I miss Devin Townsend. It’s been too long.
What is ending up as the last Devin Townsend Project recording in their current form, Ocean Machine – Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv, is a glorious celebration of all things DTP with plenty of classics, some rarities and, of course, the entire album from which the performance owes its’ name.
Sometimes live albums come your way and are the best excuse to revisit a past album you love by an artist you love. Ocean Machine is epic. That’s a fact. A few times a year I find myself tracking down a clip on Youtube when “Seventh Wave” was performed at Tuska in 2010 and it’s the most epic of epic performances to a sea of devoted fans (And now that I’m looking for it, it seems nowhere to be found).
And, if it’s even possible, the track sounds even more monolithic than that aforementioned performance on this release.
But before you get to that there’s the “By request” portion where you get a bunch of fan favorites and classics by DTP AND an orchestra. There’s “Gaia” off Synchestra (My first exposure to DTP, actually) which is quirky with the symphonic bits, sounding straight out of a Disney classic even at times with the chorus and the woodwind section adding a certain, ahem, air to the song. “Canada” from Terra makes a rare appearance here and sounds right at home next to recent faves like “Higher”, “Failure”, and “Stormbending”. If you’re looking for HevyDevy then you might be s.o.l. as “By Your Command” from the first Ziltoid experience is the heaviest thing on here.
As for the album that drew us all in to this album? Well, it’s really well represented. “Regulator” gets a prog makeover with this The Moody Blues/Yes sheen added to the guitar crunch while “Deadhead” sounds even more immediate. “Life” sounds even more optimistic” and “Bastard” and “The Death of Music”, which are seldom played live, sound just as urgent and earnest as when they first appeared on the album over twenty years ago.
Ocean Machine – Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv will be available on July 6th through Inside Out Music. Pre-order packages in a plethora of formats are available by clicking here. For the latest on Devin Townsend, stay tuned to his Twitter where he likes to wax poetic about what’s on the horizon while drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen and guitarist Brian Waddell have teamed up with bassist Byron Stroud, guitarist Jed Simon (Both of another defunct Devin Townsend band, Strapping Young Lad), and Threat Signal vocalist Jon Howard in iMonolith. For more on them, head here.