Unless you have been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, the name Devin Townsend should ring a bell or two. He is the creative mastermind behind the sonic madhouse that is Strapping Young Lad and he has released a string of albums under his own name as well. One of his most remarkable records is Terria, released back in 2001. I can’t believe it is almost ten years after its release.
On Terria, Devin displays his more mellow side, which is showcased in lush compositions like Deep Peace, Canada and Nobody’s Here. This record is all about dynamics, massive melodic guitar walls and layers upon layers of keyboard parts. At times Terria feels like a massive tidal wave hitting you, on tracks like Mountain, Earth Day and The Fluke. On the other side of the spectrum, songs like Stagnant, Tiny Tears and the aforementioned Deep Peace feel like a warm summer breeze. Both musical opposites showcase the rich texture and emotional depth of Terria.
Even though most tracks are pretty mellow by Devin’s standards, his metal roots are never far away. This is mostly due to the heavy feel of the album and Gene Hoglan’s thick drum parts. Another great asset is the variety in vocal styles Devin uses on Terria. From soft whispering to his trademark howl, he does it all with the greatest of ease. Simply amazing.Terria also has a trademark Devin Townsend production, namely an incredible wall of sound. It is somewhat of an acquired taste, but it does the music justice.
Devin once described this album as a spiritual landmine. If that is true, I do not mind stepping on it. As far as I am concerned, Terria is the quintessential Devin Townsend record to this very day.
written by Raymond Westland