Devin Townsend’s never been an artist who’s afraid to try new things. Getting his start asSteve Vai’s lead vocalist for his 1993 album Sex and Religion, including the follow up worldtour at the young age of 19, Devin has consistently been a driving force as musician, producer, and all around great entertainer in the world of metal music. What separates Devin from manyother artists is that his entire collection of work stands as consistently extraordinary, each in their own way. . His latest release, Addicted, stands as the second part of his four album quadrilogy known as the Devin Townsend Project, with each release exploring a different view into Devin’s perspective of music. During the recording process, Devin hyped Addicted to not only be “danceable” and “melodic” but also to retain the signature heaviness of past albums. Not only did Addicted live up to those expectations, it stands out as possibly one of Devin’s best so far.
The biggest and most welcome surprise is Devin enlisting the help of female vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen, the former lead singer of the Dutch band, The Gathering. While Devin’s heavy “wall of sound” styled metal mixed with Anneke’s angelic voice may seem like a mismatch, upon listening to the album, it’s clear that the two fit perfectly together. Although Addicted’s main hook is clearly the inclusion of a dominant female vocalist, some fans of Devin’s previous releases may be disappointed regarding his absence in the majority of vocals on the album. Another reasonable complaint could be the overall lack of serious overtones. While none of Devin’s work completely presents itself in an overwhelmingly morbid and serious fashion, Addicted stands out as the silliest and most lighthearted. Nevertheless, Addicted is an album that perfectly accomplishes what it sets out to do. It manages to be simple, danceable, and very high energy all while managing to not be cheesy or aggravating as most dance music tends to be. At times it can be silly, funny, or even pretty ridiculous, but throughout the entire forty six minute album, the music is consistently great with each track fitting to the overall attitude of the album, but being different enough to inspire multiple listens of Addicted in its entirety.
From beginning to end, Addicted succeeds in captivating the listener into a primal urge of fast foot tapping, rhythmic head bobbing, and singing along to the flawless marriage of metal and dance music. While some tracks definitely stand out, such as “Bend It Like Bender, ” “Resolve, ” and the remake of Devin’s track “Hyperdrive, ” from his 2007 solo release “Ziltoid The Omniscient”, every track on the album achieves enough of a unique and catchy hook, that the album is a great listen from beginning to end. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone that’s interested in metal yet open minded enough to not initially scoff at the idea of a fusion of hard rock and dance music. Addicted is Devin Townsend’s eleventh solo release so far, and if the quality of this album is a precursor to the quality of his future material, than I’m positive that he’ll continue releasing some of the best albums money can buy for a very long time. Addicted is currently available through websites such as Amazon.com, Devin’s ebay page, and Devin’s personal website, hevydevy.com.