Because making more work for myself is something I do.
Yep, so we reviewed Transcendence last week (Check it here) right before it came out and praised it for Townsend fully embracing the prog. Then we splurged on the ‘deluxe edition’ and found that not only did the second disc yield SO MUCH MORE but also that it warranted a review itself.
Quite simply, wow.
For those of you who have ever doubted that HevyDevy couldn’t deliver the “Hevy” still, this is your PSA to spend the few extra bucks to get the whole of Transcendence. Comprised of two “finished” tracks and nine demos, the second layer of Transcendence is pure metal brilliance.
“Gump” starts with an outtake referencing the hell that was apparently the Z2 recording sessions then dives right into a full fledged album that’s some of the most consistent heaviness since Addicted. Where that album was a little more polished and accessible, though, T2 (That’s what I’m calling it anyway) strays. A lot. It’s screamy Devin, it’s heavy Devin, it’s anthemic Devin. It’s a completely different side to the main beast of an album and actually surprising that it wasn’t released on its own down the road.
The entire album has the sense of a victory lap after getting through the denseness of the first disc. It’s fun, fast, and catchy as hell yet some of the most pummeling stuff Townsend has laid down.
“Celestial Signals” is so overwhelming with the wall of sound that’s thrust upon unsuspecting listeners.”Support The Cause” has this mad crunch and main refrain that’ll have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up for days. “Into The Sun” sings to the heavens then “Canucklehead” is a straight up rawk and/or roll song and palette cleanser to counter the dark riff fest of “Lexus”.
And once you’re in a state of ultimate Townsend bliss a reworked version of “Victim” (From Physicist….you know, the one that was essentially an SYL album???) comes on and the world as you knew it suddenly ends. Is it the way Townsend intended it now? Maybe. Is it just as heavy as the original? More so! Kudos goes to Ryan Van Poederooyen who does a fantastic job behind the kit and in turn almost erasing the memory of Gene Hoglan. Almost.
If you think you’ve figured out Townsend then “Loud” which closes T2 will throw you once again. Featuring a duet with the always welcome Anneke van Giersbergen, this one is quiet, ethereal, and shares more in common with Townsend’s Casualties Of Cool project then the heaviness that preceded it here.