Here's what happened when we invited metal musician Devin Townsend to do an acoustic set
Watch the metal maestro perform from his extensive catalogue for a Vancouver hometown crowd
Townsend's first break came when, still a teen, he joined Grammy winner Steve Vai's band as lead vocalist on the 1993 album Sex & Religion. Now, more than 25 years and dozens of records later as a bandleader, Townsend has released his 18th studio album, Empath, via his label HevyDevy Records. It's an ambitious, genre-defying album with appearances by Elektra Women's Choir, Mike Keneally (a Frank Zappa alumnus), Vai and Chad Kroeger, among others.
This CBC Music session finds Townsend in a dramatically simplified setting of solo vocals and acoustic guitar performing for an appreciative, hometown crowd in Vancouver. It's a great introduction to the singer's artistry, with a decibel level that is perfectly acceptable to the metal-averse.
The set eases in with the introspective "Funeral," and progresses through different moods, ending with a not-to-miss medley that juxtaposes the angsty "Love" with the emotionally uplifting "Life."