Ocean Machine - Biomech 2/5 Stars
The first thing I'll say before I get into this is that I have not listened to anything by Devin Townsend before this. I also probably won't in the near future. Also, it bears saying that I'm not the biggest fan of progressive anything, so that may or may not have some bearing on my review.
1st point: I'll admit that I came into this expecting ridiculous wankery, and I prepared my self for that. Luckily, when I began listening I heard some crunch in the guitar and I thought 'Well, I would be bored to death by pointless shredding'. I was right on that front: +1 for not having the faults I expected.
2nd point: This is progressive? More like repetitive. The guitar work is solid, if inspirational, the bass is rarely audible, the drums don't do anything special, and the vocals are often lost in their distortion. It just seems nothing is really spectacular here. +0 for not being impressive.
3rd point:The tracks 'Hide Nowhere', 'Voices in the Fan' and 'Regulator'. Hide Nowhere is one of the more energetic songs in the album, and while it did not have me head-banging, I did rock out a bit. Possibly the most emotion I felt in the entire album was during the choir bit in Voices in the Fan. I just wish something built off that. Regulator is the more aggressive piece in the album, but gets a bit bogged down with simple chugging riffs. +1 for some good songs.
4th point: Everything else. To be honest, I probably would have liked this album a lot more if I didn't focus on it so much. This would be great for background music, but under scrutiny, there isn't a lot here. Very little emotion, or aggression. I can't remember much that happened, naught is really catchy here. Nothing really interesting happens with any instruments. The keyboards make appearances often, but don't contribute much. +0 for lack of memorability.
5th point: The very end. At the end of the last song, there is a frankly soul-shattering scream. I couldn't tell you why, the song certainly doesn't call for it.It is undoubtedly the greatest vocal work on the album, but I can't help thinking that it was placed there simply because it wouldn't fit anywhere else either. +0 for either improper song planning or stuffing things that don't belong where they shouldn't be.
Finally, I beg you all to make up your own minds on this piece. I have no experience judging or reviewing this kind of music, and I will be the first to admit that I could be mistaken.
By Collin. J. Ulferts