I don't just have a ginormous love-slave, but appreciative relationship with vidja gamen, but also with musex plehan. As of late, I have been slowly trying to finish downloading the two Game Music Bundles I bought a while back (spectacularly amazing deals, btw).
Yes. For those who are aware of them, I'm STILL downloading them. I just keep putting it off in favor of other internet/life ventures like sleeping, browsing YouTube and The Escapist and slightly less important endeavors like applying for college. It at least always gives me something to do on Teh Wehbz because I have to wait until they're done downloading, extract them from the zip files into iTunes Music, open them separately into iTunes from there and then move each track into my awesome, so-nerdy Game Music playlist.
I also had to PAINSTAKINGLY re-label "dbsoundworks" under the Binding of Isaac soundtrack as "Danny Baranowsky" because I had already downloaded the Super Meat Boy soundtrack under "Danny Baranowsky". GRRAH! Because I just have to have my music so perfectly in order.
But, I feel it's about the time I get to the whole point of writing this thing.
Have you seen this man?
This striking, handsome God amongst men is Devin Townsend.
You might know him as part of that band Strapping Young Lad, probably not. I'm not even here for that. I'm just here to tell you of the man himself and his work with his self-titled band: The Devin Townsend Project.
WELL ACTUALLYYYYY... just one of his works.
I really should learn to be more specific right off the bat.
But, tiddleleedee, I'm here to talk about his Ziltoid the Omniscient album. Which accomplishes not one, but two things. 1.) providing me with a spectacular metal album and 2.) putting "Omniscient" into my vocabulary. Which is undeniably an amazing little word.
Have you heard of it? From anywhere? Anyone? Well if you love metal (and not just the 80's metal that everyone and their dog seems to listen to), you should've.
This'll be really fun trying to describe the album to you:
Picture a tongue-in-cheek, metal musical centered around the story of an alien Muppet that comes to Earth, demanding the humans deliver their universes "ultimate cup of coffee" or else he will invade and destroy everything. The humans fail to deliver a quality brew so Ziltoid orders the attack. The human defensive is led by a hero named Captain Spectacular and the two sides fight it out during the vast majority of this approximately 55-minute long album.
Although, this insane set-up is only there to help drive the genius behind the music itself. The lyrics may sound like they were written by a 14-year old bad boy attempting to write something hardcore and DEEP, but I feel that's the point. Even if not, it's certainly a happy little accident, eh?
As for the instrumentation? Pure damn genius. Bass doesn't seem to stand out as it's kinda just there to chill and have some tea and crumpets somewhere in the background, but the vocals, whatever keys are there and especially the drums and guitar are all fantabular. There's more than enough hard-hitting riffs, intricate layering, excellent pacing and pounding, driving drums to satisfy your inner metal demon. Plus there's even the occasional period where the melodies sound absolutely mind-blowingly awesome half thanks to some great use of echo and harmonies.
The best way to show off all of this would be to show off my favorite song off the album:
This song is no worse than a pure, metal classic to me. Superb growl-vocals, awesome melodies, tons of excellent changes that aren't just there for the sake of variety and an illusion of complexity, all wrapped up in a deliciously cheesy overtone and an ending that is sure to get your head swaying up and down with a great force.
Even the more generic (or at least much more simple) songs sound great. One of them, The Greys, is actually my second favorite song off the album. Just as deliciously cheesy, but it's simplicity and simultaneous polish and great drums makes it both accessible, more than replayable yet there is no shame at all in listening to it.
Although, I hardly ever dog on a song for being generic unless we get into songs that are generic, straight unappealing and shallow like much of the work of artists like Kesha, Nicki Minaj (I really don't care if I misspelled her name) and others. As long as the song leads me into thinking the band/artist at least tried, I won't care. You honestly can't expect every song ever to be signature, unique, whatever.
I like to think that as a musician (I really hope that doesn't sound too pretentious), I've learned to find merit and be more fair.
But that doesn't mean this album is totally free of problems. One such problem I have is with the song N9. A good chunk of it is almost literally copy/pasted from Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!. Whether intentional (maybe Devin tried to connect the two songs in some sort of way, I don't know) or not, it does bug me ever so much. A couple other very minor gripes exist, but I don't feel the need to bring them up.
What I will respond to that with is that Mr. Townsend (supposedly) did this entire album (drums, bass, guitar, vocals, whatever) all by himself. While he did "play" the drums solely through a piece of computer software and he had the help of another vocalist for one section (or more?), it was essentially all Devin.
Which is pretty amazing. Other people have done this such as Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Jonathan Coulton, but it's still amazing nonetheless. And another great thing to see is a band/artist that can actually play incredibly both in studio andlive.
This album is really meant to be listened to as a whole. So let me point you to a video I made on the first 3 songs to get you started:
If you like what you hear, please please please give this album a buy. Those 3 are just the tip of the icy, awesome berg.
Now, you might think all of it is a little off. Irking, maybe? This is what I thought at first for whatever reason. I thought it was good-really good, but I grew to love it in time. I think I just eventually "got" the whole idea of Ziltoid one day.
Hope you end up enjoying it whether now or later.
Just exposing more and more to this great album is enough for me.