Devin Townsend - Physicist review
|Release date:||June 2000|
07. The Complex
08. Irish Maiden
10. Planet Rain
11. Forgotten [hidden track]
12. Man [Japanese bonus]
13. Ocean Machines [Japanese bonus]
14. Promise [Japanese bonus]
As a Hevy Devy fan, you would expect this album to leave me spasmodically writhing in a corner drenched in my own saliva. But this is very simply not the case, for this album is definitely one of the weaker albums Devin Townsend has crafted over his long, prolific career.
The main problem with the album is its sheer inconsistency. Physicist has a very strong start with probably my favourite opening track "Namaste", providing the listener with almost 4 minutes of sheer madness. Speedy double bass drumming, alarmingly frantic screaming in the same Devin flavour, you know the story. A very solid opener. This is followed by another two well constructed, catchy tracks: "Victim", and "Material", which is probably one of the best sing-along songs Devin Townsend has written since the early years of his solo career.
But then things begin to decline. Rapidly.
The 4th track "Kingdom", which is probably one of the weakest and most messily constructed songs I have ever heard from Devin, absolutely kills the momentum the first few tracks had going for me. It also goes down as one of his worst vocal performances on an album to date. And then the rest of the album bombards you with mostly unmemorable thrashy, noisy pieces of nonsense that just don't do very much for me at all. "Planet Rain", the only song over 6 minutes completely passes by me also, not leaving much of an impression and not changing in momentum terribly often. The overall sound production leaves a lot to be desired, as I can rarely hear the vocals over the sheer muddiness of the guitar and drums, and the bass doesn't make many appearances apart from in perhaps "Material". Many of the tracks just sounded like they could have used a second or third take.
Overall Physicist is one of Devin Townsend's least popular albums, and for good reason. What potential this album has is drowned by inconsistency and very derivative song-writing. Is it his worst album to date? No, I can recommend a few tracks from it, sure, but this is not an album to be recommended to newcomers.
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