Devin Townsend Band / Devin Townsend

Synchestra

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AllMusic Review by

Although the two aren't musically alike, Neil Young and Devin Townsend follow a similar approach to making music. Young uses his hard-rocking band Crazy Horse to recharge his batteries, so that he can go off and pursue other musical areas of interest as a solo artist. And Townsend has the same setup -- returning time and time again back to "the band thing" (heavy metallists Strapping Young Lad) before tackling other styles as a solo artist. While Townsend's 2006 solo outing Synchestra does let quite a few headbanging elements slip through the metal detectors, Townsend's quirkiness continues to bubble to the surface throughout. Since Townsend first broke on the scene as a member of Steve Vai's band (1993's Sex & Religion), it's understandable that a few obviously Vai-ish bits should be detected, such as the track "Babysong." But Townsend is certainly not a one-trick pony, as evidenced by the Faith No More-ish instrumental "Vampolka" and a quartet of prog metal epics stacked side by side: "Gaia," "Pixillate," "Judgement," and "A Simple Lullaby." As evidenced by Synchestra, Townsend seems to be getting more musically daring with each subsequent release, unlike some other veteran rockers who start to play it safe as the years roll on.

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