Devin Townsend & Katatonia
Devin Townsend: Devin Townsend is a Canadian musician who at 30 years old, has a long and colourful history. Chosen by guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, a 19 year old Devin performed vocals and guitar opposite Vai on his album Sex & Religion and accompanying world tour. This exposure led to offers from prominent musicians world-wide. Stints with Jason Newsted of Metallica, industrial band Front Line Assembly, the Wildhearts in England and appearances on several tribute records gave Devin the confidence in 1995 to release his first album himself under the name Strapping Young Lad.
The first Strapping Young Lad CD gained attention for having a distinctive sound and brought metal to a new level of heaviness. Devin produced, sang and played most of the instruments on the first album, Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing. Two albums followed: the highly acclaimed City which added veteran metal drummer Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death) and band members Jed Simon and Byron Stroud, then No Sleep Till Bedtime recorded live in Australia
(Century Media Records).
Following the desire to experiment musically and frustrated by the limitations of being signed to a label, in 1997 Devin decided to begin his own label called HevyDevy Records. His first solo release, Ocean Machine, won rave reviews for its epic, lush, prog-hard-rock-ambient compositions and began to establish Devin as a strong creative force on the metal scene. Infinity followed in 1998 with a collection of songs inspired by Broadway musicals and exhibited Devin’s talent for composition as well as voice and musicianship. The year 2000 came with the release of Physicist which has been described as “speed-metal pop songs” and reflected the confusion and anticipation of the millennium. His sixth album, Terria, a highly characterized and blend of ambient and progressive metal – self-introspection at its most honest. Now hard at work on a new album, with a new group of musicians, the ‘Devin Townsend Band’ is a collection of futuristic pop metal thatis not afraid to be sensitive – emphasis on heavy.
While very different in style, each album follows a theme inspired by life and documents his emotional state at that phase in his life, like a musical diary that gives you an insight into the many facets of one man’s personality. With his unique approach and creativity, Devin stands poised to establish himself as one of the most prolific, innovative, and extraordinary musicians in the metal genre.
Katatonia: Katatonia are a Swedish death/doom-metal trio led by guitarist Blackheim. The group’s second album, Brave Murder Day, featured Opeth vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt and was their first to be released internationally; Century Media paired it with an out-of-print EP, For Funerals to Come. They consistently released albums throughout the 1990s. Their roster includes Dance of December Souls (1993), Brave Murder Day (1997), Discouraged One (1998), and Tonight’s Decision (1999). Last Fair Deal Gone Down appeared in spring 2001.