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Ziltoid the Omniscient

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Title: Ziltoid the Omniscient  
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Subject: Omniscience, Strapping Young Lad, Canadian humour, Chuck Billy (vocalist), Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, Tomas Haake, Infinity (Devin Townsend album), 2007 in heavy metal music, The Hummer, List of concept albums
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Ziltoid the Omniscient

Ziltoid The Omniscient
Devin Townsend
Released May 21, 2007 (2007-05-21)
Recorded November 6, 2006 – March 1, 2007 in Townsend's home studio, the "Devlab"
Genre Progressive metal, industrial metal, extreme metal, comedy rock
Length 53:46
Label HevyDevy
Producer Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend chronology

The Hummer
Ziltoid the Omniscient
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blabbermouth 9/10 stars[2]
DPRP 8.5/10 stars[3]
Metal Hammer 7/10 stars
Terrorizer 7.5/10 stars

Ziltoid the Omniscient is the tenth studio album by Canadian metal musician Devin Townsend, released on his own label HevyDevy Records in May 2007, and distributed in America and Europe by InsideOut Music.

The album is a concept album about a fictional extraterrestrial being named Ziltoid from the planet Ziltoidia 9. Ziltoid travels to Earth in search of "your universe's ultimate cup of coffee".[4] A cup of coffee is delivered to him and he is promptly appalled by its taste, declaring it "fetid", and summons the Ziltoidian warlords to attack Earth, facing the full might of Earth's army. Townsend describes the album as a mix between Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band, with a storyline like that of Punky Brüster's Cooked on Phonics.[5]

The album is a solo album, with all music written, mixed, produced and performed by Townsend. All drum tracks were produced with EZdrummer,[6] a software drum machine, using the Drumkit from Hell expansion.[7]

Townsend had stated that he was planning to release a sequel album called , but plans for the album were later supposedly scrapped when he stated, "I'm very rapidly realizing that humor and metal... it doesn't really work."[8] However, he later posted on his Twitter account, stating that the "record is vying for pole-position currently."[9] He also plans to begin a series of online videos, a series titled ZTV, in which a Ziltoid hand puppet conducts interviews with various bands.[10] Townsend played a world exclusive ZtO concert in Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki on July 2, 2010, where the whole Ziltoid album was played, with a regular Devin Townsend Project set the next day.[11]


Townsend's wife, Tracy Turner, gave birth to their first son, Reyner Liam Johnstan Townsend, on October 4, 2006.[12] Around this time, Townsend withdrew from touring with his extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad and his progressive metal group The Devin Townsend Band, explaining that he was burnt out on touring and interviewing. Townsend released an ambient album, The Hummer, around this time.

Townsend then began work on his next solo album, Ziltoid the Omniscient. "And I really mean solo, in the true sense of the word", explained Townsend. "Nobody was around. For four months I worked completely on my own. I recorded each instrumental track and I also programmed all the drums. ... I was sound engineer and producer and I mixed every note in my cellar with a minimum of gear. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it all on my own."[13] Townsend programmed the drums using Drumkit from Hell, a software drum machine provided to him by Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah.[13]


Ziltoid the Omniscient was released May 21, 2007, on Townsend's independent label HevyDevy Records. It was distributed in Canada by HevyDevy, in Japan by Sony, and in Europe by InsideOut. A special two-disc edition was also released with three bonus tracks and various multimedia features.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Devin Townsend
No. Title Length
1. "ZTO"   1:17
2. "By Your Command"   8:09
3. "Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!"   3:42
4. "Solar Winds"   9:46
5. "Hyperdrive"   3:47
6. "N9"   5:30
7. "Planet Smasher"   5:45
8. "Omnidimensional Creator"   0:48
9. "Color Your World"   9:44
10. "The Greys"   4:15
11. "Tall Latte"   1:03
Total length:
Special edition bonus disc
No. Title Length
1. "Don't Know Why" (aka Messages from Ziltoid) 7:34
2. "Travelling Salesman"   2:14
3. "Another Road"   4:29
Total length:

The bonus video material contains a "guitar instructional", in which Townsend plays extracts from the songs "Wrong Side" by Strapping Young Lad and "Truth", and talks about the equipment he uses for recording and live performances. Five webisode skits performed with the Ziltoid puppet, originally broadcast on MySpace, are also included.



External links

  • (MySpace)
  • (InsideOut)
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