Devin Townsend is one nutty gentleman -- as it's almost impossible to predict what his next stylistic move will be throughout his long and winding career. But no one -- not even his most hardcore worshippers -- could have predicted the approach he has taken on his first release of 2009, Ki. Equal parts restrained, melodic, and tranquil, this release is a sharp contrast to the wackoid metal of his Strapping Young Lad days -- as evidenced by such tracks as "Coast," "Heaven Send," and "Winter." Supposedly, Ki is the first of a four-part series of recordings that Townsend plans on issuing in 2009, with the next one returning to his metal roots -- with Ki serving as a "palate cleanser" of sorts for what's upcoming. While it's not the most gripping or groundbreaking album he has ever been a part of, Ki proves once and for all that Townsend is willing to take on any musical detour that feels right at the time. And with most rock acts wallowing in the quagmire of predictability (probably now more than ever), a fearless chap like Townsend is sorely needed.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato