Released: 2009, HevyDevy
Devin Townsend has been a big name in the metal scene for quite some time. Somewhat of a "mad scientist" of heavy metal, Townsend's projects have been known both for their creativity and intensity, ranging everywhere from insanely shredding thrash metal with Strapping Young Lad to relatively tame solo projects. Even if you're already familiar with Townsend's work, you may not find what you would expect with his latest project, KI.
Taking a similar progressive approach to his other solo work, KI is easily Hevy Devy's least "hevy" work to date. That's not to say that none of the 13 songs on this album pack a punch, but in general you will find a much more laid back, mellow Devy. Songs like "Coast", "Terminal", and "Demon League" are purely melodic tunes with a laid back ambient feel, and "Trainfire" is a shining example of Devy's mad genius at work without playing in to the usual role of non-stop, punishing metal.
That being said, there's plenty here for folks who enjoy Townsend's more erratic style as well. "Disruptr", "Gato", and "Heaven Send" are all prime examples of what Townsend is truly made of, although they're still more clean and intelligible than anything he ever wrote for SYL. "Disruptr", especially, is a heavy piece with some good crunch, while "Gato" and "Heaven Send" can only be described as "intense".
KI may be a departure from what everyone has come to expect from Devin Townsend, but if it's any indication of where he's going than it still isn't a bad thing. It may not be as intensely metal as his previous work, but it's a great listen that anyone who appreciates quality and diversity can get behind. Even if you've never appreciated Townsend's work before, you may want to give KI a chance, since it really is different than what you would expect, but long-time Hevy Devy fans shouldn't pass this one up either.