Progressive metal artist Devin Townsend debuted a new jam session as part of his Empath Monnow Valley drum recording sessions, recorded in the aforementioned valley in Wales. The performer dubbed his jam session group The Madonnas, which also consists of drummer Morgan Ågren of Kaipa, guitarist Mike Keneally of Dethklok (who plays keys in this jam session) and bassist Nathan Navarro, formerly of Pinn Panelle. Both Ågren and Keneally were supposed to serve as backing members of Townsend’s band this year, before his shows were cancelled due to COVID-19.
This jam session runs at 27:39 and encompasses a variety of styles, although most of it is a loose assortment of various prog rock inspired improvisation, reminiscent of some of Frank Zappa’s work. The beginning blends all of their unique styles, taking elements from metal and even electronica with its synth chords.
“Recorded live off the floor and mixed on the fly by the fantastic folks at Monnow Valley in Wales with Nolly Getgood and his team as well, it was straight in and out of a great old Neve mixing desk, and one take. Would be cool to continue with this and see where it goes when we’re able again maybe,” Townsend stated regarding the jam session.
Townsend has been working hard during the quarantine, putting out three unique improvisational ambient guitar pieces during the past couple of months. The performer was also a guest performer during Sepultura’s live stream series, where both artists held a performance of “Mask,” followed by an accompanying Q & A session. The performer also announced a new album release for this year, and dropped a hefty amount of content for his Quarantine series.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat