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Voivod - Angel Rat CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.84 | 145 ratings

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2 stars Continuing through Voivod's discography we suddenly drop off dramatically from the pinnacle of the band's development that was manifested in their masterworks, Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. All the signs were there for a knockout release: An amazing concept album that was matched in quality and intriguing direction shift by it followup which actually saw the band acheive a degree of popularity. Then the band hooks up with producer Terry Brown, who produced the classic era of prog royalty and fellow Canadians, Rush. With continued major label (MCA) backing the stage was set for something secial. But the magic was not to be. Bassist Jean-Yves Thériault left the band prior to the release, which should have been a warning sign

The product ended up being a very bland output. Shorter songs, pedestrian beats, and a sudden shift toward a very generic chord use and song structure. The only growth that was readily noticeable was the most melodic vocal output from Denis Bélanger to date. But it was not enough to prevent a very uninteresting, lackluster album. Voivod's core story-lines of sci-fi and intrigue was still the motif, but the abandonment of the ritualized dissonance and obtuse rhythm changes distanced the music from the story. The entire project came off as an attempt to be more "accessible" to the alternative college radio crowd that had helped the band achieve the degree of popularity seen on Nothingface. If anything positive could be said of the project outside of Snake's melodicism, it was that the recording quality was top- notch. But it was at best only as good as Nothingface, and if it was in some regard better, it was not so much that one would say, "thank god they hired Terry Brown to achieve this amazing quality".

Angel Rat isn't a "bad" album. It just isn't a good album in the context of what might have been for Voivod. And things would flounder as the years went by with ok, to not so ok, to downright bad albums. It would be 22 years before the band would produce anything close to what they accomplished with Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. There are many who hold Angel Rat in very high regard. I am not one of them. 2 stars.

Tapfret | 2/5 |


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