Devin Townsend Terria 2001 Review by Mike

Experimental Prog Metal
This is Devin's masterpiece. The following album has more hooks and catchy tunes, but this one is truly majestic, epic and utterly wonderful. This is a complex work of art.

This albums is also so unique - it defies categorisation. Although this is metal, there is no other Prog Metal band that comes close to what he does. Earth Metal, Epic Progressive Metal ... that begins to describe it.

The most unique thing about the Devin Townsend albums is that he uses a very large number of tracks during recording, which are layered on top of one another to create a wall of sound. He does this for individual instruments as well as the whole tracks. This results in a incredible level of detail - with a good hifi system, you can hear lots of different instruments "below the surface".

This album doesn't have a story as such, but a topic: Nature - Canada in particular - and spirituality. The song titles and lyrics excerpts give you a good idea of what you can expect.
Olives 3:21
This is the weirdest intro to a prog metal album that I ever heard. I don't want to spoil anything, you'll have to listen for yourself.
Mountain 6:32
The track starts kind of usual, but after 2 minutes a cool laid back section starts, which slowly climbs and works it's way towards the peak. Listening to it, you literaly feel like a mountaineer. At about 5:30, the song suddenly stops and you hear something like a radio, playing some tune, with faint sounds in the background.
Earth Day 9:35
This song starts quite abruptly, after the silence of the preceding track. This is a typical Devin Townsend song, with haunting rhythm, thriving guitars, and crazy lyrics:

Man Overboard (I'm so far away)
Man Overboard (I'm so far...)
But [%*!#] it! ...I really don't care
Fuck! Listen to me! Just shut the [%*!#] up!

Peace, Love, Joy
Man overboard (I'm so far...)

Hate, hell, war
Hate, love, love, hate, love, hate...destruction!

Deep Peace 7:34
Beautiful song, you might even call it a ballad, although it's almost entirely based on heavy instrumentation. About halfway through the song, a beautiful guitar solo kick's off a heavy waltz (3/4), which is sort of a trademark for Devin.
Canada 6:53
One of my favorite songs on the album. It starts with a absolutely divine guitar riff. The song is as majestic as "Soul Driven" of his previous album, and it's about driving down a Canadian freeway. Again, there's crazy lyrics:

It's oil, It's wheat, It's soil, It's meat
It's beef!

The road, it's home, the mountain high, river low...

Wake me, please wake me,
When it's my turn to drive

Only the lonely (and maybe John Denver) know the Canadian freeway.

Down And Under 3:43
A french radio/TV excerpt kicks off this song, and while it's not as majestic as the previous song, it's flowing nicely and acting as a segue, to prepare and set things up for The Fluke.
The Fluke 7:16
Nice up-tempo track, with two completely different parts. The first is very similar to the kind of music Devin wrote for Biomech. The second part is introduced by some nice breaks and signature changes ... and then it's 3/4 time again, this time in a shuffle feel. Then, after a short repetition of the first part, some crazy keyboards/effects loop starts, fading into a heartbeat sample which morphs into the sound of rain.
Nobody's Here 6:54
Wonderful melancholic track, really slow and laid back, with absolutely fitting lyrics:

Hello, it's good to see you here
Come in, can I offer you a beer?

This song has some similarities to Roger Waters lyrics and songwriting - just a little bit.

Tiny Tears 9:13
I guess this is the closest thing to a ballad on this album - it's a romantic song that deals with relationships. It flows nicely, and again I'd like to quote the lyrics:

I see you
I need you
I leave you behind
I've learned my lesson

O.K I'm bored now.

About half way through the song, a guitar solo kicks of a song within the song - a 2 minute build up of a different motive, with the lyrics that I quoted.

Stagnant 5:25
Crazy Devin ... who would think of using pizzicato strings in this heavy setting? This is one of the really joyful tracks on the album, and please forgive me - I have to quote the lyrics one last time ...

It's beautiful, the way it's meant to be...beautiful, but it 'don't do [&*!#]' for me...
So peel away a little skin and choke upon the bone
And ain't it funny how, after trying to find my way home,

I'm in the middle now, and I won't get lost again.