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Devin Townsend Z2 cover.jpg
Studio album by Devin Townsend
and Devin Townsend Project
Released October 27, 2014 (2014-10-27)
Recorded May 2014
Genre Progressive metal, industrial metal, progressive rock, experimental rock, new-age
Length 117:00
Label HevyDevy
Producer Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend chronology
Casualties of Cool
(2014)Casualties of Cool2014

(2014)
Transcendence
(2016)Transcendence2016
Devin Townsend Project chronology
Epicloud
(2012) Epicloud2012

(2014) Z²2014
Transcendence
(2016) Transcendence2016
Sky Blue
Sky Blue
Dark Matters
Dark Matters
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[1]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[3]
Sputnikmusic 3.8/5[4]

(short for Ziltoid 2; pronounced "zed squared" or alternately "zee two"[5]) is a double album by Canadian musician Devin Townsend and his musical project Devin Townsend Project,[6] released on October 27, 2014.[7] It consists of two albums released together: the sixth album in the Devin Townsend Project series, Sky Blue, and Dark Matters, a solo concept album acting as a sequel to Townsend's 2007 album Ziltoid the Omniscient.[6][8] The main theme of Dark Matters is, according to Townsend, "Ziltoid against the world".[6]

Background[edit]

has been a long-running project, with Townsend announcing it in 2009.[9] Later he stated that he "may have just written the heaviest thing he's ever done" for the album.[10] Townsend also mentioned there is a surprising lack of Ziltoid himself appearing on the album, and that it "will be interesting to see how it all pans out". The project took its first steps on August 24, 2013, when a London-based radio station TeamRock Radio aired the first one-hour episode of Ziltoid Radio, a satirical radio show hosted solely by Ziltoid.[11] Later, Townsend stated that "Z Radio is just one little element of the project".[12] After several Ziltoid Radio episodes aired, Townsend said he found the project hard to schedule and work with amidst touring and writing,[13][14] because he doesn't want to just "phone it in", and "it takes a lot of effort" to keep the content with tongue-in-cheek humour entertaining.[15][16] A total of seven Ziltoid Radio episodes aired between August 2013 and January 2014, and since then there has been no discussion or activity considering the series or its affiliation with the project. The episodes have since been removed from TeamRock Radio's website. Townsend has also discussed a "ZTV" or "Ziltoid TV", being a part of the project and preceding the album.[17][18][19]

In October 2013, Townsend said that he had "more ideas than time", but that it was "almost time to start demoing" the album.[20] Later Townsend stated that since June 2013 he had written ideas for over 70 songs,[21] and revealed that the album was "taking shape".[22] Townsend also stated he was going to finish the whole project in two years.[23] In February 2014, Townsend announced the recording process of started on May 2, 2014, in Los Angeles,[22][24] and also revealed that the project will include the Ziltoid TV program and a live show, with a "big graphic novel comic" and a documentary.[24] On February 26, 2014, Townsend posted that will be a double album, with disc one being the main album and disc two featuring Devin Townsend Project material.[25] According to Townsend, the album's theme will be "Ziltoid against the world".[25] Townsend revealed his intention of adding audience-participated choir tracks on both discs.[26]

The show took place at the Royal Albert Hall on April 13, 2015, after which Townsend stated his intent to take at least a year-long hiatus from recording and touring.[27][28][29] However, by February 2016, work had begun on the next DTP record, Transcendence.[30] won the Juno Award for Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year at the 2015 Juno Awards.[31]

Release[edit]

is released in three different editions. The basic jewel case edition includes both albums on CD. The limited digipak edition features expanded artwork, both albums on CD and a bonus CD featuring Dark Matters without its dialogue. The vinyl edition features a double gatefold package in a slipcase, including the two albums on four records. The vinyl edition also includes both albums on CD.[32] The Japanese limited edition of the album features a "Loud Park" concert on a bonus DVD, recorded in Saitama, Japan, in October 2013.[33]

Track listing[edit]

Disc 1: Sky Blue[edit]

All tracks written by Devin Townsend.

No. Title Length
1. "Rejoice" 4:16
2. "Fallout" 4:30
3. "Midnight Sun" 4:58
4. "A New Reign" 4:52
5. "Universal Flame" 4:39
6. "Warrior" 3:31
7. "Sky Blue" 3:52
8. "Silent Militia" 4:28
9. "Rain City" 7:45
10. "Forever" 3:45
11. "Before We Die" 8:24
12. "The Ones Who Love" 1:32
Total length: 56:32

Disc 2: Dark Matters[edit]

All tracks written by Devin Townsend except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Z²" 3:59
2. "From Sleep Awake" 3:00
3. "Ziltoidian Empire" 6:26
4. "War Princess" (lyrics: Townsend, Dominique Lenore Persi) 8:18
5. "Deathray" 4:43
6. "March of the Poozers" 6:25
7. "Wandering Eye" 3:41
8. "Earth" 7:39
9. "Ziltoid Goes Home" 6:20
10. "Through the Wormhole" 3:44
11. "Dimension Z" 6:13
Total length: 60:28

Disc 3 (Collector Edition only): Dark Matters - Raw (Dialogue free)[edit]

All tracks written by Devin Townsend except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Z²" 3:54
2. "From Sleep Awake" 3:00
3. "Ziltoidian Empire" 6:21
4. "War Princess" (lyrics: Townsend, Persi) 7:47
5. "Deathray" 4:06
6. "March of the Poozers" 5:18
7. "Wandering Eye" 3:26
8. "Earth" 7:47
9. "Ziltoid Goes Home" 6:34
10. "Dimension Z" 5:09
Total length: 53:23

Do note that the original tenth track "Through the Wormhole" has been removed entirely on the raw version, likely because it almost only consists of dialogue.

Sample and influential credits

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Devin Townsend – production, recording, mixing, engineering, additional mastering
  • Jason Van Poederooyen – additional mixing, additional engineering
  • Sheldon Zaharko – additional mixing, additional engineering
  • Dave Young – additional engineering
  • Mike St-Jean – additional engineering
  • Randy Slaugh – orchestral engineering
  • Andy VanDette – mastering
  • Anthony Clarkson – artwork, layout
  • Tom Hawkins – photography

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[42] 126
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[43] 64
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[44] 4
French Albums (SNEP)[45] 101
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[46] 57
Scottish Albums (OCC)[47] 37
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[48] 92
UK Albums (OCC)[49] 46
UK Rock & Metal Albums (OCC)[50] 7
US Billboard 200[51] 73
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[52] 16
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[53] 5
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[54] 14
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[55] 17

References[edit]

  1. ^ Drago, Dan (November 2014). "Devin Townsend Project - Z2 Review". About.com. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Monger, James Christopher (October 2014). "Z² - Devin Townsend, Devin Townsend Project". Allmusic. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lawson, Dom (October 30, 2014). "Devin Townsend: Z2 review". The Guardian. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ Gerhart, Thompson D. (October 26, 2014). "Review: Devin Townsend Project - Z²". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqkvv3OZT_U
  6. ^ a b c May, Alex (April 16, 2014). "Devin Townsend unveils track listing for 'Ziltoid 2'". Rockadia.com. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Twitter / centurymedia". August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ https://twitter.com/dvntownsend/status/497219080886439936
  9. ^ "Ziltoid Part 2... Z2". MetalSucks. November 17, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  11. ^ "Devin Townsend's Ziltoid gets TeamRock Radio show". TeamRock Radio. August 21, 2013. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Devin Townsend's TeamRock Radio show is part of the Z2 project". TeamRock Radio. August 21, 2013. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  14. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  15. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  16. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  17. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  18. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  19. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  20. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  21. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  22. ^ a b Devin Townsend's Twitter
  23. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  24. ^ a b Devin Townsend's Twitter
  25. ^ a b Devin Townsend's Twitter
  26. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  27. ^ "Devin Townsend interview with TotalRock @Sonisphere 2014". YouTube. July 8, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  28. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  29. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  30. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  31. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.net
  32. ^ "Devin Townsend – Z2". Record Shop X. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Devin Townsend – Z2 [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]". CDJapan. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  34. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  35. ^ a b c liner notes
  36. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  37. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  38. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  39. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  40. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  41. ^ Devin Townsend's Twitter
  42. ^ "Devin Townsend Project - ". Hung Medien. 
  43. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – {{{artist}}} – {{{album}}}" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  44. ^ "{{{artist}}}: {{{album}}}" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  45. ^ "Lescharts.com – {{{artist}}} – {{{album}}}". Hung Medien.
  46. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  47. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  48. ^ "Swisscharts.com – {{{artist}}} – {{{album}}}". Hung Medien.
  49. ^ "Devin Townsend Project | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  50. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  51. ^ "Devin Townsend Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  52. ^ "Devin Townsend Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.
  53. ^ "Devin Townsend Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  54. ^ "Devin Townsend Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  55. ^ "Devin Townsend Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.