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Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend will release “Order Of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1” on October 23, a document of his winter 2019 European tour that saw him taking on possibly his most ambitious live show to date.
Today sees the launch of the second clip from the release, and you can watch Devin and the “Empath Volume 1” live band performing the track “War” below.
Devin comments: “Hello folks, here’s another song from the ‘Order Of Magnitude’ Blu-ray.
“Amidst the chaos of recent times, I look back at this concert as being another world in a lot of ways, and although the DVD has many different feels throughout the concert, this song, ‘War’, is indicative of the beginning vibes of the show.
“The whole idea with this concert was to experiment with playing songs from my catalog that didn’t rely on backing tracks or clicks, so assembling 10 people onstage to do this was no small feat.
“I wanted to create an experience for band and audience alike that was creative and without boundaries (to the best of our abilities), and I am very proud of it.
“The next song we will release will be a different vibe, but for now, please enjoy this take on a song of mine from the ‘Infinity’ era. It was originally about fighting back against your own self-destructive mechanisms and thoughts, so maybe that’s appropriate for what has been going on recently.
“Again, thank you for the support and I hope you are finding the strength to get through this chaotic year.”
Recorded in December 2019 in London, U.K. on the penultimate night of the tour in support of his latest album “Empath”, this run of shows saw Devin joined by an incredible lineup of musicians. The band was made up of guitarists Mike Kenneally (ex-FRANK ZAPPA) and Markus Reuter (STICK MEN, THE CRIMSON PROJECT), drummer Morgen Agren (KAIPA, MATS & MORGAN, FRANK ZAPPA), bassist Nathan Navarro, HAKEN keyboard player Diego Tejeida, and guitarist/vocalist Ché Aimee Dorval, as well as vocalists Samantha and Anne Preis and Arabella Packford.
Devin‘s plan for the “Empath” touring cycle was to divide it up into three “Volumes,” and this was Volume 1. The idea behind the shows was a simple one: none of the backing tapes or click tracks that had long been necessary to bring the kaleidoscopic cacophony in his head and on his records to life in the flesh. This would just be Townsend and a band of genius-level musicians getting up there and trying to keep it from spinning off into outer space. Or maybe just letting it spin off into outer space for the sheer hell of it.
“The whole objective was that I wanted to make that statement: This is by the seat our pants,” he says. “Because it’s important to me to represent this hyper anal-retentive music that I’ve made over the years, but in a human way. Rather than it just being, ‘Well, here it is, perfectly done.’
“I was overwhelmed by the fact that all these brilliant people that I have so much respect for were willing to come together and play this weird shit with me,” says Devin. “I had these unique players and this interesting instrumentation that allowed us to interpret the music in different ways. It was clear to me that I could just have fun and be me and know that they would be effortlessly be able to follow that.”
That sense of fun and freedom was evident to anyone who was there on the night. Visually, it was an assault on the senses in the best possible way. A digital screen projected vivid images throughout the show. A giant gleaming mirrorball hung from the ceiling. There were multiple costume changes and a tiki bar onstage (a tiki bar!).
“Order Of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1” will be released as a limited deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray+DVD artbook (including expanded artwork and photos), limited 2CD+DVD digipak, standalone Blu-ray, gatefold 3LP+2CD vinyl box-set and as a digital Album. The Blu-ray disc includes a bonus behind-the-scenes documentary, and both DVD and Blu-ray feature a 5.1 Surround Sound mix.
The track listing is as follows:
05. Gigpig Jam
08. Heavens End
09. Ain’t Never Gonna Win
12. Lucky Animals
14. Spirits Will Collide
15. Disco Inferno
In June, “Empath – The Ultimate Edition” was released, the definitive version of Devin‘s latest studio album. It features a glorious 5.1 Surround Sound mix with accompanying visuals, plus a host of bonus material including mixing lesson, documentary, as well as a live set filmed during his April 2019 acoustic tour.