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Voivod - Nothingface CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.24 | 367 ratings

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5 stars Farewell, thrash my love... for I now am progressive: 9/10

Beginning with the simplicity of speed metal, the Canadian band VOIVOD developed a lot through its musical journey, being able to output something as complex as NOTHINGFACE. It is certainly less abrasive than its predecessor, DIMENSION HATR'SS, yet, simultaneously, harbors a much more technical style. This happens because NOTHINGFACE is more equally balanced on its progressive and thrash metal proportions, differently than its predecessor which visibly weighs to the latter's side.

In fact, this is VOIVOD's most significant release for the fact it demarked the band's entrance into progressive metal properly. Easily observable materialistically: fluid shifts of time signatures and intricate rhythms permeate the album; experimentative usage of dissonant chord progressions - which have always been the band's watermark - is intensified; a crystallization of VOIVOD's unique storytelling, coupling it with unusual song structures; there is even a track influenced by the Igor Stravinsky's THE RITE OF SPRING. Technicality? Check. Experimentation? Check. Unconventional song structures? Check. Classical influence? Check. Objectively, NOTHINGFACE is progressive.

Departing from this satirical "objectivity" analysis and going to more subjective waters, I'd say that VOIVOD in certain aspects reminds me of MEGADETH. Both initiated their trajectory as speedy and abrasive bands; both developed - especially on a technical level - astoundingly and were important enough to be part of a "Big Four"; both have two magnum opuses (PEACE SELLS/RUST IN PEACE and DIMENSION HATR'SS/NOTHINGFACE) where the first is rawer whereas the second is more polished and widely revered as superior, and both bands kick ass like hell. I consider both bands' first magnum opus better (I like their crude aggression). Both vocalists have pretty similar timbres but, unlike Mustaine, Denis B'langer actually knows how to sing (not like this makes him better, I love Mustaine's sloppy and ducky vocals) and in many moments seems to mimic the American thrasher. Both second magnum opuses offer legendary and catchy riffs but, unlike MEGADETH, VOIVOD's have an absolutely lackluster amount of solos and when they happen are weak (it sounds like alternative metal at best, Denis. Where's DIMENSION HATR'SS' shredding and spectacular harmonic pinching?).

Aside from the scarce amount of solos, another complaint I found whilst listening to NOTHINGFACE is that, in a certain way, the songs sound a little too similar. I think the issue lies in melody because rhythmically/structurally/lyrically they are individually unique and easily distinguishable from each other.

But hell even this wasn't enough to prevent me from headbanging vigorously to NOTHINGFACE's several anthems like I didn't do in a long, long time. If you're looking for quality, slightly eccentric, technically impressive (impressive, not mind blogging) and mildly extreme metal, look no further. NOTHINGFACE, which lies in the frontier between progressive and thrash, will suffice to appease your thirst - and make you headbang like a nut.

Luqueasaur | 5/5 |


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