DEVIN TOWNSEND – Devolution Series #3 – Empath Live In America (2023)
The third in the DEVIN TOWNSEND ‘Devolution’ series, ”Empath Live In America” is a document of the tour that was cut short in early 2020. As Devin explains: “this tour marked a ‘free form’ version of the material. There was no backing tracks, click tracks, or even a setlist, so every night was unique and different. The audience yelled out requests and we just rolled with it. The material was therefore interpreted in unique ways and the experience was a very special ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ musical night.”
Featuring a stripped back version of the ‘Order of Magnitude’ band, this release captures a raw and off-kilter performance. Well, ‘raw’ here in fact means ‘lively’, as the recording, mix & mastering is crystal clear.
The cool thing of this live album is that the songs result pretty different than the originals, almost like new ones. If you like DEVIN TOWNSEND “Devolution Series #3 – Empath Live In America” is a must have. If you are new to an artist, usually a live album is not recommended as starting point. Not with this one: ”Empath Live In America” sounds awesome.
Helped immensely by the staggering musical talent of his band with a repertoire including Frank Zappa, Haken and Joe Satriani amongst others, these are cool off-kilter takes on Devin’s material and the band sound like they are immense amounts of fun whilst performing.
With this being recorded on the tour for the “Empath” album three songs make it onto this album – Evermore, Why and Sprite – with plenty of fan favourites from the Dev archive making up the album such as March Of The Poozers, Hyperdrive and Kingdom as well as a few improv jams and a song each from Casualties Of Cool and Strapping Young Lad resulting in a nice mix of material and a well rounded show.
Devin is on fine form throughout with his insane vocal range ensuring hairs stand on end and his goofy sense of humour getting some belly laughs from us. One thing that helps elevate this live performance is having Ché Aimee Dorval up front and centre sharing vocal duties with Devin and sounding absolutely stunning.
Despite being an ‘on the side’ live album it sounds absolutely fantastic and is mixed and mastered to perfection but then again with Devin’s levels of perfection it was never going to sound anything less than spectacular.
“Devoluton Series #3 – Empath Live In America” will delight any rock fan as it captures what is so joyous, zany, fun and so bloody brilliant about the Devin live experience.
It really shows Townsend‘s versatility as a musical showman with a sprinkle of humour along the way. His ability to connect with his fans is just so unique and nurturing and it is so refreshing.
01 – Intro (Live in America 2020)
02 – Evermore (Live in America 2020)
03 – Supercrush! (Live in America 2020)
04 – March of the Poozers (Live in America 2020)
05 – Why? (Live in America 2020)
06 – Hyperdrive! (Live in America 2020)
07 – Fuck Around Section (Live in America 2020)
08 – Ih-Ah! (Live in America 2020)
09 – Gigpig Jam (Live in America 2020)
10 – Forgive Me (Live in America 2020)
11 – Love? (Live in America 2020)
12 – Kingdom (Live in America 2020)
Ché Aimee Dorval