David Townsend: Hope in chaotic times
Empath is a varied album and the the atmosphere and style shifts from track to track from free jazz, death metal, musical theater, prog, free jazz and even more commercial music. Empath contains music for nearly every kind of music taste and those who want big s and cinematic songs should listen to Evermore, and those who prefer more straight forward songs should listen to Spirits Will Collide. The song Genesis features around five different stylistic shifts and also includes all three drummers, the choir, the orchestra, and basically the kitchen sink as well. This song is ultimately about facing fear, as well as analyzing one’s relationship with one’s past in order to progress. Joining Townsend on this album is Frank Zappa alumni Mike Keneally as music director, as well as Morgan Ågren (Mats And Morgan, Frank Zappa, Fredrik Thordendal), Anup Sastry (Monuments, Periphery), Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, Abigail Williams),Nathan Navarro, Elliot Desagnes, Steve Vai, Chad Kroeger, Anneke Van Giersbergen,Ché Aimee Dorval, Ryan Dhale and the Elektra Women’s Choir. The record has an overarching theme of what we could call hope in chaotic times. Over the course of the last 25 years, accomplished heavy music artist Devin Townsend has remained consistent. Consistent-that is-in that he’s rarely consistent in what we’ve come to expect from him. Constantly making unique inroads with many different styles of music, he has followed his particular muse in any way it leads him for almost three decades. Although heavy metal and progressive rock has always been his primary focus, each year that passes recently has resulted in new peripheral works that have seen him branch off to everything from country, new age, ambient noise or even orchestral musical theatre. As endearing as that has been to his constantly growing fan base, it has also made it difficult to classify with much accuracy what he does and what he represents. A major theme of Devin Townsend’s career seems to be reinvention. Through the years, he has been known to periodically switch directions dramatically. 3/10/2019

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