Often considered a true musical genius by both fans and critics, composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Devin Townsend has always been extremely prolific. Beginning with 1997’s exceptional “Ocean Machine: Biomech,” his solo career has been filled with an astounding blend of outlandish humor, impeccable musicianship, and unique, bold compositions. Considering his approach to writing, performing, and replacing his musicians, it’s fair to declare him a modern day Frank Zappa.
With last year’s simultaneously released “Deconstruction” and “Ghost” (the devilish third and angelic fourth part, respectively, of the initial Devin Townsend Project saga), Townsend proved definitively that he’s one of the most diverse and dynamic musicians of this generation. Naturally, devotees have been salivating for a follow-up, and fortunately, it’s now a mere month away. On September 18th, “Epicloud,” his fifteenth album is as many years, will be released. Prepare to be blown away once again.
In an interview with Soundwave TV, Townsend said, “I'm inspired to make this epic space opera and, like, really overdo it, and [make it] really dark. And so I sat down to write, but every time I went to write, I'd write some poppy hard rock thing. And I was like, 'OK, we'll get that one out of the way and then I'll write 'Ziltoid.' And I got it out of the way and I'd go write 'Ziltoid.' And I'd write another one. So I'm thinking, 'OK, it's pretty obvious to me that I've got this that wants to come out before that.'"
In addition, he told Noisecreep, "Over the course of the full record, there's sort of new agey stuff, jazzy stuff, really heavy stuff. We basically cover the gamut. ‘Epicloud’ is the first record that I felt confident enough to include all those things on one record so it goes between melodic hard rock to schizophrenic heavy metal to country to really ambient stuff and it's all in one place. I'm using a gospel choir, a string section and a horn section for this one as well."
In terms of pre-orders and merchandise, there are plenty of options, including several versions of the album and various T-shirts. Fan can grab what they want now here or here. In the meantime, check out the album’s opener, “Effervescent!” as well as this preview. If those clips are any indication, “Epicloud” is going to be another masterpiece in Townsend’s catalog (as well as one of the best albums of the year).