“It’s not a travelogue, but there’s an expansive feel to the songs that’s redolent of broadening horizons”: Devin Townsend’s vinyl Terria reissue

2001 release, inspired by his home nation, put the Canadian back on track after his previous misstep

Devin Townsend - Terria
(Image: © InsideOut)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Following directly on from Devin Townsend’s rare artistic misstep of 2000’s Physicist, and a bleak period of depression and emotional turmoil, Terria felt like a deep gulp of clean Canadian air.

The album on the theme of his homeland was born when the singer/guitarist undertook his first-ever extensive tour of the country with his extreme metal project Strapping Young Lad, supporting Alberta band The Smalls. The result was a relatively understated classic that still ranks as one of his best solo albums nearly a quarter of a century on.

It’s certainly not a travelogue, but there’s an expansive feel to the songs that’s redolent of broadening horizons. “I started finding myself expanding outside the box... without a lot of the baggage that was part of the prior records,” he writes in new liner notes. That discovery translated into a melodic and atmospheric journey, full of breathtaking musical vistas.

Canada - YouTube Canada - YouTube
Watch On

The multipart Earth Day swirls through symphonic swells, floating harmonies and pure prog guitars; while Deep Peace is a sigh of mellow acoustics, lilting vocals and ambient background sounds. Canada is similarly laid-back – but there are strategically placed oddball mid-sections, set-pieces and mind-blowing solos that essentially present mini-songs within songs. Elsewhere the dreamy Nobody’s Here and the catchy Stagnant are delivered with fewer curveballs.

Bonus track Universal sounds very much like a Terria outlier

This reissue sees the album taking a star turn on vinyl, with the same mastering that first appeared on 2018 box set Eras. Bonus track Universal makes its vinyl debut here, having originally appeared on the double CD deluxe edition. With its countrified picking and space-rock riffs it still sounds very much like a Terria outlier – but it does make a nice inclusion for completist fans.

Overall, this is a welcome revival of an album that’s well worth revisiting or – even better – discovering for the first time.

The vinyl edition of Terria is on sale now via InsideOut.

Paul Travers has spent the best part of three decades writing about punk rock, heavy metal, and every associated sub-genre for the UK's biggest rock magazines, including Kerrang! and Metal Hammer