'Devin Townsend Presents Ziltoid The Omniscient'
A madman with a solid work ethic, Devin Townsend played everything on this album himself, except the drums, which were programmed using Meshuggah's "Drumkit From Hell". Heavy Devvy's done a lot of great music before, but this is his first concept album - and the good news is, the concept is a total hoot. It's about this intergalactic marauder named Ziltoid who is on a quest for the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. He comes to earth and asks for our best of coffee - which however turns out to be far from good (no doubt, the hapless Ziltoid touched down somewhere in the USA where they drink this acrid black secretion instead. A cup of steaming South Indian filter coffee would have inspired him to declare himself humanity's lifelong protector). Ziltoid then determines to destroy the planet. Woe is us! Or are we? For you see, Captain Spectacular has seen through his facade and now sets out to expose Ziltoid for what he really is - a nerd.
I won't give away any more of the plot, but it's all super fun, a classic B-grade SF movie filtered through a seriously warped sense of humour and an equally warped and totally brilliant musical mind. The music is as strong as anything Townsend's ever done, ranging from really heavy semi-industrial fare like 'By Your Command' or the ferocious 'Ziltoidia Attaxx' to the many moods and soaring melodies of 'Solar Winds', the more melodic and mid-tempo 'Hyperdrive', the demented 'Planet Smasher' or the epic 'Colour Your World', which has as much right to be called prog as anything by Dream Theater.
I think they'll be calling this one an eccentric masterpiece in the years to come. You could say that about all Townsend's music, of course, but his hijacking of B-movie thematics and OTT narrative interludes is so utterly corny - yet artistically succesfull - that I'd rate it pretty high. It'll make you laugh and it'll impress you too.