[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/devintownsendprojectdevintownsend2009_5572.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Yeah, kinda like that.]]

Devin Townsend is a Canadian musician and producer, arguably most famous for his extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad - although he is a very prolific solo artist as well. His solo stuff is far more melodic and tends towards all kinds of genres, particularly IndustrialMetal and ProgressiveMetal.

He's also completely bonkers in a MadArtist sort of way and has a real affinity for the RuleOfFunny, qualities that have earned him comparisons to FrankZappa.

Discography with Strapping Young Lad:

* ''Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing'' (1995)
* ''City'' (1997)
* ''[[LiveAlbum No Sleep 'Till Bedtime: Live in Australia]]'' (1998)
* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Strapping Young Lad]]'' (2003)
* ''Alien'' (2005)
* ''The New Black'' (2006)

Discography as a solo artist (including The Devin Townsend Band and The Devin Townsend Project):

* ''Punky Brüster: Cooked on Phonics'' (1996)
* ''Ocean Machine: Biomech'' (1997)
* ''Infinity'' (1998)
* ''[[LiveAlbum Official Bootleg]]'' (1999)
* ''Physicist'' (2000)
* ''Terria'' (2001)
* ''Accelerated Evolution'' (2003)
* ''Devlab'' (2004)
* ''Synchestra'' (2006)
* ''The Hummer'' (2006)
* ''Ziltoid the Omniscient'' (2007)
* ''Ki'' (2009)
* ''Addicted'' (2009) (guest starring [[Music/TheGathering Anneke van Giersbergen]])
* ''Deconstruction'' (2011)
* ''Ghost'' (2011)
* ''[[LiveAlbum Unplugged]]'' (2011)
* ''[[LiveAlbum By a Thread - Live in London 2011]]'' (2012)
* ''Epicloud'' (2012) (also guest starring [[Music/TheGathering Anneke van Giersbergen]])
* ''The Retinal Circus'' (2013) (Live album)
* ''Z2'' (2014) (DistinctDoubleAlbum consisting of ''Sky Blue'' and ''Dark Matters'')

He's also a guest vocalist on the [[{{Ayreon}} Ayreon]] album ''The Human Equation'', voicing "Rage".

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* AlbumTitleDrop: '''''ALL I NEED IS THIS CITY AND THIS MIND AND I WILL GET BY!!!'''''
* AllJustADream: At the end of ''Ziltoid The Omniscient'', Ziltoid turns out to be [[spoiler:a daydreaming Starbucks employee.]]
* ArtEvolution: Ziltoid went from looking like a [[http://www.metalsucks.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Ziltoid.jpg goofy puppet]] to looking like [[https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/499267384859844608/FQMeFY5x.jpeg an actual alien (who happens to be a puppet]]
* AtomicFBomb: The song "Fucker" from The New Black.
** On "Praise The Lowered", where Devin belts out "SMOKE THAT FUCKING... WEED!!!" right before one of the heaviest drops on ''Deconstruction''
** The iconic Velvet Kevorkian intro. "'''FUCK SLEEP! ''FUCK ALL OF YOU!!!'''''".
** "Oh My '''FUCKING''' God".
** An absurdly high-pitched one occurs about halfway through "Shitstorm" on ''Alien''.
* BaldOfEvil: Played for laughs with Ziltoid.
* BerserkButton: Averted COMPLETELY when the fans asked about the return of SYL.
** Invoked in both ''Ziltoid The Omniscient'' and ''Z2'' with the character of the Planet Smasher. He hates musicals.
* BrickJoke: The Planet Smasher's hatred of musicals is a brief "Oh, by the way" moment when first brought up in ''Ziltoid The Omniscient''. In ''Z2'', meanwhile, comes back in "Through The Wormhole" as Ziltoid starts singing "[[{{Theatre/Cats}} Memory]]".
* CherubicChoir: An interesting example comes in the form of the hook from "Rejoice" on ''Z2''. On its own, the hook can be interpreted as uplifting, positive and angelic. The thing is, the track its playing over is the discordant, heavy sound that people would expect from Devin Townsend Project, making for an appealingly-bizarre effect of contrast.
* ClusterFBomb: See AtomicFBomb and the song "You Suck".
** The less intelligible parts of "Happy Camper" are actually this.
** Happens a lot with the song "Shitstorm" from Alien.
** "S.Y.L.". The lead-in to the chorus is a grind-stomping "I fucking hate you I fucking hate you I fucking hate you..."
* [[OtherCommonMusicVideoConcepts Common Music Video Concepts]]: Garage Rock, for Strapping Young Lad's "Detox", "Relentless" and "Love?".
* CoverSong: Strapping Young Lad has done a few. "[[Music/JudasPriest Exciter]]", "[[Music/{{Melvins}} Zodiac]]", and Cop Shoot Cop's "Room 429" as examples.
** "Far Beyond Metal" was a song written back during 1997-8 as a live track only, but when it came time to record ''The New Black'' Gene Hoglan suggested using the track.
*** In short, "Far Beyond Metal" is a cover of their own song.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0apsOhWV2M Badger badger]] [[WeeblAndBob badger]]...
* {{Deconstruction}}: Magnificently averted with the album of the same name. You would expect that the title and Townsend's [[WordOfGod statement about being the heaviest album he's ever made since SYL]] (after the lighthearted, poppy nature of the previous "Ki" and "Addicted") would have him playing some of the darkest tunes he's ever come to mind (since this album is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin to the other two). By listening to the music you realize since track 1 the score is made of guitar riffs, circus organs and other bizarre comedic sounds. And the lyrics? A dead man talking with Satan about his past life on a CrapSaccharineWorld like they were HeterosexualLifePartners since the beginning of times. ComedicSociopathy ensues of course. Really, this album's concept and sound is like the Deconstruction [[UpToEleven OF the Deconstruction itself]].
** Which doesn't stop the record from being awesome, though. Something you'd expect considering there's musicians like [[Music/{{Opeth}} Mike Akerfeldt]], [[Music/{{Nightwish}} Floor]] [[AfterForever Jansen]], [[Music/{{Meshuggah}} Fredrik Thordendal]], {{Music/Gojira}}'s Joe Duplantier, {{Music/Cynic}}'s Paul Masvidal, and {{Music/Emperor}}'s {{Ihsahn}} among other ones.
* DethroningMomentOfSuck: Invoked in-universe twice on ''Cooked On Phonics.''
** At a Cryptic Coronor gig, at the start of the album, the lead guitarist breaks a string. They turn this into an OriginStory.
** At the end of the album, Punky Bruster performs their hit song live on the Granny Awards, and mid-song, [[spoiler: they revert to their DeathMetal origins, utterly destroying their ill-gotten success.]]
* DigitalPiracyIsOkay: Has said on [[https://twitter.com/dvntownsend/ his Twitter feed]] that he's not really bothered by people pirating his music because he still gets support from people who want him to continue performing music, which he regards as "a good job we're damn lucky to have. Ultimately, at the end of the day, I write music for ME because it's what I LOVE. And if it ever turns around financially, great... Why the hell would you want to be a musician if having people listen is so conditional? Support if you want, it costs a lot, but I luv it." See also [[http://www.metalsucks.net/2009/11/17/hello-my-name-is-devin-can-i-take-your-stinkin-order/ here]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: The reason why the title character of ''Ziltoid The Omniscient'' let loose an invasion fleet on Earth? The cup of coffee he requested from them was "fetid" to him.
* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''Z2'' is two VERY different albums: ''Sky Blue'', which is the Devin Townsend Project that fans are more familiar with, and ''Dark Matters'', which is another goofy rock opera about Ziltoid.
* DreadlockRasta: Combining this with BaldOfAwesome gives you Townsend's most iconic hairstyle, the almighty Skullet.
* EpicRocking: Mostly in his solo projects. In particular, ''Deconstruction'', which has a song that's over 16 minutes- and that's not all.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: "Dire" from the self titled SYL album.
* EvilIsHammy: '''Ziltoid'''.
* ExcitedShowTitle: Every track on ''Addicted''.
** "More!" from Epicloud.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Too many to count for Devin.
** Most well known is the almighty Skullet to shaven bald.
* FakeBand: The main characters of ''Cooked On Phonics.''
* FlashbackFail: When trying to re-start SYL after (the failure at the time) ''Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing'', Townsend wound up meeting with Gene Hoglan of {{Music/Death}} fame at a concert. Hoglan agreed to track some drums for the second record, but the next day when Townsend brings this up, Hoglan denies agreeing to this.
** To be fair, he was pretty loaded during that night.
* FluffyTheTerrible: The [[EldritchAbomination Planet Smasher]] from ''Ziltoid The Omniscient''. He says at the very end that his name is Herman.
* FunWithAcronyms: The song "S.Y.L." from Strapping Young Lad's first album ''Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing'' and their self-titled album which is also referred to as SYL.
* GainaxEnding: ''Ziltoid The Omniscient'' starts off as a straightforward tale of the titular alien overlord invading Earth after their coffee didn't live up to his standards. Around "Omnidimensional Creator", Ziltoid becomes more and more aware of his insecurities to the point where he gets in touch with the titular Creator, and experiences the true nature of his reality within the context of the whole universe over the course of three tracks. Then, the final track, "Tall Latte" reveals that [[spoiler:the whole thing was all in the mind of a bored Starbucks employee]]. According to [[WordOfGod Devin himself]], this sudden GenreShift was a TakeThat at fans who misinterpret the meanings of his lyrics.
* LargeHam: Most of his spoken lines are overly dramatic and theatrical, specially on his solo albums. He's even known for ChewingTheScenery frequently during live concerts. During shows he'll also often throw in random monologues in character as Ziltoid, who, if possible, is ''[[SerialEscalation even more]]'' of a LargeHam.
* LastNoteNightmare: The lengthy scream from the ending of "Thing Beyond Things", the final track on ''Ocean Machine: Biomech''. Especially disheartening, as this comes after a ten-second silence after one of the much more relaxing songs on the album.
* LighterAndSofter: Going from Strapping Young Lad, a Death/Thrash Metal band with industrial influences, to the Devin Townsend Project, playing genres that don't even come close to SYL.
** Despite the above, averted with ''Ziltoid The Omniscient'' and ''Deconstruction'', which are both Progressive Metal.
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition:
** The Strapping Young Lad vinyl box set, which, if you're even remotely a fan, is amazing. It was released in four different editions, each of which had more material than the preceding tier (in addition to being coloured differently). All versions of the box set are now sold out. The vinyl masters also decreased the LoudnessWar tendencies of Strapping's material (although the clipping on ''Heavy'' and ''The New Black'' couldn't be completely eliminated due to the master tapes apparently having been lost). The LP editions of the individual albums are still available, although they're almost sold out of the label (Blood Music)'s U.S. store. The bonus material included with the box set will not be sold individually.
** There was also a CD box set of the first four Devin Townsend Project albums (the latter two of these being remastered, as the original mixes hadn't been to Townsend's satisfaction) along with two discs of bonus material and (with some releases) a 7" with two additional songs.
* LoudnessWar: Strapping Young Lad was a deliberate offender, invoking the trope to create as [[SensoryAbuse harsh and unrelenting a sound as possible]]. This has carried over to Townsend's solo work some as well; although he said around the release of ''Ki'', "I officially pull my hat out of the Loudness Wars", the material has still been somewhat clipped (although his releases are nowhere near the worst offenders anymore). He finally ''actually'' averted the Loudness War with ''Casualties of Cool'', which is a [=DR10=] master and sounds great.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Velvet Kevorkian" from ''City''.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: One of few metal vocalists to achieve this status, along with [[Music/{{Korn}} Jonathan Davis]], [[Music/DirEnGrey Kyo]], MikePatton, and [[EnterShikari Roughton Reynolds]].
** Those voices you hear on ''Ziltoid the Omniscient''? They're all him.
** He goes from a heavy death metal growl to a pop-punk vocal style in ''Punky Brüster: Cooked On Phonics''.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Devin Townsend has made music that covers every possible degree. Most of ''Ki'' is 1-3 (reaching about 8 in a song or two) while most of SYL's songs could easily qualify as 10 ("Rape Song", "Detox", "All Hail The New Flesh") or 11 ("Shitstorm", "Oh My Fucking God").
** Rule of thumb: Devin Townsend Band is 7-8, Strapping Young Lad is 10 to 11. Ziltoid, which is best described as a fusion of the two styles, falls at about a 9 depending on the song. The Devin Townsend Project is all over the scale - ''Ki'' is mostly 1-3, ''Addicted'' is 6-7, ''Ghost'' is a 1, and ''Deconstruction'' ramps up linearly from about a 2 on the first track to a 10 on the last.
* MetalScream: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whnNRafv13M ALL. TYPES.]]
* MindScrew: The tail end of ''Ziltoid The Omniscient''. The reason why the album moves from a comedic SpaceOpera to [[spoiler:Ziltoid questioning the state of the universe before being revealed to be a figment of a coffee shop worker's imagination]] is supposedly, according to WordOfGod, symbolic of how his fans misinterpret his songs.
* MotorMouth: '''''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teeYBgyZhS8#t=48s THERE IS NO INSANITY BUT RATHER SUPER SANITY, MORE SUITED FOR LIFE AT THE END OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY...]]''''' -- "Oh My Fucking God"
** The last verse of "Happy Camper (Carpe B.U.M.)"
* MustHaveCaffeine: In the track "ZTO", Ziltoid orders the humans to make to him the ultimate cup of black coffee in five minutes, or he will destroy the Earth.
** Further explored in Z2. Supposedly Coffee has an unlimited energy potential that the Ziltoidians would love to claim as their own.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Ziltoid in Z2. He's an individual that came out of the Ziltoidian collective, and is not very good at hiding his distain or general unwillingness for working for the collective.
* TheOmniscient: Subverted by Ziltoid. He may be powerful, but if he was truly omniscient, he would not have run into the troubles he did.
** Played straight by the Omnidimensional Creator. He sees everything. He also understands what Ziltoid must do when Ziltoid does not.
* PrecisionFStrike: Plenty of them.
** ''Ziltoid the Omniscient'': ''I'M ZILTOID!!!! I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!!!'' The only other curse words on the album are a barely audible use of the word "shitstorm" by the commander of Earth's troops and a muttered "shit" at 0:35 into "Tall Latte".
** ''Ki'': BE A ''GODDAMN'' MAN, ''BOY''! One of his calmer examples.
** ''Deconstruction'': "SMOKE THAT ''FUCKING'' WEED, BOY!"
** ''Epicloud'': "THE TIME HAS COME TO FORGET ALL THE '''''BULLSHIT''''' AND ROCK!" [[note]]Townsend was intending for ''Epicloud'' to have no swears, and admits this to being the only instance of profanity.[[/note]]
* PunnyName: The album ''Epicloud.''
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "OH! MY! FUCK! ING! '''GOD!'''"
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: Subverted during The Retinal Circus. By having Jed Simon play [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hOWI0Ew_CAA#t=1228s "Detox"]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hOWI0Ew_CAA#t=2825s "Love?"]] with the DTP.
* RereleaseTheSong: Kingdom, taken from 2001's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrotHkcKle8 ''Physicist'']] for 2012's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NraG_UFkkFY ''Epicloud'']]. Compared, the ''Epicloud'' version is pretty much a LargeHam.
** The same thing happens with the song Hyperdrive, which started on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5BqyluKkk0 ''Ziltoid the Omniscient'']] and got an Anneke led, pumped up and happier sounding update on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf4_LB32M6Q ''Addicted'']]
* TheReveal: The GainaxEnding to ''Ziltoid The Omniscient'' reveals that [[spoiler:the whole thing was taking place in the mind of a bored Starbucks employee]].
** In "Through The Wormhole" on ''Z2'', it's revealed that Captain Spectacular [[spoiler:is Ziltoid's half-brother]].
* RuleOfFunny: ''Punky Brüster: Cooked on Phonics'' and ''Ziltoid the Omniscient'' are fueled by these. The songs on Strapping Young Lad's ''The New Black'' that aren't completely serious tend to fall towards this.
* ScareChord: Two songs from Strapping Young Lad's ''self-titled'', "Dire Consequences" and "Bring On The Young"
* SelfBackingVocalist: Often does this to achieve a choir-like effect, can be heard on ''Ocean Machine: Biomech'' and ''Infinity'', amongst others.
** Did this with Anneke Van Giersbergen for ''Epicloud'' because she was going to be more or less unavailable for touring, making her parts on the album fairly repititous and quick. Van Giersbergen herself does this a lot with her parts on ''Addicted''.
* SelfDeprecation: Frequently throughout his live performances. Regularly introduces the Solo from ''Life'' as "The Shittiest guitar solo I ever wrote."
* SellOut: The whole plot of ''Punky Bruster - Cooked on Phonics'' is built around a Polish Death Metal band selling out their metal sound for something more Punk Rock.
* ShoutOut: One directly to Meshuggah in ''Planet of the Apes''
* SkeletonsInTheCoatCloset / SpandexLatexOrLeather: Played for laughs in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMLXoobDKWs video for Vampira.]]
* SmallNameBigEgo: Ziltoid himself. A big part of his character is his denial at how he's not all he's cracked up to be. Or, as Captain Spectacular puts it, "a nerd".
* TheSomethingSong: "Babysong" and Strapping Young Lad's "Rape Song".
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Noted in "The Retinal Circus" due to it's eclectic songlist
* SopranoAndGravel: All over the place. The best example is "Planet Smasher" from ''Ziltoid the Omniscient''.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: Strapping Young Lad's "Almost Again" and "Two Weeks" are way less heavy than the surrounding material. "Polyphony" too, although that's really more of an intro.
** Subverted with "Bring On The Young".
* StylisticSuck: Cryptic Coronor (from ''Cooked on Phonics'') is not only a piss-poor, laughable DeathMetal band, you can barely hear their song over the sound of the cackling audience.
* TakeThisJobAndShoveIt: "S.Y.L."
* ToBeContinued: ''Dark Matters'', and by extension, the whole of ''Z2'', closes on this.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: A lot of Strapping Young Lad songs boil down to this. "Rape Song", for example, is a furious tirade against a rapist, while "S.Y.L." is a long list of all the reasons his old job sucked and how much better his life will be now that he isn't doing it anymore. And "Shitstorm"... Good lord, "Shitstorm"!
** Parodied with "You Suck". There's no particular reason why you suck, you just do.
* TitleTrack: "The New Black", for Strapping Young Lad.
** For Devin Townsend works: The Hummer, Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction, Ghost.
*** Despite being a vinyl-only bonus track, Epicloud.
* UncommonTime
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: ''Cooked On Phonics'' is an entire [[DissTrack diss album]] aiming at a real band known to Devin as one that switched from metal to punk in order to [[SellOut chase popularity]], and the album's moral is basically "to thine own self be true."
* WordSaladLyrics: Especially the DTP.

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