The ever enigmatic Devin Townsend is back with yet another new project, Casualties of Cool. Combining the ambience of Ghost with the progressive rock sound of Ki, with a strong country/blues influence and themes of isolation in space throughout – only Devin could envisage and put together such an eccentric mix of styles. Reprising her role from Ki, Ché Aimee Dorval brings her soulful vocals to the fold once again, this time with a bigger role than before and her voice is absolutely stunning, especially on the opener Daddy, her singing is simply gorgeous, very relaxing and combines well with some of the softest, most lovely vocals we’ve heard from Devin. Alongside his great bluesy acoustic guitar playing, Devin has an array of musicians and instruments at his disposals with soft electronics on Mountaintop giving the country vibe an additional spacey feel, and with choirs,strings, flute and saxophone throughout the album, it gives him lots of avenues to explore. There’s also a soft groove to tbe bass and drums adding another layer to the laid back atmosphere of the album. When it works, it’s a great calm, relaxed soft bluesy album, such as on the great Forgive Me and the ambience of Flight but there’s times when it drags and becomes overlong and bloated. In some points the flutes go on and on on their own as in closer Pure, the ambience at the end of Deathscope is really dull, and the odd percussion on Pier is somewhat annoying, and these parts just start to grate as they don’t go anywhere. As usual though the production is perfect, Devin’s the best in the field. Though mellower, his wall of sound production is somewhat present with all the instruments combining into a great overall sound, with crystal clarity. Overall it’s a good album with Devin showing his versatility once again, but the filler does take some of the shine off it and it could have had a good fifteen minutes shaved from it’s 73 minute running time.