Devin Townsend’s Addicting Testament to Progressive Metal


Caleb Gilbertson, Contributor

With over three dozen sub-genres, and seemingly infinite ways to play it, metal is potentially the most diverse genre of music. There’s everything from the unrestrained chaos of Meshuggah, to the symphonic genius of Blind Guardian. In this large field of ever expanding diversity, one bald Canadian has seemingly mastered all of it.

Devin Townsend is arguably the most talented musician in all of metal. With over twenty albums under his belt (if you include his band Strapping Young Lad), with death metal to ambient (and everything in between). With such a vast repertoire of music, it’s kind of hard to know where to start, but, as a major Townsend fan myself, I would recommend the second part of the Devin Townsend Project, “Addicted.”

Released in 2009, “Addicted” is one of the most commercial albums made by Townsend. The fusion of pop and metal works perfectly for the effect of an upbeat, overly positive album that can easily become aggressive when needed.

This is mainly due to Townsend’s vocals being accompanied by the incredibly talented Anneke van Giersbergen, whose beautiful vocals provide the perfect contrast to Townsend’s harsher screams and yells. She also performs a vocal cover of the song “Hyperdrive” from Townsend’s previous album “Ziltoid the Omniscient.” Aside from that, all of the songs are a very good mixture of their distinct vocal styles.

“Addicted” is perhaps the most accessible album ever produced by Townsend, with the upbeat and popish “Bend It Like Bender!” and the borderline power-ballad “Ih-Ah!” making good interludes for the slightly heavier but still upbeat songs such as “Numbered!” and the title track.

The song that stood out the most to me was the incredibly creative “Supercrush!” which seamlessly switches between the heaviest and lightest parts of the album in a beautiful duet that shows off the vocal variety of both Townsend and Giersbergen.

Overall, “Addicted” stands on its own as a testament to the beauty and variety of progressive metal, while still being accessible enough for anyone to enjoy. From the opening riff of the title track, to the slowly fading final notes of “Awake!”, “Addicted” is a trip through a near flawless album that demands to be listened to from start to finish.