This is not a review in the traditional sense. This is more of a recommendation for an exceptional album.
I can’t review Empath in any traditional way, because it’s simply too good to be picked apart and analysed. Maybe Devin Townsend himself could pick it apart and offer up some insightful thoughts on the album as the artist, but I don’t think any of that matters, because this record really doesn’t need it.
Empath is an immersive listening experience that offers up a cinematic escape. This album could never be the background noise to doing your house work or any other inane task. It requires your full attention, and it will get it whether you like it or not. This is an event of an album, that is best suited to being heard through headphones in a dark room, while enjoying your beverage of choice.
Sit back and let the music conjure images in your head, because it will. Colourful, bold images as large as the music itself.
Devin Townsend is often cited as a heavy metal genius. He’s not though. What he is is a musical genius, because Empath is not a metal album. There is far too much going on here to simply define it by any genre label. It’s heavy, progressive, operatic, orchestral, and simply stunning on all levels.
Empath is the definitive Devin Townsend album, and I say that as a long time fan.