Album Review: Devin Townsend – Lightwork (Inside Out Music)

After a few exceptionally long years full of personal change and near manic levels of creative activity, Canadian musician Devin Townsend releases his follow up to 2019’s well received ‘Empath’ in the form of his new release, Lightwork.

Assembled from a barrage of material written during the pandemic, it’s much more based around personal revelations on Devin’s side. An emotionally healthy representation of self-exploration. It will be released on October 28th, 2022 via Inside Out Music.

Devin Townsend’s abilities to make you feel are well known and well documented, so it’s no surprise that Lightwork is dripping in heart and soul. An album filled to the brim with relaxed melodies and eccentric vibes. At times, captivating and at others, unusually fascinating. Regardless of how the music sits with you on Lightwork, it will make you feel something.

It’s that characteristic and Devin’s innate ability to move through the stages that makes opener Moonpeople such an excellent start. The subtle melody, simplified beat and isolated vocals building in power, things getting more chaotic as though the mind has becoming momentarily unhinged, and finding a thread to grasp seems impossible. Yet, through all of that, the vocals of Devin act as an anchor. The chorus is delightfully infectious.

With Lightworker the man then shows off both his sensitive side, his penchant for extravagance and ability to get heavier than most expect. A track with sweetness and power in equal amounts, the chorus is phenomenal. Followed then by the nonchalant effects, wistful vocals and sombre melodies of Equinox and Call of the Void. Both tracks keeping the relaxed vibes prevalent, even when Devin takes thing up a notch both instrumentally and vocally. The latter track has some old-school guitar rock touches that are grin-inducing.

Hitting Devin Townsend madcap and challenging highs, Heartbreaker is one of the artist’s more progressive and effects-laden tracks on the album. At nearly seven minutes long, it is a cosmic sounding journey and as boundary pushing as it gets. It’s also simply brilliant.

As is the darker, 80’s synth-infused goth-club banger that is Dimensions. Expect the unexpected with Devin Townsend, this is a track unlike anything he has produced before. The line between genius and madness balanced exceptionally by the man. Before Celestial Signals returns to a more lavish and epic style, uplifting and powerful, as only Devin Townsend can do.

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Unbelievably anthemic, thanks in part to the harmonised and group vocals, Heavy Burden is special sounding track. Even if some of the vocal effects are a little ‘too weird’. The naturalistic outro is nice and sets up the following relaxed penultimate track, Vacation, nicely. The melody in this track is just so damn lovely and it flows perfectly into the finale of Children of God. An epic finish that passes the ten-minute mark and shimmers with bright and brilliant colours. Shifting tonally carefully and cleverly, the sense of grandness matched by the inability to predict where it will go next.

It’s the perfect outro to the album as, like the whole experience, it challenges and captivates. Lightwork is forward-thinking Devin Townsend music, not a re-run of this greatest hits. It encapsulates a mind-frame, showcases an explorative nature and connects the listener to the artist through all of that.

Devin Townsend – Lightwork Full Track Listing:

1. Moonpeople
2. Lightworker
3. Equinox
4. Call of the Void
5. Heartbreaker
6. Dimensions
7. Celestial Signals
8. Heavy Burden
9. Vacation
10. Children of God


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Devin Townsend - Lightwork (Inside Out Music)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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