The Retinal Circus

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The Retinal Circus
The Retinal Circus cover.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedSeptember 30, 2013 (2013-09-30)
RecordedOctober 27, 2012, at Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London
GenreProgressive metal, industrial metal, alternative metal, progressive rock, new-age
ProducerDevin Townsend
Devin Townsend chronology
The Retinal Circus
Casualties of Cool
Professional ratings
Review scores
About.com3.5/5 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 two and a half 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
1."Effervescent!/True North"Epicloud6:23
2."Lucky Animals"Epicloud3:33
3."Planet of the Apes"Deconstruction11:02
6."Soul Driven"Infinity1:08
7."Planet Smasher"Ziltoid the Omniscient6:19
12."Color Your World"Ziltoid the Omniscient9:48
13."The Greys"Ziltoid the Omniscient4:55
Total length:69:36
Disc two
1."Hyperdrive"Ziltoid the Omniscient/Addicted4:44
3."Where We Belong"Epicloud4:18
4."Detox" (Strapping Young Lad)City6:03
5."Bend It Like Bender!"Addicted3:36
6."Life"Ocean Machine: Biomech4:52
9."Love?" (Strapping Young Lad)Alien5:23
10."Colonial Boy"Infinity2:58
12."Little Pig"Epiclouder7:30
Total length:59:22


Guest musicians[edit]


  1. ^ Marsicano, Dan (October 2013). "Devin Townsend - The Retinal Circus DVD/CD Review". Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  2. ^ The Retinal Circus CD details. Omerch. August 2013.
  3. ^ The Retinal Circus CD details. CM Distro. September, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Harris, Chris (November 17, 2011). Devin Townsend Announces “The Retinal Circus” Show for Fall 2012 Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. Gun Shy Assassin.
  5. ^ Townsend, Devin (October 9, 2012). The Retinal Circus on DVD and Blu-ray, scheduled release Q2/2013. Facebook.
  6. ^ The Retinal Circus setlist. November 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Hammer, Dan (May 22, 2007). Why No More Strapping Young Lad. Metal Hammer.
  8. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter. October 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Bansal, Aniruddh (August 26, 2013). Devin Townsend has no interest in Strapping Young Lad reunion.
  10. ^ Sold out Retinal Circus extravaganza live online at Inside Out Music. October 9, 2012.
  11. ^ The Retinal Circus products. CM Distro.
  12. ^ The Retinal Circus products. Omerch.
  13. ^ IFPI Musiikkituottajat – The Retinal Circus