly genre-defying, with dark ambient, experimental noise, and even country, nestling alongside progressive and extreme metal. The latest release falls under the Devin Townsend Project banner and continues the epic progressive metal that started with Addicted, through to Epicloud and Z2 most recently, evolving the sound rather than completely reinventing it.
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The Royal Albert Hall, over the course of its 144-year history, has played host to some of the world’s leading artists and the day’s most famous figures. In May 1877, Richard Wagner conducted the first half of each of the eight concerts making up the Grand Wagner Festival. 14th September 1901 saw Sir Arthur Conan Doyle judge the first major bodybuilding competition. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Allen Ginsberg, and Jimi Hendrix all took centre stage in this illustrious venue throughout the 1960s. In 1995, Professor Steven Hawking became the second physicist to sell out the Royal Albert Hall when he spoke about his latest book Does God throw dice in black holes? (the first was Albert Einstein in 1933). And on 13th April 2015, Devin Townsend, in a century and a half’s cultural culmination, officially became The Royal Albert Hall’s first musician, in his own words, “to have a farting ball bag shriek across the stage”. Picture someone wearing an oversized fancy dress of a testicle crossed with the alien from Mars Attacks! and Iain Duncan Smith and you’re closer to understanding the ludicrousness of this spectacle.
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