Devin Townsend – Lightwork (Deluxe Edition)


With a diverse and detailed musical history, Devin Townsend’s latest solo album Lightwork is one composed entirely with beautiful sounds that encapsulate the ambient genre, while dabbling into some metal, electronica, and new-age as well. Fans of experimental music that features a range of styles and tones will enjoy the deluxe edition of Lightwork which offers 20-tracks to give you a true taste of what Devin is great at composing.

Artist: Devin Townsend

Album: Lightwork (Deluxe Edition)

Label: HeavyDevy Records, Inside Out Music

Release Date: 4 November 2022

Location: Canada

Written by Keszia

In the game since the 1980s and releasing solo albums since 1995, Canadian singer-songwriter and producer Devin Townsend has released over 20 studio albums across his former bands, projects, and independent work. Devin was first noticed by a record label when he sang on Steve Vai’s 1993 album Sex & Religion. Two years after that, he released a solo album under the Strapping Young Lad pseudonym, which later became his first band, where they released four more studio albums before disbanding in 2007. He formed The Devin Townsend Band in 2002 and released two albums with them, and the Devin Townsend Project in 2007 to record and release seven albums until the project appeared to wind up in 2018.

Looking back over his musical history, Strapping Young Lad’s albums were considered heavy or extreme metal. The Devin Townsend Band and the Devin Townsend Project albums were largely alternative and hard rock, as well as progressive metal. However, some albums from both groups have included genres like folk and post rock (Ghost, 2011), and symphonic and avant-garde metal (Deconstruction, 2011). Lighthouse is one I consider to be, well, lighter. To me, it feels more like an atmospheric, cinematic and ambient album where I kept imagining numerous tracks playing alongside a sci-fi, dystopian, or apocalyptic scene.

Devin’s solo albums have largely followed similar genres, with some notable differences. Punky Brüster – Cooked on Phonics (1996) toyed with punk rock, pop punk, and comedy rock; Ziltoid the Omniscient (2007) also dabbled with comedy rock and progressive, experimental, and extreme metal. Infinity (1998) had elements of jazz fusion and experimental rock, while Devlab (2004), The Hummer (2006), and The Puzzle / Struggle (2021) all focussed around the ambient and experimental genres. 

He uses open major tuning (mainly open C, but also open B) to create a unique sound and feel to his music; this tuning has also been used by William Ackerman and Led Zepplin. Jumping deeper into Lightwork, I found the sound scape of this album really enjoyable. I am a huge fan of music which tells a story or delivers a message, so I found some lyrical gems that made me pause and reflect – here are some of my favourites:

The world is gonna turn without you baby

Don’t worry about a thing, it’s all a game

Just as it’s falling apart, I fall for you

Just as I tear it apart, I’ve fallen for you


You want them to see the world the same as you and

To feel the pain the same as you

But everybody in the world’s different point of view

Could never see the world the same

(Call of the Void)

Cause it’s so hard to give

When it’s hard enough to live

And you wanna die

Defeat, flat on the floor

Well the nights go by, and we still try

To keep some sense of this

(Carry Me Home)

After listening to all 20-tracks, I’ve come away with a score of them to add to my personal playlists. Starcashm, Pt. 2 stands out to me personally because of its immediate heavy guitar/metal intro (and possibly one of the heavier tracks on the album), and I also have to give an honourable mention to Precious Sardine; the 10-minute track that melds a handful of different sounds/genres into one as if it were a collection of different songs, including some distortion and sound samples.

Some of my personal favourites include Lightwalker, Equinox, Call of the Void, Sober, and Carry Me Home. Overall, I found Lightwork to be a beautiful album, and one you should definitely add to your to-listen list.

Listen to Lightwork (Deluxe Edition) on Spotify.

Devin Townsend is touring in 2023 – find the dates here.

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