Rating:
9.1
Devin Townsend - Ziltoid The Omniscient
5 June 2007


Disc I
01. ZTO
02. By Your Command
03. Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!
04. Solar Winds
05. Hyperdrive
06. N9
07. Planet Smasher
08. Omnidimensional Creator
09. Color Your World
10. The Greys
11. Tall Latte

Disc II [special edition bonus]
01. Don't Know Why
02. Travelling Salesman
03. Another Road


Considering Devin Townsend's past works, this one is not exactly a surprise. But what really stands out of this concept album is nothing more than this crazy man's peronality. Every rhythm and sound in this album has a "Devin Townsend" seal on it. While listening to it, you feel like you're actually getting into his eccentric brain. That's how this magnificent musician welcomes you. Giving you generously a part of his personality.

Musically, Devin himself has called this album's style "infinity metal" and he has clearly done a great deal of work to obtain this label. First of all, he has beautifully combined elements of pop music and opera with pure death metal, creating a chaotic and pompous mixture. Throughout the album you can here background voices and choirs (created by him) sing gibberish along with the rhythms, like "Pound pound pound ye pushy push pound pound." It seems funny, but it's wonderfull. You can also witness the complete range of Devin's vocals. Sometimes harsh, other times melodic, yet always expressive and warm. The dialogues are very enjoyable and they fit perfectly on the rest of the album.

Being quite a skilled producer, I wouldn't expect more from Devin. He enhances his guitars and they sound vast, as they should for an album talking about space. The interesting part is that the sound has almost no keyboards at all and almost everything is done with reverberated strings. The rhythms at the beginning of the album seem like a soundtrack from some hero comic, but they steadily build up to acquire a more nostalgic and melancholic tone and Ziltoid's feelings are delicately painted. The only think that bothers me (and probably it's only me) is the drumming. Having borrowed a drum machine by Fredrik Thordenal (of Meshuggah), Devin creates a classic -almost cliché- death metal barrier that hasn't got the best sound possible (every hit has the same volume). But it's damn accurate and kick-ass.

Anyway, the main reason for listening to this album should be its concept. The story is about an arrogant, but nerdy alien, Ziltoid, who wants to conquer the universe. To achieve that, he needs to find the finest black coffee bean. In order to succeed, he comes to earth and tries to impress the people in order to fool them (knowing that they are captivated by spectacular acts) and take what he wants. Sadly, he doesn't find it and swears revenge. Then he meets a few interesting and funny characters that lead the plot to a beautiful ending. He realizes that while he was trying to conquer everything, he forgot how it is to be a child and to focus on the beauty of everything. The story ends abruptly with a guy waking up in a coffee-house, where he works. Evidently, Ziltoid's story was in fact a day-dream of a guy that was fed up with his work.

Overall, it's the greatest concept album ever. It clearly reveals that reckless and destructive arrogance can blind a person. It criticizes people's tendency to be hypnotized by meaningless spectacles. It presents the human point of view of the universe and infinity. It states that the end of something, although disappointing, can be very beautiful too. Finally, the album encourages you to stop dreaming and start working to make it in this world. Imagine all these wrapped up in a genius package of exquisite tunes and atmosphere, rendered by Devin Townsend's charismatic guitar-skills and accompanied by the complete palette of his colourful vocals. Classic, isn't it?

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Devin Townsend
Album: Ziltoid The Omniscient


 


written by TheAmazingP | 13.02.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Jeff

Rating:
9.2
Ziltoid wants some coffee! And the best one please! This strange alien, fan of coffee, who comes from the deepest part of the universe to conquer our beautiful Earth, is actually born in the disturbed mind of the genius Canadian musician, Devin Townsend. This project album is probably his crazier one something that you have never listen to before this day and for sure if you like the work of Devin with his own band or with Strapping Young Lad you'll just love "Ziltoid The Omniscient". We're just in front of a pure galactic masterpiece.

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published 17.05.2007 | Comments (24)



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Merchant of Doom - 10.03.2009 at 18:27  
Cartoon "metal" for sad people...
Daggon - 01.07.2009 at 09:44  
I like the drumming on this album, even if it's a machine it sounds really good, just listen to Ziltoidia Attaxx! and you'll know why I like those drums. A really great and well done work from a man with a great sense of humor. And wow, he really has not only a great vocal range but also he can do many voices. I'm a fan
chematss - 01.07.2009 at 12:52  
Great review
And great album!
The drumming is OK (imo)

'You have not convinced mighty Ziltoid, I am so omniscient; if there were to be two omniscience's I would be both!'

I like By Your Command alot
Fat & Sassy! - 02.07.2009 at 06:57  
Written by Daggon on 01.07.2009 at 09:44

I like the drumming on this album, even if it's a machine it sounds really good, just listen to Ziltoidia Attaxx! and you'll know why I like those drums. A really great and well done work from a man with a great sense of humor. And wow, he really has not only a great vocal range but also he can do many voices. I'm a fan


I recommend his album Terria if you haven't heard it yet. It's not as heavy and over-the-top, but probably his best album.

Great review!

I think with humorous release, he deserves the title of the Frank Zappa of metal. Great, original, well-composed music masked by satirical humor that succeeds at being fucking awesome. Not an easy thing to do.
Daggon - 02.07.2009 at 08:54  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 02.07.2009 at 06:57


I recommend his album Terria if you haven't heard it yet. It's not as heavy and over-the-top, but probably his best album.



Yup, Terria is less heavy, but still it's ambiental sound makes me feel great, while listening to it, and by the way, the new album, "Ki" remembers me a bit of Terria, but in my opinion, It may be superior to Terria, what a great album
Fat & Sassy! - 02.07.2009 at 10:43  
Written by Daggon on 02.07.2009 at 08:54

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 02.07.2009 at 06:57


I recommend his album Terria if you haven't heard it yet. It's not as heavy and over-the-top, but probably his best album.



Yup, Terria is less heavy, but still it's ambiental sound makes me feel great, while listening to it, and by the way, the new album, "Ki" remembers me a bit of Terria, but in my opinion, It may be superior to Terria, what a great album


I've been meaning to check his new album out. Thanks for the info.

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