Earlier this year, Devin Townsend went on record with his change of heart concerning Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, revealing his initial negative bias but eventually finding the singer to be one of "the very few brilliant people in this industry." Now that blossoming friendship has turned into a musical collaboration, with Kroeger being among the newly revealed guests for Townsend's upcoming album.

During a string of tweets, Townsend offered, “No sleep tonight. I’ve got the final stages of this year long process rolling through my mind. Almost done…another 3.5 weeks and this stage of it (the album) will be wrapped up. Listened to the roughs of Empath on the flight and it had me teared up the whole way. I haven’t had this visceral a reaction to the work in many years. To think It all stemmed from taking a vacation! My god, what an intense period this has been. I’ll remember this past two years. Thanks to some further guests, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Che Dorval, Chad Kroeger, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Lords of the Sound Orchestra… it’s been total catharsis and tied intrinsically to the process of working through this transformation. It’s a lovely, complicated, weird one."

Additionally reflecting on his expectations, Townsend stated, "Some people will totally love it, a fair amount will take awhile to have it sink in, some won’t get it at all, some will definitely prefer the bonus disk or the previous work, but fuck me, did I ever need to get this out of my system. It’s like 12 years of vomit at once... I had a choice to either go commercial or uncompromised on this. Thanks to Garth Richardson and Chad for convincing me to not compromise. It’s a hard choice as you get older because the temptation to play it safe is huge for the sake of family and security."

He continued, "Exhausting… pure catharsis. It was about middle age, realization, fear, death, moderation, meditation, and overcoming the internal dialogues. I guess it was ultimately about getting it right after all these years, then kind of realizing that you just have to let it all go…Music is just an expression of gratitude I think. Ultimately it’s just another album in a long line of albums, some will like it, some won’t. But it appears as if it will be accurate, and that’s a huge huge relief. Three drummers, two bassists, orchestras, choirs, ducks, cats, goats, birds, whales… and I didn’t sabotage this one, for once…"

Adding one more nugget about the album, he concluded, "There’s a reoccurring theme on this project that seems to have appeared, and that seems to be one of ‘anti-suicide.’”

Speaking about Kroeger earlier this year, Townsend stated, "Chad is a real person. He's exceptionally talented at what he does and he's above all a good dude who helped me when I needed help. He gets a ton of shit, but I have immense respect for the guy now." At the time, Townsend suggested they had tried to write together, but came from two different places. However, it's possible they've since found common ground as Kroeger will appear on the album.

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