Devin Townsend gives mind-blowing performances as casually as I fart, and if it weren’t for his disarming humility, ridiculous sense of humor, and legit genius at his craft, the number of live albums he’s released would be viewed as egotistical dry-humping of the Canadian cash cow. “Galactic Quarantine” is the second in his series of Covid-era livestream releases, and he bravely puts his faith in technology to allow him and his bandmates to not just perform together remotely, but to put the green-screened musicians on an intergalactic space stage not unlike what’s seen on the “Spirits Will Collide” video. The result is the most absurdly fun virtual concert made even more remarkable when you consider that it would have been unthinkable a scant two years ago.
Given the amount of work that went into making this long-distance virtual concert possible, Devy and the musicians he picked for this performance don’t give any radical facelifts to this set (check out last year’s “Orders of Magnitude” for that). But knowing that in advance didn’t stop me from grinning ear-to ear when hearing Dev sing where he’s previously screeched. And hearing him take verses to the aforementioned “Spirits Will Collide” was certainly a welcome surprise. But the real gem here is the focus on Strapping Young Lad material, which has held up remarkably well and blends in beautifully with the solo, Devin Townsend Project, and Devin Townsend Band material that makes us the remaining 3/5 of the album. If his discography weren’t already so frightfully large, I’d wonder why he didn’t play this stuff more often.
The “Galactic Quarantine” stream was intended to make up for the canceled “Empath” dates, and while nothing compares to experiencing any iteration of Devy in concert, I’m hard-pressed to think of any musician or band who handled the Covid shutdowns as masterfully as he has. An aphorism about necessity comes to mind, and it just happens to beckon Devy’s mentor’s mentor.
Released by: Inside Out Music
Release Date: June 25th, 2021
Genre: Progressive Metal
- Devin Townsend / vocals, guitar,
- Diego Tejeda / keyboards
- Wes Hauch / guitar
- Samus Paulicelli / drums
“Galactic Quaratine” track-listing:
- Velvet Kevorkian
- All Hail the New Flesh
- By Your Command
- Almost Again
- March of the Poozers
- Spirits Will Collide
Leave it to Devin freaking Townsend to launch himself and his bandmates into
space and actually make it work.