Enlarge Do the time warp with Devy when the album releases on August 4.

Devin Townsend’s Next Live Album is from His COVID-Shortened U.S. Tour from 2020


We’re only one month out since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 pandemic “over,” but it feels like a while ago that things returned to normal. We can go to concerts without masks, people aren’t fighting other people because they’re taking precautions, and a cough no longer sounds like a gunshot in a crowded room. Yet it really wasn’t all that long ago that tours were canceled, lives were upended, and musicians were left wondering how they were going to stay afloat in the midst of a global pandemic.

One such musician was Devin Townsend, who was on tour in the U.S. when shit hit the fan. Unfortunately, his plans were cut short and everyone was sent home to ride things out. We may have gotten some great livestreams from Townsend, but that doesn’t fix the lost opportunities that come from a canceled tour.

Today, the Canadian musical mastermind announced that some live recordings from that shortened run will make their way into the third release of his ongoing Devolution series, titled Empath Live In America. The album will be available on August 4.

“Hello everyone :) continuing in the ‘Devolution’ series of albums (which has been an avenue for us to release cool little curiosities on the side of regular releases) we bring you ‘Devolution #3 – Empath Live In America’.

“This was a very unique tour for me, and one that was regrettably cut short by the pandemic. It was a stripped back version of the ‘Order of Magnitude’ band (without choir and a few other members…), but as i try to do with each tour, the goal was to make this a unique and special night. Therefore, this tour marked a ‘free form’ version of the material. There were no backing tracks, click tracks, or even a setlist, so every night was unique and different. The audience yelled out requests and we just rolled with it. The material was therefore interpreted in unique ways and the experience was a very special ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ musical night.

“It’s a raw and off kilter performance and I’m thrilled to have documented it. Until the next ‘real’ release, I hope you enjoy this rarity from a special, albeit ill-fated tour.”

To celebrate the announcement, Townsend released a live version of the track “Evermore,” which you can check out below. Devolution #3 – Empath Live In America will be available as a limited CD digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP, and as a digital album when it drops on August 4, but you can preorder your copy today.

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