Originally written by Gregory Bradley.
Devin Townsend must be bursting at the seams with musical inspiration. First we get a new Strapping Young Lad album, and now a new solo album? Man oh man, I’m in Canadian metal heaven. The Devin Townsend Band is a somewhat poppy-progish band. There’s really no good category to put them under other than the aforementioned. Rather than trying to label it, I’ll let the music speak for itself (through my words, naturally). This album has a mix of the “flying-through-a-meteor-shower” sound of Strapping Young Lad and a more melodic, clean vocal, progressive sound. Accelerated Evolution is a great album to lead you into this progressive-ness because the first 3 tracks are more SYL-esque, then it slowly becomes softer, like transforming from a leaf-spring Model-T Ford to a double-wishbone suspension Mercedes. The opening two tracks, “Depth Charge” and “Storm”, sound somewhat similar to the track “Force Fed” off of the latest Strapping Young Lad album. This means normal SYL Devin vocals mixed with new clean vocal sound. The real transition track, though, is the 4th track and my personal favorite, “Deadhead”. It is eight minutes of beautiful, powerful, pure Devin Townsend goodness. If you are not moved by a song like “Deadhead”, then you are made of stone my friend. “Away” is another moving track, a 7 minute instrumental. The tracks that aren’t for everyone are the final two. They are the most poppy and happy tracks, however once you’ve listened through the beginning seven tracks; you might be ready for such things, as I was. If you found yourself wanting a little something more from SYL, the latest Strapping Young Lad album, then Accelerated Evolution may just be exactly what you’re looking for. It is, however, NOT for everyone. If you like SYL, you are not guaranteed to like this album. In fact, half the tracks are probably way too soft for the average death metallist. But ye with open minds just may find something amazingly fantastic here, just as yours truly did. If you open your mind (and as gay as it sounds, your heart) to this album, you will not regret it. All instruments are masterfully played, Devin is possibly the best producer out there right now, and every song on this disc is gripping, powerful, and emotional. This is among the best progressive metal I’ve ever heard to date.