By Enrico Spinelli

Devin Townsend is a genius! This definition is often used inappropriately, it is certainly not the case with Devin, a real creative mind always in business and ready to churn out new projects while it is already conceiving new ones. His research has no limits, passing easily from the absolute masterpiece "City" with the "Strapping Young Lad" to the follies of an alien in search of a decent cappuccino ("Ziltoid"), without forgetting the magic of albums such as "Terria" or "Epicloud", to name a few.

Another striking thing about this artistic volcano is its unpredictability, the fact that it is he and only he who decides what to publish and when, each time leaving the listener at the mercy of surprises. The latest work released under the name of Devin Townsend, "Empath" (I know, two more have come out, but honestly I've never physically found them and I refuse to buy mp3s) was striking for the explosion of colours (well represented by the multi-detailed cover) and of different styles, resulting in a project of great charm: the album is as rich as the latter is minimalist already from the cover, which however gives us a clear signal of the direction taken by Devin. It is certainly no mystery that the pandemic has redesigned our lives and generated no small amount of unease especially in the world of artists, hence the need to seek accurate salvation, a beacon in the darkness, precisely that beacon that stands alone in a cover where soft and maritime colours prevail. 

Musically, the album "Lightwork" is the equivalent of the image described above, a series of pieces (or if you want a single large fragmented composition) where the melody and soft, ethereal, calm nuances prevail, bordering on pop, with few tempo changes and limited hints of violence (its clean screams). This apparent monotony instead finds its winning key in the suggestions evoked, in the sensation of calm and search for inner peace that listening evokes, an experience that never tires and which, like a boat trip on calm waters, gives to the listener the illusion of stillness (I can assure you that it works, I listened to it in the middle of traffic, you can imagine how much stress it chased away), as if that lighthouse were really close at hand.

Lightwork's Deluxe edition contains a second CD, "Nightwork", made entirely of unpublished compositions and which collects all the ideas a little different from the main disc, further proof of the great versatility and genius of Devin Townsend.
Summing up, this "Lightwork" won't be the best record by the artist, but it travels like a marvel and demonstrates even more how the good old Devin still has all the creativity and he is in need of constant search.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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