BTBAM, DEVIN TOWNSEND: THE DESTRUCTION IN THEIR WAKE
They say life is timing and that timing is mostly luck. Sinatra would add that luck is rarely a lady, and truly she’s been a monster bitch since the release of new records by Devin Townsend and Between The Buried And Me. Both clear contenders for top 2009 album honors, Addicted and The Great Misdirect have effectively deleted the rest of my music library and obscured about 40 new and attention-worthy metal records. See, just weeks ago, I was balls-deep in the Converge, Marduk, Municpal Waste, Cobalt, and old Trouble; today, my functioning memory is so dominated by Addicted‘s melodies that I can’t recall even what the Converge record is titled. Worse, would-be essential outings from Porcupine Tree, Skeletonwitch, and Slayer still have their symbolic hymen intact, jilted and untouched by my ear-boner. Which is pure insanity under normal circumstances. (Some measure of karmic revenge comes via Decibel Magazine, which counts neither TGM nor Addicted among the Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2009.)
I can think of no worse fate than to have all the determination and frustration of making an album be rewarded by its adolescence being spent in the shadows of two all-time classics – even if only in the mind of one biased listener. And really, I can’t be the only one finding it hard to concentrate on other records, now identifiable as the sad victims of BTBAM’s and Townsend’s awesomeness. For other artists, it’s like discovering an abandoned cupcake store just before being struck by lightning. It’s like a modest movie about sexy teenage vampires opening unwittingly against Twilight. It’d be like the euphoria of a Tuesday-night smooch party with the office knockout being smashed to bits by news of a catastrophic terrorist attack in your distant home country (true story!). It’s not fucking fair!