Devin Townsend has a new live recording on the way. The Devin Townsend Project founder announced Friday that the band will release Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv on July 6 via InsideOut Music. Originally recorded September 22, 2017 at the noted venue, the concert was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Townsend’s landmark solo album Ocean Machine. It was more than that though. It also offered audiences performances of other classic DTP songs complete with accompaniment from the Orchestra of Plovdiv State Opera. That extensive set list, which runs nearly three hours in length — 2 hours 51 minutes to be exact — forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation, and is only one of the recording’s most important elements. It goes without saying that the performance by the overall collective plays its own important part to the recording’s whole, too, so it will be discussed later. The recording’s bonus material puts the final touch to its presentation. It will also be discussed later. Each element is key in its own way to the whole of this new live recording from DTP. All things considered, they make Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv a presentation that DTP fans across the board will enjoy and appreciate.
Devin Townsend Project’s new forthcoming live recording Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is an interesting new live offering that DTP fans across the board are certain to enjoy and appreciate. That is due in no small part to the recording’s extensive, nearly three-hour-long set list. The set list is anchored by a full performance of DTP’s landmark album Ocean Machine and is bolstered by a full, 12-song set of songs pulled from the group’s previous albums. Given, not every one of the group’s albums is represented in that set nor are all of Townsend’s solo albums, but it still offers a healthy sampling of those records. DTP’s 2016 album Transcendence gets the most nods in the first set, with four songs while Townsend’s solo albums Infinity and Terria get nods. Terria gets two honors while Infinity receives one. The lead set even reaches into his exclusive Japanese-only EP Chrsiteen with a performance of ‘Om.’ There’s even a selection from his 2006 Devin Townsend Band album Synchestra in the form of ‘Gaia’ included in this set. Of course, the first set is the only one featuring the orchestral backing. Even with that in mind, the second set — which is just Townsend and his fellow musicians – is just as powerful as the concert’s first set. All things considered, the overall set list presented here creates a solid foundation for Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv. That foundation is strengthened even more through the performance of all involved in the show.
The actual performance put on by Townsend and his fellow musicians throughout the course of the concert is so important to discuss because, as with any concert, it does just as much to keep audiences engaged and entertained as the set list itself. That is evidenced from the start of the concert to the end. Townsend’s vocal chops at their peak, needless to say. This includes not just his screams, but his more soaring almost operatic style vocal delivery, too. The power in each musician’s part comes through clearly thanks to the work of those behind the cameras and sound boards. The guitars and orchestral instruments together create a truly lasting musical impact. That is the case even with the concert being experienced on screen. The work of those mentioned makes the power in those performances translate so well. Even in the moments between songs when Townsend interacts with the audience, there is just as much enjoyment. Townsend comes across as such a laid back, personable figure, a total contrast to the power and often times fury in his music as is evidenced early on when he jokes with the audience about trying not to be one of those uppity type of musicians. When the fans tell him to “talk s***,” his reaction is so funny. Even in the concert’s more subdued musical moments, there is so much power thanks to the band’s attention to the songs’ lyrical content and the emotion meant to be interpreted in each. That attention to the songs’ emotional impact through their arrangements deepens the overall impact of the group’s performance in this concert. That in turn proves even more the importance of the group’s performance to the concert’s overall presentation. When it is coupled with the show’s set list – which by the way is presented in the same order both on DVD/BD as it is on CD – the whole of those elements makes the recording in whole all the more enjoyable. Even with all of this in mind, these two elements are not the recording’s only important elements. The recording’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.
The bonus material included in the recording is a nearly half-hour documentary that showed how the concert came to life. From the pre-planning stage to the rehearsals to showtime, it’s all there. Along the way, there is also an intimate one-on-one interview between Townsend and an interviewer during which Townsend talks about making the concert happen, his influences and also what led to his decision to disband Devin Townsend Project. Audiences will be so moved by Townsend’s thoughtful response to that question. He notes here his respect for his band mates and that he just felt that basically it was his own personal growth. One can tell through his response that he was being honest and not just paying lip service to the interviewer. In the same breath, there is also a much more light-hearted moment when Townsend appears on a local talk show to promote his concert. His reaction to the host, who clearly was full of hot air, is classic. The host’s reaction to being called out is just as funny. Between these moments and the detail of the rehearsals and other preps for the concerts, audiences get in this bonus featurette, an in-depth look at just how much time and effort went into making this concert a reality. It also shows a side of Townsend that most otherwise might not get to see. That overall content proves the bonus material to be just as important to this recording’s presentation as the recording’s set list and featured performance. When all three elements are considered together, they prove Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv to be a fitting finale from Townsend’s latest project, even though the album presented here is one of his solo albums. That aside, Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is a recording that every Devin Townsend fan will appreciate and enjoy.
Devin Townsend’s new live recording Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is a fitting final live recording from Devin Townsend Project…at least for now. Hopefully it isn’t the very last that audiences will ever get from the group. Maybe some archived shows will be released later. Either way, the recording proves to be enjoyable for any Devin Townsend fan. As has been shown here, that is proven in part through an extensive two-set performance from Townsend and company. That performance includes a full anniversary performance of Ocean Machine and a handful of select songs for a rich whole. The performance of the songs by Townsend and company adds to the recording’s overall enjoyment. The bonus material included with the recording puts the finishing touch to its presentation. Each item is important in its own right in examining the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv a presentation that every Devin Townsend fan will appreciate and that is potentially one more of this year’s top new live recordings. It will be available July 6 via InsideOut Music. More information on Ocean Machine — Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv is available online now along with all of Devin Townsend’s latest news and more at:
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