A little more than a year after his announcement that he was taking a possibly permanent hiatus from his band Devin Townsend Project (DTP), Devin Townsend has announced the imminent release of his latest effort, Empath.
The album is said to be highly ambitious and very different from what he’s done before. During its run, DTP was known for complex heavy metal prog, featuring Townsend’s wall-of-sound vocals and larger than life production. Prior to the formalized DTP, he released several albums under loose affiliations like The Devin Townsend Band, Physicist, and initially Ocean Machine (although that record eventually was released as Ocean Machine: Biomech by Devin Townsend). Empath will mark the first mass-market release of an album credited mainly to him since 2014’s Z2 – Dark Matters.
The album, to be released by InsideOut Music, is slated for March 29 in Europe, with a U.S. release either concurrent or not long after. InsideOut is a sister label to Century Media in the U.S., distributed by Sony Music.
Rather than doing multiple teasers, lyric videos, and the like, Empath will be rolled out with mini-documentary videos. Townsend has expressed a desire to keep the release a closely guarded process, noting that it is vastly different from other work in his catalogue, and has been a particular challenge for him – in positive terms – to complete.
What is known about the album thus far is that an orchestra was involved in its creation. Beyond that, it is anyone’s guess what form the music might take, be it the prog metal of DTP and its variants, the extreme metal of his earlier band Strapping Young Lad and the Steve Vai Band even before that, or the ambient sounds of his DTP effort Ghost.
All will eventually be revealed at the end of March.