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File:Devintownsendprojectdevintownsend2009 5572.jpg

Yeah, kinda like that.

Devin Townsend is a Canadian musician and producer, arguably most famous for his extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad - although he is a very prolific solo artist as well. His solo stuff is far more melodic and tends towards all kinds of genres, particularly Progressive Metal.

He's also completely bonkers in a Mad Artist sort of way and has a real affinity for the Rule of Funny, qualities that have earned him comparisons to Frank Zappa.


With Strapping Young Lad:

  • Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995)
  • City (1997)
  • Strapping Young Lad (2003)
  • Alien (2005)
  • The New Black (2006)

As a solo artist (including The Devin Townsend Band and The Devin Townsend Project):

  • Punky Brüster: Cooked on Phonics (1996)
  • Ocean Machine: Biomech (1998)
  • Infinity (1999)
  • Physicist (2000)
  • Terria (2001)
  • Accelerated Evolution (2003)
  • Devlab (2004)
  • Synchestra (2006)
  • The Hummer (2006)
  • Ziltoid the Omniscient (2007)
  • Ki (2009)
  • Addicted (2009) (guest starring Anneke van Giersbergen)
  • Deconstruction (2011)
  • Ghost (2011)

He's also a guest vocalist on the Ayreon album The Human Equation, voicing "Rage".

Devin Townsend provides examples of the following tropes:
  • All Just a Dream: Ziltoid is actually a Starbucks employee.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: The song "Fucker" from The New Black.
    • On "Praise The Lowered", where Devin belts out "SMOKE THAT FUCKING... WEED!!!" right before one of the heaviest drops on Deconstruction
  • Cluster F-Bomb: See Atomic F-Bomb and the song "You Suck".
    • Happens a lot with the song "Shitstorm" from Alien.
  • Creator Breakdown: Multiple
    • Breakdown 1: Checked into a mental hospital for bipolar disorder in 1998 after the release of Infinity.
    • Breakdown 2: Stopped taking bipolar medication during the writing of SYL's Alien.
    • Breakdown 3: Showed up at a press conference to announce that he was withdrawing from music to become a puppeteer. This would turn into Ziltoid the Omniscient.
    • Breakdown 4: Detoxed himself leading up to 2009's Ki, when he realized he had difficulty doing any writing without booze or weed. He also admitted to an internet porn addiction, calling it "worse than crack cocaine".
  • Epic Rocking: Mostly in his solo projects. In particular, Deconstruction, which has a song that's over 16 minutes- and that's not all.
  • Fan Nickname: The mad professor.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The song "S.Y.L." from Strapping Young Lad's first album Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing and their self-titled album which is also referred to as SYL.
  • Moh's Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Devin Townsend has made music that covers every possible degree. Most of Ki is 1-3 (reaching about 8 in a song or two) while some of SYL's songs could easily qualify as 10 or 11 ("Rape Song", "Oh My Fucking God", "Shitstorm").
    • Rule of thumb: Devin Townsend Band is 7-8, Strapping Young Lad is 10 to 11. Ziltoid, which is best described as a fusion of the two styles, falls at about a 9 depending on the song. The Devin Townsend Project is all over the scale - Ki is 1-3, Addicted is 6-7, Deconstruction is 9-10, and Ghost is a 1.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Deconstruction's lengthy guest list includes Mikael Akerfeldt, Ihsahn, Floor Jansen, and several other well-known metal vocalists.
    • On The New Black you can hear Bif Naked on the first verse of "Fucker" and Oderus Urungus on the final verse of "Far Beyond Metal".
  • I Am the Band: It's not the Ryan Van Poederooyen Project, is it?
  • Large Ham: Most of his spoken lines are overly dramatic and theatrical, specially on his solo albums. He's even known for Chewing the Scenery frequently during live concerts.
  • Must Have Caffeine: In the track "ZTO", Ziltoid orders the humans to make to him the ultimate cup of black coffee in five minutes, or he will destroy the Earth.
  • Precision F-Strike: Plenty of them.
    • Ziltoid the Omniscient: I'M ZILTOID!!!! I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!!! The only other curse word on the album is a barely audible use of the word "shitstorm" by the commander of earth's troops.
    • Ki: BE A GODDAMN MAN, BOY! One of his calmer examples.
    • Deconstruction: "SMOKE THAT FUCKING WEED, BOY!"
  • Rule of Funny: His Punky Brüster: Cooked On Phonics album and Ziltoid the Omniscient are fueled by these. The songs on Strapping Young Lad's The New Black that aren't completely serious tend to fall towards this.
  • Scare Chord: Two songs from Strapping Young Lad's self-titled, "Dire Consequences" and "Bring On The Young"
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Often does this to achieve a choir-like effect, can be heard on Ocean Machine: Biomech and Infinity, amongst others.
  • The Something Song: "Babysong" and Strapping Young Lad's "Rape Song".
  • Soprano and Gravel: All over the place. The best example is "Planet Smasher" from Ziltoid the Omniscient.
  • Talking to Himself: Devin did just about everything for Ziltoid the Omniscient. All singing parts, most of the spoken vocals, guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, production...
  • The Omniscient: Subverted by Ziltoid. He may be powerful, but if he was truly omniscient, he would not have run into the troubles he did.
    • Played straight by the Omnidimensional Creator. He sees everything. He also understands what Ziltoid must do when Ziltoid does not.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Especially the DTP. What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
    • Ziltoid loves this trope:

In Omnidimentional Creator:
Modular forms and elliptic curves!
Infinite phi revolving around infinite parallels,
fractals of infinite reality,
each cascading, gliding in an infinite wheel!
Tell me the true nature of my reality!



In Messages from Ziltoid:
Acknowledging the past of me that was lost.
I have repressed too many years!
My utopia was within my grasp!
Doomed in absentia!
Left to be sentenced!
Still rising to cherish all the things I have left.



In A Ziltoidian Rapture:
Tell me, are you going to finish all that yourself?
The knot backwards, he put his jaws upon his beard
They make laments upon the wonderous truths
Ow! Ow! Ow! Grab me your hand and pluck
The branch lit off the great thorn.
And the true crime
Why dost thou mock me?
What's to be?