Voivod

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War And Pain

Voivod - War And Pain ©1984 Metal Blade
1. Voivod
2. Warriors Of Ice
3. Suck Your Bone
4. Iron Gang
5. War And Pain
6. Blower
7. Live For Violence
8. Black City
9. Nuclear War

This was actually the fourth or fifth Voivod album I bought, and, of course, I put it in the CD player expecting another dose of their unique brand of space-metal. Not quite. On their debut album, they played raw thrash metal, plain and simple. Piggy had not yet developed his unique playing style, and on here he mostly sticks to thick, simplistic chord progressions and bluesy solos. The influence from both Motorhead and UK hardcore bands like Discharge is fairly obvious. He does throw in the occasional spacey, dissonant riff or solo, however, which both prevents the music from becoming too generic and gives you a glimpse of what direction the band would be heading towards in just a few years time. Snake hadn't quite developed his bizarre android voice yet, and instead sticks to throaty, anguished screaming and shouting, but I must say, his vocals fit the music perfectly!

While this record may be a little too un-polished and sloppy for fans of the Angel Rat/The Outer Limits era or even the Killing Technology/Dimension Hatross era, it's still definitely a classic in its own right. It's not my favorite Voivod album, nor is it their most innovative, but the band would never again sound this rough and aggressive, and that alone makes it worth checking out for fans of raw thrash metal.

Review by Mark Pennington

Review date: 08/2003

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Rrroooaaarrr!

Voivod - Rrroooaaarrr! ©1986 Noise Int.
1. KorgŘll The Exterminator
2. Fuck Off And Die
3. Slaughter In A Grave
4. Ripping Headaches
5. Horror
6. Trashing Rage
7. The Helldriver
8. Build Your Weapons
9. To The Death

If there is one album to avoid in Voivod's vast back discography, Rrrr÷÷÷aaarrr! is it. Having started to establish themselves in the underground metal scene in 1984 with War and Pain, Voivod completely fumbled the ball on their second release. This album, frankly, is a mess. There are so many negative points to it that one hardly knows where to begin. Perhaps the incredibly bad production is a good starting point. While perhaps not as bad as a demo, this album is a quagmire of clashing production values. The guitar lacks the depth and space that guitarist Piggy is renowned for. The drums are sharp and clunky. Snake's vocals are just utterly hideous throughout. Worse yet, the song arrangements are jarring and completely disjointed. Smooth transitions simply don't happen on this album, although the band is heartily trying. Every song on here sounds underdeveloped and rushed. There are occasional moments and a handful of riffs that are interesting, but for the most part the songs just sound jammed together and hurried through the recording process. Chances are this is the mark of a young band still trying to establish their identity being coupled with an inexperienced studio engineer. Regardless of the reasons, Rrrr÷÷÷aaarrr! is a complete shambles and very possibly the weakest Voivod album you'll come across.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2003

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Killing Technology

Voivod - Killing Technology ©1987 Noise Int.
1. Killing Technology
2. Overreaction
3. Tornado
4. Too Scared To Scream
5. Forgotten In Space
6. Ravenous Medicine
7. Order Of The Blackguards
8. This Is Not An Excercise
9. Cockroaches

Killing Technology, Voivod's third studio album, was the first to really show the full potential of this amazing, original and powerful metal entity. While having flaws and a tendency to waste time with weak tracks ("Too Scared to Scream", "Order of the Blackguards"), the good songs here are truly crushing. Having rid themselves of the horrible production of Rrrroooaaarrr!, the band gets to business with a well balanced sound that allows for a strong audio listen. Blackie's bass is thick and rumbling, a exceptional driving force on "Ravenous Medicine". That particular track is guaranteed to get you off your lazy metal bum and start air guitaring around your room. The title track is also full of energy and force. There are some who think that this was the last great album by the band, but in my opinion the band was only starting to discover what they could accomplish. Piggy's guitar styling really starts to take charge here. There has never been another guitar sound quite like his. Moreover, Snake had finally ditched pure screaming and hollering to give the songs a stronger sense of disjointed melody. While I still look to other Voivod albums for full potential realized, Killing Technology is an above average album that stood completely outside the norms of the time it was released.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1999

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Dimension Hatröss

Voivod - Dimension Hatröss ©1988 Noise Int.
1. Experiment
2. Tribal Convictions
3. Chaosmongers
4. Technocratic Manipulators
5. Microsolutions To Megaproblems
6. Brain Scan
7. Psychic Vacuum
8. Cosmic Drama
9. Batman

Dimension Hatröss completely took the Voivod expectations (which generally were hard to describe anyhow) and tossed them square on its side. While their previous output Killing Technology saw the band branching into more bizarre sound treatments, this album truly placed them into the "weird" category. Piggy's guitarwork had taken on a fully cosmified sound while Snake sounded more like a robotic drone than the screaming dervish of the past. Needless to say, this concept album flew over the head of many metalheads but instantly created an entire cult legion that still worships this band to this day. While I find Nothingface and Angel Rat to be more to my liking, Dimension Hatröss began the three part glory years for Voivod. Worth digging up.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1998

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Nothingface

Voivod - Nothingface ©1989 Mechanic/MCA
1. The Unknown Knows
2. Nothingface
3. Astronomy Domine
4. Missing Sequences
5. X-ray Mirror
6. Inner Combustion
7. Pre-ignition
8. Into My Hypercube
9. Sub-effect

Now this is where Voivod finally pulled out all the stops and solidified their strange sound progression into an utterly fantastic and unique record the redefined them as a band. Losing the clinical, impenetrable edge of Dimension Hatross while retaining their knack for coming up with music that was entirely skew to the rest of the music world, Nothingface provides a listening experience that is ultimately one of the most rewarding the band would ever create.

The most notable thing about Nothingface is that vocalist Snake had entirely shed his shouting skin for a much more melodic approach that fit in perfectly with the futuristic sci-fi approach the rest of the band was doing. Imagine a universe where artificial intelligence is a major factor with their icy, calculating machine grip. Imagine how cold and perfectly stranded in time and space an actual human might be in that universe. Now imagine if there were four humans simultaneously stranded and decided to start a band. That is how Voivod sounds on Nothingface. The guitar sound is very chromatic and is a tone that very few others have ever used. The rhythm section of Away and Blacky is utterly phenomenal, with Blacky's bass sound a grinding and sinister undercurrent always bubbling beneath the rest of the music. The songs are very oddly structured, with a ton of unexpected twists and turns in the cosmic flow. But most impressively, these changes never lose sight of the song and don't work against the band at all.

Every song here has something worthy of pointing out, though I favor the straight forward rampage of "The Unknown Knows" (which was the catchiest song the band had written up to that point) as well as the kinetic energy of "Into My Hypercube". The band's fascination with Pink Floyd results in a chilling and dispassionately cold cover of "Astronomy Domine". The entire album is just a wonderful rollercoaster ride of completely perpendicular metal that is ultimately one of the most satisfying records of the 80s. There aren't any other records that sound like it and the band themselves would never quite be able to match it. An absolute masterpiece of a fully unique and thunderingly amazing band.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

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Angel Rat

Voivod - Angel Rat ©1991 Mechanic/MCA
1. Shortwave Intro
2. Panorama
3. Clouds In My House
4. The Prow
5. Best Regards
6. Twin Dummy
7. Angel Rat
8. Golem
9. The Outcast
10. Nuage Fractal
11. Freedom
12. None Of The Above

A far cry from the amateur-ish efforts of their first two albums, the aggressive destruction of Killing Technology and the cosmic dissonant experimentation of Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. Rather than further delve into the bizarre, Voivod took a left turn from their left field and created a pop album. Now don't get too crazy or worked up over this because it's still very much Voivod and it's a very dark album. There is a wholeness to this album that none before or after have matched. It was truly too bad Blacky left after recording his bass parts because he never had sounded better and the band hasn't matched this effort since. The main focus of the album is on writing memorable songs that stuck to you like pudding to a Jenny Craig dropout's thighs. And nearly every song is successful in that regard. More importantly, the initial catchiness lasts, as these songs have the depth to remain good even years later. The best songs include the nihilistic alienation (cleverly disguised a note to the President...well, so it seems) of "Best Regards", the sailor's anthem "The Prow", the mystical and edgy title track and the solid straightforward rock of "None of the Above". However, each song is worthy of mention in one respect or another. Quite simply, this is one of the two essential Voivod albums, the other being Nothingface. Hear what pop music should be.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1998

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The Outer Limits

Voivod - The Outer Limits ©1993 MCA
1. Fix My Heart
2. Moonbeam Rider
3. Le Pont Noir
4. The Nile Song
5. The Lost Machine
6. Time Warp
7. Jack Luminous
8. Wrong Way Street
9. We Are Not Alone

The Outer Limits furthered Voivod's explorations of the pop tinged melodic metal category, yet still kept the band standing outside the wire link fence looking in at a playing field of alternative wimp rock bands and poppy punk bands poised to grab the world's collective attention. Now kids, keep in mind that even though Voivod presents their most accessible album yet, The Outer Limits is an apt description of the segment of "pop" they briefly inhabited. Regardless of the essentially catchy infrastructure of songs like "Fix My Heart" or "Wrong-Way Street", the songs here are still inherently weird. Face it. The men in charge of Voivod are naturally odd and the general sci-fi imagery throughout should convince most of you that "pop" is not going to embrace what amounts to Star Trek geeks with guitars with wide open arms. Moreover, the campy liner booklet complete with retro 50's 3-D glasses and artwork should definitely scare away the meek.

The unfortunate part of this album is that it was the last time Voivod would walk this road, which in my opinion was their most interesting diversion. Bassist Blacky had already bailed camp, acting only as a session bassist for 1991's Angel Rat, and singer Snake would leave sometime after this record. Subsequent efforts have found Voivod reverting to an older and less fulfilling style. The Outer Limits, though, would at least be a great ending to a wonderful chapter in the band's career. Creative and interesting throughout, the album is a fine piece of work that should have found much more of an audience than it received. Possibly the only good news is that you can find this CD in nearly any used store or pawn shop. Now toodle off and get a copy.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/1999

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Negatron

Voivod - Negatron ©1995 Mausoleum Records
1. Insect
2. Project X
3. Nanoman
4. Reality?
5. Negatron
6. Planet Hell
7. Meteor
8. Cosmic Conspiracy
9. Bio-TV
10. D.N.A. (Don't No Anything)

Early on in Voivod's career, the various members all solemnly stated that if one member of the original lineup were to leave, Voivod would have to come to a halt as it was supposedly their composite chemistry that made the band what it was. Well, lo and behold, the band survived when bassist Blacky left after the Angel Rat recording sessions. And once vocalist Snake departed, the band still remained in existence with only two original members left. Those two members, drummer Michel Langevin and guitarist Denis D'Amour, recruited vocalist/bassist Eric Forrest (who wasn't given any sort of stage nickname) and forged ahead regardless. The resulting release, Negatron, was a bit of a throwback record to the band's earlier years (approximately around Killing Technology mixed with the technological weirdness of Dimension Hatross) and unfortunately was the band's weakest release since their formative first two albums.

While Forrest is definitely a capable bassist, though not as distinct in sound as Blacky's final two recorded appearances, his vocals leave much to be desired. Thin, forced and raspy, Forrest's vocals are the weakest link and bring down the overall punch of the songs on Negatron. They lack melody, power and distinction for what should be a band chock full of those qualities. Musically, the songs lack the hook that used to reside in Voivod's natural bizarre tendencies. Considering how melodic and progressively artful the band's two previous releases, The Outer Limits and Angel Rat, were, Negatron seems entirely regressive and counterproductive. Voivod had always been a band working two steps ahead of the rest of the pack and suddenly Negatron put them working two steps behind their own progress. Even the guest vocals of Jim "Foetus" Thirlwell on "D.N.A. (Don't No Anything") can't save this record from drowning in its own lack of direction and conviction.

Perhaps some welcomed Voivod's shift to a rawer, more primitive sound, but to my ears, Negatron is a forced effort that completely lacks the inventive nature that made earlier works so refreshing and timeless. I can safely say this is my least favorite release by the band. At least their early, truly primitive works could be attested to a young quartet of men who were still learning their craft. This sort of muck should not have been released by a band who had proven their refined ability over time. Negatron effectively proves the worth of the original chemistry the band's first lineup had.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2001

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Phobos

Voivod - Phobos ©1998 Slipdisc
1. Catalepsy I
2. Rise
3. Mercury
4. Phobos
5. Bacteria
6. Temps Mort
7. The Tower
8. Quantum
9. Neutrino
10. Forlorn
11. Catalepsy II
12. M-Body
13. 21st Century Schizoid Man

I have a very important mission for all Voivod fans. It is of the utmost importance for the future of this unique and entirely amazing band (or duo) so I am enlisting you for the sake of all future Voivod albums. Next time this band sets foot in the studio to record, we sneak in to steal the microphone before Eric Forrest can lay down any vocal tracks. Maybe then we'll have an album that is worthy of the Voivod legacy, as the pair he has been involved with are sub-par and weak.

Phobos should be a great album considering stalwarts Denis D'Amour and Michel Langevin are truly two of the best and most inventive musicians around. D'Amour's guitar sounds like no other, as if they beamed in the amplifier from outer space. His riffing on the title track is a prime example of what this man is capable of. And Langevin shouldn't be this dexterious and frantic so late in the game. But Forrest is bringing this band down. I hate to be one to point fingers and blame "the new guy", but in this case it is warranted. Blacky and Snake were two major characters in the Voivod saga and to attempt to fill both of their shoes is not a task for very many mortals. Forrest's monotonous effects-drenched hollering has the ability to make potentially excellents songs grating. The parts of the album where the band is jamming out are listenable, but when the vocals kick in, I tune out. As a bassist, Forrest is adequate. However, in the future, Voivod should really consider finding a vocalist with the dynamic ability to match the futuristic noodlings of D'Amour and Langevin. Otherwise, I would almost prefer the band call it a day.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1998

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Review #2:

Don't listen to that Jim Cheesey, or whatever his name is, dork who already reviewed this. He's obviously a poser who knows nothing about the true powers of METAL, and the glory of this Voivod album! I say we all boycott his site! Wait, I gotta go ask mom if my Darkthrone shirt is clean yet, so I can be properly kvlt before I grab my quill, eh, keyboard.

As I suppose you might understamd, I love this album. In fact, I consider it to be Voivod's finest hour. After having gone lighter and lighter with each album, their new line-up with Eric Forrest on vocals and bass went back to the more aggressive style of their first few releases, but with the songwriting prowess of a much more experienced unit.

In recent years there's been a lot of attempts at this "cyber" atmosphere in metal, with bands like Thorns and D°dheimsgňrd giving us rather sterile, odd sounding albums. Voivod go for a similar atmosphere, but approach it through a much more organic style using tribal drumming, discordant, angular riffs, lots of reverb and somewhat melodic screamed out vocals. Although it's a return to the more aggressive style, this is in no way a retro album. The songs are all quite excellent, always seemingly perfectly arranged for maximum effect, and occasionally with some nice little sound effects between tracks to strengthen the atmosphere. This is truly, as someone I know likes to put it, an album with an "otherwordly" sound. Their cover of "21st Century Shizoid man" might be the best non-King Crimson version I've ever heard of that song too. This stands as one of my favorite heavy metal albums of the 90s, and naturally comes highly recommended.

Review by ěystein H-O

Review date: 03/2002

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Kronik

Voivod - Kronik ©1998 Hypnotic
1. Forlorn
2. Nanoman
3. Mercury
4. Vortex
5. Drift
6. Erosion
7. Ion
8. Project X
9. Cosmic Conspiracy
10. Astronomy Domine
11. Nuclear War

For the most part, the mid to late 90s were a lost period for Voivod. With the departure of founding members Snake and Blacky over the course of a couple albums, remaining members Away and Piggy recruited a bassist/vocalist named Eric Forrest who was an adequate bassist and rather bland singer. Actually, as my reviews of his two studio efforts (Negatron and Phobos) might indicate, I'm being rather kind in calling him a singer since at best he could offer a toneless, slightly high pitched approach that had very little melody or character. His time in the band consisted of two studio albums, a live album and this compilation that features a mixture of remixes, unreleased songs and live tracks.

To be fair, while Kronik isn't a complete insult to the wallet of fans with the unreleased songs, there's not a whole lot here that warrants much attention. I do enjoy "Ion", which recaptures just a bit of the band's early, thrashier days in its energetic approach, but beyond that fans are treated to more of the same faceless, bland music that Voivod wallowed in with Forrest in the band. The live tracks, while adequately recorded, hardly convince anyone to camp outside a ticket window in hopes of scoring admission to a concert. The remixes seem timid and do not venture into creative realms of possibilities. With the exception of "Ion", the previously unreleased songs are nothing particularly great. This all makes Kronik the type of compilation most fans can safely ignore.

Voivod will go down as one of the more unique bands to emerge in heavy metal, but this period of their existence is unfortunately unremarkable and easily skipped over.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2011

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Lives

Voivod - Lives ©2000 Metal Blade
1. Insect
2. Tribal Convictions
3. Nanoman
4. Nuclear War
5. Planet Hell
6. Negatron
7. Project X
8. Cosmic Conspiracy
9. Ravenous Medicine
10. Voivod
11. In League With Satan
12. The Prow
13. Forlorn

The fact that Voivod is still releasing material, albeit mostly live archives from 1996, is a testament to the perseverence of the band. Having lost half of their original cast over the years and then going through current bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest's severe car accident rehabiliation, Voivod has had more than their fair share of mishaps and disasters. Unfortunately, the biggest disaster continues to be their slow dive into mediocrity since 1993's The Outer Limits, the last to feature original vocalist Snake. As stated in reviews of Negatron and Phobos, Forrest continues to be the one weak link in the Voivod chain. His bass skills are more than adequate, but his vocals are incessantly the most cumbersome and loathesome aspect of modern Voivod. His limited range and style forces the band to ignore much of their back catalogue and with good reason. While Snake was never the best vocalist to ever grip a microphone, his ability to convey melody was solid enough to make Nothingface and Angel Rat classics. Sadly, Forrest's lack of ability causes the setlist to circumvent material that apparently would be too difficult to recreate live. Obviously the band was focusing on material current to 1996's touring, but with Negatron being a fairly dismal album, Lives dies due to that. The inclusion of a couple 1999 tracks only furthers my dismay. Voivod attempts "The Prow" from Angel Rat and never before has it been so obvious that Forrest is unable to handle any sort of melody whatsoever. The band can be given credit for including some very old songs such as "Nuclear War" in the setlist, but at the expense of the middle of their career when they were arguably peaking.

Sadly, my interest in Voivod continues to plummet as long as Forrest is going to be their vocalist. The band, talented beyond all standards, is compromising themselves by adding an abrasive, monodimensional face to their largely multifaceted approach. You'd always hope the band would extend an invitation to Snake to return and let Forrest concentrate on bass in the future. I have never caught Voivod live but if Lives is any indication, I haven't missed a whole lot.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2000

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Voivod

Voivod - Voivod ©2003 Chophouse
1. Gasmask Revival
2. Facing Up
3. Blame Us
4. Real Again
5. Rebel Robot
6. The Multiverse
7. I Don't Want To Wake Up
8. Les Cigares Volants
9. Divine Sun
10. Reactor
11. Invisible Planet
12. Strange And Ironic
13. We Carry On

It's hard to believe we've gone nearly five years without a new Voivod album. During that time, the band has seen a multitude of changes and upheaval that nearly caused the final two remaining members, Away and Piggy, to toss in the towel on their long and mostly impressive career. After all, the band met mixed reviews with bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest and his horrible van accident essentially ended his time with the band. Despite truly disliking his vocals, that's not exactly the exit I would have envisioned for the man. Along the way, the original (and if you ask me, the only true voice) vocalist of the band, Snake, decided making music wasn't so bad after all and rejoined. The final piece of the puzzle was put in place when longtime fan Jason Newsted, independently wealthy from years of playing with some other band, joined as the band's bassist and bankrolled a new studio project. With the voice of Voivod back and hopefully a new spirit for the band, longtime fans such as myself could only hope that Voivod would be back with a vengeance.

Sadly, this isn't the album I was hoping for. Granted, there isn't the grating element of Forrest's reedy, hoarse vocals to turn me off, but this doesn't quite seem like the Voivod of old. While it should be great to hear Snake again, his vocals seem strained and forced throughout much of the album, sometimes to the point of cringing. He was never exactly the most talented vocalist on the planet, but he had a delivery and such character that his technical shortcomings were quickly overlooked. However, on this self-titled release, they are noticeable and prominent. Secondly, the music here is far too straightforward to truly be Voivod as one would wish for. Piggy, whose specialty are riffs that immediately leap out of our planet's gravity well and explore the cosmos, simply sticks to playing riffs that circle the moon, but never any further. The emphasis seems to be more on thickness rather than spaciness. The album does sound like it could be a proper follow up to 1993's The Outer Limits. The music is weirdly accessible but not quite as yummy on a whole. Certainly, there are a few songs that are very catchy and listenable, such as "Facing Up", and there are some examples of Piggy's famous outer dimensional riffing, but on the whole the album fails to really ignite intense passion like most of the band's back catalogue.

Perhaps Voivod will be a stepping stone back into a more inspired songwriting mindset for future projects. However, at this point, I can only mildly recommend this album. Being that it's still Voivod, any longtime fanatic will get this regardless of it not being the pristine recording one would hope for. Perhaps I had expectations that are unrealistic. But no matter the case, this isn't the great comeback I was hoping for.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2003

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Katorz

Voivod - Katorz ©2006 The End/Nuclear Blast
1. The Getaway
2. Dognation
3. Mr. Clean
4. After All
5. Odds & Frauds
6. Red My Mind
7. Silly Clones
8. No Angel
9. The X-Stream
10. Polaroids

By now, everyone knows the tragic story of Voivod's guitarist, Denis D'Amour. In the late 80s, the man professionally known as "Piggy" fought off brain cancer. Unfortunately, after a fairly well received Voivod revival in 2003 with original singer Snake and newcomer Jasonic (Newsted), D'Amour was stricken with an aggressive form of cancer and died in August 2005. One would normally assume that would spell the end of Voivod, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology, D'Amour had plenty of riffs sitting around on demos, with instructions for the band on how to utilize them. As a result, the surviving members of Voivod found themselves essentially with a couple more albums worth of material to work with.

Katorz is the first album to be released posthumously. Perhaps due to the unusual nature of this recording, the album is one of Voivod's least noodling and most straightforward albums in their career. In fact, it's darn near catchy, at least by the standards Voivod set for themselves in their career. The approach the band took takes them straight to the point of the song without burying it in weird spaced out effects or wandering around ala "Jack Luminous". Moreover, the band sounds considerably more cohesive than their first reunion effort (the self-titled album from 2003). That could be attributed the fact that there's very little messing around with the songs, allowing for the basic structures and guitar playing to avoid being overshadowed by effects.

It's a nice tribute to Denis D'Amour that despite his tragic early passing, his work will continued to be enjoyed for years afterwards. Even with the unusual nature of the recording, Katorz easily stands as one of the better Voivod releases in their history and a surprising resurgence for the band.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2008

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Infini

Voivod - Infini ©2009 Relapse
1. God Phones
2. From the Cave
3. Earthache
4. Global Warning
5. A Room with a V.U.
6. Destroy After Reading
7. Treasure Chase
8. Krap Radio
9. In Orbit
10. Deathproof
11. Pyramidome
12. Morpheus
13. Volcano

Infini represents the end of the original Voivod story, the final destination after all the twists and turns in this long running band's career. As we all know, Voivod erupted from Quebec in the early 80s as a strange thrash entity with entirely skewed sensibilities regarding their take on metal. By 1991, original bassist Blacky departed, which set the stage for years of lineup changes and varying quality of music on subsequent studio albums. Vocalist Snake left following 1993's The Outer Limits. He was replaced by Eric Forrest on vocals and bass, which led Voivod into their least relevant phase. Ultimately, a van accident left Forrest unable to perform and Voivod essentially ceased to be. However, around 2001 a certain Jason Newsted, having departed Metallica, talked the band into reuniting with Snake and fronted the money to record and release a new record. Sadly, tragedy struck guitarist Piggy, who passed away from an aggressive cancer in 2005. However, technology allowed Voivod to continue. Before his death, Piggy had recorded two albums worth of guitar tracks onto his laptop and left notes on his vision for the songs. The first album's worth of material was released in 2006. And now, in 2009, we have the final recordings of the dearly departed Piggy in the form of Infini.

For a band whose image and sound has been linked with futuristic technology and robotics, it shouldn't come as any surprise Voivod could release a pair of albums whose main composer had passed on. It is a testament to just how far computer technology has come since the band's inception. Infini, much like Katorz, sounds as though the band laid down the bed tracks live in the studio. Recording technology allowed the remaining members to construct the album around the demo recordings as though they were all sitting around the practice space. As with its predecessor, Infini is a very straightforward album for Voivod. Unlike prime Voivod, the band sounds as though they did not allow an Italian chef to cater the recording sessions, because there is absolutely no noodling around. The songs do vary a bit in catchiness and overall impact. "Global Warning" features a spiffy main riff, but some songs, such as "Pryamidome", tend to plod along. As with Katorz, the songs rarely wander into the nether regions of the cosmos and just stick to the point.

Infini seems to feature the "lesser" of the remaining Piggy guitar tracks, which might explain why a few of these songs fall a bit flat. However, Infini is still considerably better than the band's output in the mid to late 90s, putting it in the middle of the pack of Voivod's discography. And while Piggy has been laid to rest in a very unique and respectful manner, it appears Voivod may continue on as a band. They've recruited guitarist Dan Mongrain for live purposes and Blacky has rejoined the band for touring. Very few bands have experienced as many twists and turns in their career, but one hopes that these guys can continue down the path regardless of how tragedies have shaped things.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2009

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