Devin Townsend's immaculate sonics and huge melodies thrill on heartfelt Lightwork album

Devin Townsend's Lightwork: Melodic bliss from the previously Hevy Devy

Devin Townsend - Lightwork cover art
(Image: © InsideOut)

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It seems fair to say that Devin Townsend got a lot of stuff out of his system on 2019’s overblown and unhinged Empath, and last year’s cheerfully unfathomable The Puzzle

Lightwork is those purposefully deranged records’ polar opposite: a simple and heartfelt collection of (mainly) straightforward pop-metal songs, all with melodies so large you could stick a flag in them and claim them for the nation of your choosing. 

There are still moments of epic bombast contained within the blissful likes of Celestial Signals and Call Of The Void, but Lightwork is defined by its lightness of touch and desire to soothe. 

Even its most experimental moments – the glitchy, AOR-psych of Heavy Burden, the dewy-eyed sprawl of Heartbreaker – reflect Townsend’s delight at the sheer uplifting power of a good tune. Sonically immaculate, as is the Canadian’s way, Lightwork is a beautiful curveball.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.