Devin Townsend Project: Z2

Of all of the highly anticipated albums releases for this year (and there have been many), I don’t think any one of those compare to the excitement that has been brewing in anticipation for this release. In 2007, Devin Townsend released the tongue-in-cheek rock opera about the infamous alien, Ziltoid the Omniscient (of which the album is aptly named, Ziltoid the Omniscient), who travels to Earth in search for the world’s best cup of coffee. Upon being given a “fetid” cup of coffee, Ziltoid launches an attack on Earth’s army, only to end suggesting that the whole experience had been dreamt by a day-dreaming employee in a present day cafe.

This was truly a solo album in which Townsend plays all of the instruments on the album, excluding the drums which he sampled with the EZdrummer software. Shortly after the release of this album, Townsend took an indefinite hiatus to concentrate on his newly created family.

One could probably argue that during this time, Ziltoid the Omniscient had garner somewhat of a cult following amongst the hardcore devin fans. To the enjoyment of many eager fans, Townsend performed the world exclusive performance of the album in its entirety in Helsinki, Finland in 2010. It was also to everyone’s amazement when it was announced that there would be a sequel to Ziltoid the Omniscient, aptly titled, Z2. After almost scrapping it, Townsend announced the official recording of the album in early 2014.

Now, it i with great excitement that I write-up this review for this long-awaited sequel. The album contains two discs, each with a very different, but still Devin Townsend style to it. The first disc is entitled Sky Blue, which could be seen as just a separate collection of songs and doesn’t really add to the story of Ziltoid. The second disc however, is entitled dark Matters and serves as the continuation of the Ziltoid concept. The main theme overall for the album though is “Ziltoid against the world.”

I don’t want to give too much away in regards to the continuation of the story on this record, but let’s just say there’s a war princess, lots of poozers, and the most epic battle sequences imaginable. Devin Townsend really shells out for this album and it shows. The production on both records is absolutely massive, wrapping the listener in a cocoon of insanely heavy riffs and beautiful harmonies with the tongue-in-cheek humor laced throughout the record. For a follow-up to an already classic record, I have no doubt that the hardcore fans with easily embrace this record and love every second of it.

Luke Helker

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