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Devin Townsend - Z CD (album) cover

Z

Devin Townsend

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.82 | 123 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars Z² (short for Ziltoid 2; pronounced "Zed squared" or alternately Zee Two) is a combo pack from Mr DEVIN TOWNSEND but has been released in three different editions.

The jewel case edition (which i have) contains the two main albums: SKY BLUE and DARK MATTERS. The limited digipak edition contains the two main albums, a third CD that is DARK MATTERS without dialogue and extra artwork. The Japanese limited edition contains all of the above with a bonus "Loud Park" concert on DVD which was taken from a show in Saitama, Japan on October 2013.

OK. Let's get to the music. The two discs basically are sequels of previous albums. SKY BLUE is a collection of metallic dance pop tunes that basically continues the ideas that are presented on "Epicloud" only not quite as well IMHO. While all is pleasantly delivered in a trancy dancy fashion, it doesn't really expand the ideas in any particular way. This portion of the album is nice and all but really makes me just want to go back on listen to "Epicloud" which i found to be a very nice dance pop take in the metal world.

DARK MATTERS is the sequel for "Ziltoid The Omnisicient" which i believe is one of the best TOWNSEND projects he has yet put out. While the original was a one-man show (for the most part) this is a major production under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT. I very rarely like sequels and i have to say that this one seems particularly unnecessary. The whole thing feels forced and reminds me of one trick ponies that milk it for everything that can be milked. I feel the original ZILTOID idea was brilliant but really needed no further expansion. While the original was a really cute over-the-top musical production by DEVIN alone, this one seems like it was tweaked and stuffed with so many sounds and ideas that it explodes on itself. I mean, really what's the fascination with a Therion style symphonic embellishment complete with full choirs with a majorly unsatisfying expansion of the story around which the musical ideas gravitate. There is lots of borrowing of North American cartoons going on here. The narration reminds me of Rocky & Bullwinkle while the whole production reminds me of Dr Seuss' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" goes Broadway. Their is a showtune approach to a whimsical idea that is devoid of enough substance for my gleeful consumption.

This is a bit disappointing as i was expecting a ZILTOID experience that delivered at least a partial experience of the first but the contrast between the over-production and weakness of the plot which dictates any musical development just leaves me wanting to go back and listen to the original which was surprisingly balanced. The Who's down in Who-ville liked Ziltoid a lot but the Grinch who loved Ziltoid, the sequel does not. It all feels contrived and forced and parts go on and on. Like Saturday Night Live sketches that were excellent for a one-time skit of whimsy, so was ZILTOID, but for such a project to be able to expand beyond its initial parameters requires more substance than what i find going on here. Overall, this isn't a horrible combo package but it doesn't feel like a necessary one either and i really hope there isn't a ZILTOID franchise in the making after hearing this. Heavy Devvy has many hits and misses of his career and in my world this one just feels lost and contrived by adding bombast without any substance to back it up.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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