Devin Townsend’s latest album Empath is getting the re-issue treatment.
Empath: The Ultimate Edition is scheduled for release June 5 through InsideOut Music. The re-issue of Townsend’s 2019 album features the original release plus a bonus disc and two bonus Blu-ray discs.
The first Blu-ray features a 5.1 Surround Sound mix of Empath crafted by Townsend himself, with visuals for the entire album, plus a stereo visualizer. The second Blu-ray contains a bonus live performance titled Acoustically Inclined — Live in Leeds. the concert, captured during Townsend’s April 2019 acoustic tour, features performances of some of Townsend’s most beloved songs, such as ‘Love?,’ ‘Deadhead,’ and ‘Things Beyond Things.’
Townsend offered a statement about the 5.1 Surround Sound mix in a recent interview.
“On a technical level, I guess I have always been dissatisfied with the basic ‘stereo’ format in which the type of music I make gets presented in,” he said. “Whether its headphones, computer speakers, stereos (or basically anything currently), I have had to figure out ways to get the work to function through TWO speakers. I hear things in a particularly orchestrated way, and with the amount of information that typically gets recorded per song, the result has been the dubious ‘wall of sound’ that I keep ending up with. But my intention has never been to make an oppressive experience, but rather something that is immersive and vast.”
“Making it work in two speakers just simply doesn’t quite work for the vision,” he added. “Although I’ve managed to get the point across, (to varying degrees), things always have to compromise to make it all fit. Making the drums speak at the same time as orchestra, cymbals, guitars, choirs, synths etc.…all with my voice on top, ends up with every conceivable frequency fighting for breathing space between those two speakers.
Therefore, I asked the powers that be in my business world, to tolerate one more ‘kick at the can’ when it came to Empath. I wanted to attempt a surround mix and follow the original vision of it being an immersive, multimedia experience for people in the ways I could best achieve at this stage. And although it’s still pretty ‘dense’, with four more sources for the sound to come from, I feel its significantly closer to the original vision here.”
Pre-orders for Empath: The Ultimate Edition are open now.
Due to the impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak, many of the concerts that Townsend had planned in support of the album’s re-issue have been rescheduled until 2021. More information on those rescheduled dates is available online along with all of Townsend’s latest news at:
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