Terria – an album powered by pot and psychiatric medication – centred on themes of the earth, inspired by the Canadian countryside observed while on tour with The Smalls. When Townsend swapped ESP for a Fender Strat, the resultant guitar textures were translucent, shimmering and immediately accessible.
That said, Terria has its feet firmly in Prog Metal and epic voyages like “Nobody’s Here” and “Deep Peace” – check out the neo-classical guitar breakdown in the latter tune – challenge you to listen closer to the vast nature of what lies within.
When it came to personnel, Devin ported in drum legend Gene Hoglan from Strapping Young Lad for the recording; ensuring that things rocked like a three-legged table even when the rest of the instruments were showing complete and utter disregard for the prescribed boundaries of Metal. Townsend himself describes Terria as “a little kitschy” but in truth it sounds as stirring and heartfelt today as it did 14 years ago.