Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend will release "Empath - The Ultimate Edition" on June 5. This comprehensive version of 2019's acclaimed album contains the original record and bonus disc across 2 CDs, plus 2 Blu-ray discs. The first Blu-ray contains the 5.1 Surround Sound mix by Devin, with visuals for the full record, plus a stereo visualiser. The second Blu-ray contains a raft of bonus material, including "Acoustically Inclined - Live in Leeds", a recording from his April 2019 acoustic tour where he performed tracks including "Love?", "Deadhead", "Thing Beyond Things" and more. It also features the full "Empath" documentary, a "Genesis 5.1 Mixing Lesson", a full album commentary and more. The four discs sit inside a beautiful art-book that contains new liner notes and images from the making of the album.
Devin comments of the new 5.1 surround sound mix: "On a technical level, I guess I have always been dissatisfied with the basic 'stereo' format in which the type of music I make gets presented in. Whether its headphones, computer speakers, stereos (or basically anything currently), I have had to figure out ways to get the work to function through TWO speakers. I hear things in a particularly orchestrated way, and with the amount of information that typically gets recorded per song, the result has been the dubious 'wall of sound' that I keep ending up with. But my intention has never been to make an oppressive experience, but rather something that is immersive and vast. Making it work in two speakers just simply doesn't quite work for the vision. Although I've managed to get the point across, (to varying degrees), things always have to compromise to make it all fit. Making the drums speak at the same time as orchestra, cymbals, guitars, choirs, synths etc.…all with my voice on top, ends up with every conceivable frequency fighting for breathing space between those two speakers. Therefore, I asked the powers that be in my business world, to tolerate one more 'kick at the can' when it came to 'Empath'. I wanted to attempt a surround mix and follow the original vision of it being an immersive, multimedia experience for people in the ways I could best achieve at this stage. And although it's still pretty 'dense', with four more sources for the sound to come from, I feel its significantly closer to the original vision here."
Townsend released "Empath" in March 2019 and embarked on the "Empath - European Tour Vol. 1" last November.
Since disbanding the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, Devin has been tracking down players of excellence to form a new live band, the initial incarnation of which he presented via a video message in September.
"Empath" saw Devin incorporating all the styles that make up his current interests in one place.