Growing up, I was a huge fan of Strapping Young Lad and the music of Devin Townsend. The style of SYL’s albums, Alien and The New Black, appealed to my teenage angst while their videos and live performances appealed to my goofy sense of humor. It was refreshing to find a talented group of heavy musicians that allowed themselves to see the humor in the world.
Then, the band split up and Devin started focusing on his “solo” work. I dug the music but the aggression of SYL was gone so it didn’t fit into my typical musical rotation, even as I was getting into more progressive music.
I certainly didn’t shrug it off, I just wasn’t an active listener like I was for SYL.
Fast forward several years and I’m still not an active listener of Dev’s new music but am recommending his tunes to one of my besties that is very into progressive, guitar-driven music. We begin having frequent conversations about Devin’s music, including his new album, Lightwork.
After being gifted an incredible shirt from the album which includes a graphic of an octopus taking over a lighthouse and another wearing Devin’s glasses, I decided to check out the album so that I could wear the shirt out-and-about with pride. You know, because of all those inquisitive Devin Townsend fans you found out in the wild waiting to call you out as a potential poser.
So here I am, checking out Lightwork and finding myself brought right back into the world of Devin Townsend and I couldn’t be happier!
Lightwork is definitely a product of the pandemic. It’s an incredibly emotional album but not in the way you would think. The music creates a beautiful atmosphere while accompanied by Devin’s incredible voice. You can tell that Devin spent a lot of time processing his feelings around the pandemic and other events in the world and focused it into this album. Certainly not in an obvious way but very much in the subtext of the album.
If you decide to check the album out, I highly recommend diving into the lyrical content of the album and some of Devin’s accompanying breakdowns on Youtube.
Another really cool aspect of the album is that it includes a bonus album, with almost a darker tone, called Nightwork. It is also fantastic and a great companion piece to Lightwork. I, myself, just picked up the deluxe version of the album which includes Lightwork and Nightwork on vinyl. I highly recommend this edition if you are a vinyl collector. You can purchase the Deluxe Edition of the album here.
To learn more about Lightwork, check out this post by Devin where he talks a bit about the album’s themes!
Lightwork was released on November, 22 2022 on InsideOut Music
If you aren’t a purchaser of physical media, you can check out the entire Lightwork/Nightwork Deluxe Version on Spotify below.