The Retinal Circus

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The Retinal Circus
The Retinal Circus cover.jpg
Live album by Devin Townsend
Released September 30, 2013 (2013-09-30)
Recorded October 27, 2012, at Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London
Genre Progressive metal, industrial metal, alternative metal, progressive rock, new-age
Length 128:58
Label HevyDevy
Producer Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend chronology
The Retinal Circus
Casualties of Cool
(2014)Casualties of Cool2014
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 3.5/5 stars[1]

The Retinal Circus is a live album by Canadian musician Devin Townsend. It was released on September 30, 2013, in Europe,[2] and on October 29, 2013, in North America.[3] The audio and video material were recorded at Roundhouse, London, on October 27, 2012, when Townsend performed a special one-night-only concert celebrating and covering his 20-year musical career.[4]


In November 2011, after performing a series of special Devin Townsend Project shows, Devin Townsend revealed his plan to perform a one-off concert in London, England, that would cover his musical career from mid-1990s up to that point.[4] Townsend stated that he wanted to create a "more than musical" show which included a storyline, multiple performers and special effects.[4] Later he said that the concert would be recorded for future release.[5]

The concert lasted approximately three hours, and it was divided into two parts, with an intermission in between.[6] The band consisted of the same personnel as the recent years' Devin Townsend Project line-up, and the special guests were Anneke van Giersbergen and Jed Simon, with Steve Vai hosting the show via pre-recorded video projected onto screens. The setlist was focused heavily on material from Epicloud and a few other albums from Townsend's catalogue; the setlist included no songs from Terria, Accelerated Evolution, Ki and Ghost. Townsend also performed, against his current principles,[7] two Strapping Young Lad songs. He later stated that this was because of the career-spanning nature of the concert, and playing those two songs was a "closure for him and Strapping Young Lad".[8] He also wanted to "respect the legacy of the band" and to reconnect and perform again with Jed Simon.[9]

The concert was one of the most prepared Devin Townsend shows ever, with over a year of pre-production, and it was recorded in high definition with a higher budget and a more professional approach to production than the previous live release, By a Thread.[4] 5000 people saw the sold out performance, and the concert was also streamed live through[10]


The Retinal Circus was released as six different versions. The standard editions feature either a double-CD, double-DVD or a Blu-ray. The Blu-ray version includes the whole concert on a single disc. The digipak edition features both the CDs and the DVDs. Two limited edition box sets were also released: a "clown box" featuring all five discs of the standard editions, limited to 5000 copies worldwide, and a "monkey box" featuring all five discs with a 40-page book, signed lithography print and fan merchandise, housed in a vinyl sized box with a pop-up of the Retinal Circus stage. The "monkey box" edition is limited to 2500 hand-numbered copies worldwide.[11][12] The album was a chart success in some countries, with the double-DVD version peaking at No. 1 in Finland.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All track lengths taken from the CD release.

All tracks written by Devin Townsend.

Disc one
No. Title Album Length
1. "Effervescent!/True North" Epicloud 6:23
2. "Lucky Animals" Epicloud 3:33
3. "Planet of the Apes" Deconstruction 11:02
4. "Truth" Infinity 3:59
5. "War" Infinity 6:09
6. "Soul Driven" Infinity 1:08
7. "Planet Smasher" Ziltoid the Omniscient 6:19
8. "Babysong" Synchestra 5:30
9. "Vampolka" Synchestra 1:36
10. "Vampira" Synchestra 3:42
11. "Addicted!" Addicted 5:32
12. "Color Your World" Ziltoid the Omniscient 9:48
13. "The Greys" Ziltoid the Omniscient 4:55
Total length: 69:36
Disc two
No. Title Album Length
1. "Hyperdrive" Ziltoid the Omniscient/Addicted 4:44
2. "Ih-Ah!" Addicted 3:58
3. "Where We Belong" Epicloud 4:18
4. "Detox" (Strapping Young Lad) City 6:03
5. "Bend It Like Bender!" Addicted 3:36
6. "Life" Ocean Machine: Biomech 4:52
7. "Kingdom" Physicist/Epicloud 5:09
8. "Juular" Deconstruction 3:59
9. "Love?" (Strapping Young Lad) Alien 5:23
10. "Colonial Boy" Infinity 2:58
11. "Grace" Epicloud 6:52
12. "Little Pig" Epiclouder 7:30
Total length: 59:22


Guest musicians[edit]