can someone post that chart about all of Devins/SYL albums? It was like a buyers guide to his albums that gave a brief descriptions of each one....
This, maybe? This one is bad btw since it doesn't even mention Infinity, which is easily top 3 IMO. Putting Alien over City is also ridiculous. It's not a bad starting point, I suppose.
Here's my chronological overview, I'm probably off on some of the order:
Punky Bruster - I've never listened to this
SYL - Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing - alright
SYL - City - one of the best metal albums ever, easily, pure ferocity on several tracks and has insane speed throughout, with a couple of lower-tempo stomping tracks
DT - Ocean Machine - widely considered his best album, it's less technical than later ones and more about walls of sound and songwriting
DT - Infinity - easily one of his best IMO, takes the Ocean Machine sound and goes into different genres on many tracks, there's a silly bluesy track with horns called "Bad Devil" and a really noodly prog track ala Spiral Architect called Ants, etc
DT - Physicist - This was the first thing he released that got shat on by fans, it was called "SYL LITE" by many people at the time, it's held up pretty well and has some great songs on it
DT - Terria - This is a fan favorite, it's a lot more plodding and earthy (hence the name) than Ocean Machine
SYL - S/T - This got a ton of bad press when it came out for sounding half-assed, time has been kind to it, it's a lot less "wall-of-soundy" than what came before and considerably simpler than City/Physicist, but about half the songs are pretty damn good
DTB - Accelerated Evolution - this has some all-timers on it like Deadhead and Storm, but is kind of more of the same from Terria/Ocean Machine
Devlab - Zzzzzz
SYL - Alien - good, has some incredible heaviness on a couple tracks (the intro of Skeksis is one of my favorite things ever), but overall is definitely leaning away from the ferocity that previously defined SYL
DTB - Synchestra - I loved this when it came out, it's much proggier than Accelerated Evolution, Gaia and Babysong are two of my favorites of his still
SYL - New Black - it's not bad, but you're better off just listening to the previous 3, sounds like a continuation of Alien but without the inspiration, "you suck" is awesome however
DT - Ziltoid the Omniscient - this was thrown together in a hurry and has fake drums and sounds a bit sparse at times, but has some really awesome stuff on it, "By Your Command" and "Ziltoida Attax" and the first version of "Hyperdrive" in particular are greatttt
DTP - Ki - I've never listened to this
DTP - Addicted - Pretty great, if you like Anneke Van Giersbergen from The Gathering, has a lot of stompy uptempo catchy stuff (particularly Bend it like Bender with its ridiculous pop electronica chorus) on it along with a couple Ocean Machine-esque throwbacks like "The Way Home"
DTP - Deconstructed - another SYL-esque throwback with a lot of heavy guitars, also has a lot of carnival-esque synths and long-ass songs, I don't think it's very good
DTP - Ghost - much more ambient, I think it's better than Deconstructed but it's definitely not a good entry point
DTP - Epicloud - More catchy uptempo stompy stuff, I have a really hard time making it through the album
Casualties of Cool - sort of a midpoint between Ghost and country beats with primarily acoustic guitar, it's pretty damn good actually
DTP - Ziltoid 2 - trying too hard to redo Ziltoid but lacks the spontaneity entirely, it's not bad but it's definitely not very good either
DTP - Transcendence - I still haven't heard this
I agree with most of wank's points, but to add an addendum to his list I'll throw my two cents where he had none to offer.
Ki- Super boring and plodding throughout, when it was released Dev stated it was meant as a palate cleanser so that albums following it weren't judged on the same metric as the albums prior to it. I don't know how many times I've listened through it and not heard a single strong melody in the entirety of the disc.
Epiclouder - Essentially a b-sides disc 2 to Epicloud. I far prefer this album to the actual Epicloud album. It has stronger songs and isn't trying so hard to be huge in scope and sound. The whole let's make this sound as big as we possibly can was really wearing on me when Epicloud came out, and louder was a nice juxtaposition that didn't have the same amount while still being devin in character. Great tracks:
Happy Birthday- Definitely an addicted feeling song, Anneke features, vibe and melody for days.
Heatwave - Rockabilly vibe, could've worked really well on Synchestra and been the best song on it, I don't really care for Synch though, so take it was you will. Cool chorus.
Sky Blue - Disc 2 of Z2. I got maybe 2/3rds of the way through Z2 and didn't care for it. I really understand why it took dev 7 years to revisit Ziltoid, because if the writing process was anything like listening to it, to me at least, it must have been a slog and really disheartening trying to throw in humor, where the first one had it and was zany because it felt right, Z2's humor seemed to be shoehorned in because it was "supposed" to be there. Sky Blue on the other hand is a decent DTP album, and while it maintains the mentality of "Lets make these songs as grand as possible," It didn't seem quite as forced to me as Epicloud did.
Universal Flame - Almost feels like a Numbered! pt.2 to me, a little more more uptempo and happier sounding track, but very much good dev in character. Starts with a huge chorus, disco beat in the bridge absolutely kills.
Rain City - kind of a mid tempo vibey track, super heavy vibe in the chorus, really cool vocal harmonies throughout especially in the chorus.
Wow, what's with the Deconstrucion hate? That record is like the best of the best modern Extreme Metal has to offer.
I just love the flood of guest musicians, always hearing a new style on every song.
In addition Planet of the Apes is one of the best tracks of the DTP and man, if the carnival section of The Mighty Masturbator isn't hilarious, nothing is.