(9/10) Devin Townsend is almost possessed by music. The passion and dedication with which the guy from Canada produces and releases records is I guess unique.
Basically "Z2" comes with two discs. The first one got the title "Sky bue" and the second one takes care about "Dark matters". The new record can be seen as a continuation of "Ziltoid" from 2007 - just much bigger. And it is again a very long one as you can imagine. Both discs together gives you 23 songs from guitar wizard.
"Z2" became another masterpiece in Townsend's long discography. The album became big and bombastic.
"Sky blue" is the more epical side of "Z2". It reminded my the his latest release "Epicloud" which I liked a lot. The songs have a dense sound and are mainly build on big arcs of melodies. Keyboards and several samples play an important role in the songs and "Sky blue" fits very well as the title for the record. I could remember the video projections during his show in Eindhoven as part of the Distortion festival 2012 when "Epicloud' stood in focus. Those blue skies and the nature which visualized the gig found an acoustical counterpart on this disc.
What is also remarkable is the fact that Townsend worked again together with singer Anneke van Giersbergen. It is amazing how good the voices fit together. It feels like a natural match that gives the vocal parts a certain ease. The "Sky blue" part is like the morning dawn with some dew on the gras. A fresh start into a sunny day with a 'sky blue'.
Time to enter the darker side of "Z2" and the return of Ziltoid. Already the narrator makes clear in the beginning of "Z2" that Devin Townsend stages this part of the album as a rock opera kind-of.
This disc contains awesome songs, spoken word sequences from a narrator and different characters - all under the umbrella of complex music with choirs, heavy guitars and great melodies. Also here Annette van Giersbergen is part of the show like in the brilliant "From sleep awake". It is a slower song with a very dramatic appeal that ends again with the narrator. The choir takes over in the beginning of "Ziltoidian empire" and the journey through outer space continues.
The CD contains with "Ziltoid goes home " also a very fast and brutal track. It is one of the heaviest songs on the album and esp. in verse it is raging. The chorus became more melodic, before it turns again into a metal beast.
This metal attack is followed by "Through the wormhole" which is a full spoken word track. The difference couldn't be bigger and still the album stands like a rock.
The entire story has eleven chapters, so to speak, and ends with "Dimension Z".
Devin Townsend has the gift to create multilayered and complex music that has a lot of identity. His songs are always on the edge of drifting away into a cosmos of chaos. But in the last second he brings them back, which makes it again possible for the listener to follow.
"Z2" is in my point of view one of the best records from Devin Townsend and it can have many many rounds on the recordplayer without getting annoying or boring.
Disc 1 "Sky blue"
- Midnight sun
- A new reign
- Universal flame
- Sky blue
- Silent militia
- Rain city
- Before we die
- The ones who love
Disc 2 "Dark matters
- From sleep awake
- Ziltoidian empire
- War princess
- March of the poozers
- Wandering eye
- Ziltoid goes home
- Through the wormhole
- Dimension Z
Genre: Prog Metal