The next album from Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend to be released under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT banner is "Epicloud", a "poppy, proggy" record which will feature a guest appearance by former THE GATHERING frontwoman and previous Devin collaborator Anneke Van Giersbergen.
Townsend debuted a song from "Epicloud" called "Back Where We Belong" during an acoustic performance this past Saturday, March 31 at Club Saw in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as part of this year's Junofest. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
The idea for "Epicloud" came about while Devin was attempting to write material for the follow-up to his 2007 "Ziltoid The Omniscient" concept album about a fictional extraterrestrial being named Ziltoid from the planet Ziltoidia 9.
In a recent interview with Soundwave TV, Devin stated about how "Epicloud" was conceived, "In this sort of process of writing that I've discovered that I guess I'm capable of now, with a sober frame of mind, part of that is just not second-guessing it, so if I write something like that, I just do it, and just finish it."
He continued, "Over the past couple of years, I thought, 'OK, I've gotta write this next 'Ziltoid' thing; I'm inspired to make this epic space opera and, like, really overdo it, and [make it] really dark. And so I sat down to write, but every time I went to write, I'd write some poppy hard rock thing. And I was like, 'OK, we'll get that one out of the way and then I'll write 'Ziltoid'.' And I got it out of the way and I'd go write 'Ziltoid'. And I'd write another one. So I'm thinking, 'OK, it's pretty obvious to me that I've got this that wants to come out before that.'"
Anneke, who is scheduled to record her parts for "Epicloud" next month at Devin's studio in Vancouver, stated about what fans can expect from the project, "For now, I only heard the demos. Initially, [Devin] said it would be a softer album, but I think it's going to be very intense and diverse, and also heavy. It's progressing as we speak. It's going to be very, very nice."
Regarding the musical direction of "Epicloud", Devin told Noisecreep, "Over the course of the full record, there's sort of new agey stuff, jazzy stuff, really heavy stuff. We basically cover the gamut. 'Epicloud' is the first record that I felt confident enough to include all those things on one record so it goes between melodic hard rock to schizophrenic heavy metal to country to really ambient stuff and it's all in one place. I'm using a gospel choir, a string section and a horn section for this one as well. On [the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT album] 'Deconstruction', I got to use the Prague Philharmonic [orchestra] and really go far into making an absurd album as over the top as possible and on 'Epicloud' I'm trying to take the same advantages to make some things musically very pleasing, as opposed to just claustrophobic."
"Epicloud" will contain the following tracks:
* Back Where We Belong
* Save Our Now
* Kingdom (re-recording of PHYSICIST song)
* Hold On
On the topic of his decision to re-record "Kingdom", a song from his PHYSICIST album, which came out in 2000 on Townsend's label, HevyDevy Records, Devin said, "We re-did 'Kingdom' because it's a live set staple, and so much better now than the PHYSICIST recording."