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Devin Townsend — Z²

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

★★★☆ This is a challenging double-length release, intended to be two albums in one, each one different in tone and scope. This is asking a lot for a First Listen, especially if (like me) you’re not already all-in with Devy. Worse, the first half album is farther away from what one might traditionally consider “metal” than the second, thereby confronting the uninitiated with the bigger challenges upfront. (If you’re at all on the fence about Devin Townsend and want to listen to this, I’d strongly recommend starting with the title track.) And yet, if you can make it all the way through a first listen of this double album, you’re likely going to want to come back for a second. The production is predictably pristine, and the music’s got more fun and memorable moments than you might first suspect. Big kudos for Devy for continued down his self-hewn idiosyncratic path and pushing every possible boundary of metal, and for continuing to be loud music’s answer to Frank Zappa.