Music » CD Reviews

The Devin Townsend Band

Synchestra (Hevy Devy)

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Heavy-metal mastermind Devin Townsend is better known for his other band, Strapping Young Lad, than for this eponymous group, in which the prolific multi-instrumentalist and producer showcases his songwriting skills.

Musically, Synchestra is all over the map, ranging from the folksy acoustic "Let It Roll" to Steve Vai's Middle Eastern guitar solo in "Triumph" to the bombastic "Pixillate" and "Judgment." There's even a polka-influenced "Vampolka" and its antithesis, "Vampira."

Devin's voice is in top form, whether a gentle tenor or raging, demonic screams, complemented by his trademark wall-of-sound production, a technique that has earned him the nickname "the Phil Spector of metal." If you're expecting the unbridled insanity of SYL, you'll be disappointed. But if you want to hear pop metal at its finest, look no further.

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