Devin Townsend – Empath
Ambition bites the nail of success. Can’t think of a more suitable phrase as it comes to Devin Townsends new album “Empath”. Not unusual as it comes to artists like Devin. There is no doubt he is an extremely talented and skilled singer with a voice that almost lacks limitations. Naturally he wants to create music without limits as well, together with limitless musicians. The result; grind blasting double kicks with ABBA-like choir arrangements in rather simple melodies put into numerous arrangements and endless repetitions.
My first reaction; I fall asleep at song number 4 – “Evermore”. At my second try I get bored to the limit of frustration. And anger.
Sure. Everything is amazing. His voice, the band, the orchestral and choir arrangements. The sound is impeccable. Maybe if I was 16 and asking myself “the big questions” in life I might find something interesting in this pretentious mess. But this is just as un-engaging as an American Zinfandel. There is just too much of everything – but no inner core. Every song is like a small opera without the melodic geniality needed. “Empath” suffers from lack of ideas hidden in a wonderland of arrangements. Or perhaps too many ideas without a “gardener”.
I know “Empath” is made to be brilliant. But it isn’t. It is just boring. Terribly boring.
Artist: Devin Townsend
Label: Hevy Devy Records
Date of release: 2019-03-27
Time: 1 h 14 minutes
Stand out track: Sprite