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Voivod - Dimension Hatross CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.30 | 235 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I will never forget the first time I put the needle down on 'Dimension Hatross'. It was 1988, the album had just been released, I was already a fan, and there were murmurings that this was going to be a very different kind of metal album. What exploded out of the speakers was a revelation, a portal into something completely fresh and original. This is what being blasted into hyperspace might feel like...

If guitarist and main riff writer Piggy had hinted at his unusual approach on previous albums, then 'Dimension Hatross' was and remains his maturation as one of the most innovative players within and outside of metal. Dissonance tangles with odd diminished fingerings, laid over some highly unusual time signatures and complex rhythmic ideas. Bassist Blacky and drummer Away are insanely tight on this album, steering through this fascinating and sometimes frightening cosmic drama with a natural ease. The bass sound is appropriately clinical yet still sounds gargantuan, and Away remains focused and nimble, one of those drummers who carries his own unique style. Amongst everything you're asked to grapple with--from opener "Experiment" to the album's final moments--one of the most remarkable traits, especially on first listen, is Snake's voice. There's no trace of his previous snarling, insulting self.he, like the rest of his band, morphed into the new Voivodian world as necessary, sometimes cold and robotic, sometimes flailing in a monotone/monochrome half-shout, never too aggressive, always perfectly personifying the exotic air of the album. 8 songs, 8 solid trips into rhythms and metallic distortions unlike anything that came before it. "Tribal Convictions" remains the standout on the album. It's the most complete trip, from the creepy tribal thunder of the opening, to the hypnotic mid-paced pulse of the body, to the watery syncopation in the middle and the frantic thrash-rush of the ending. But that's not to overlook other highlights like "Chaosmongers" (built around one seriously tight, chugging, affective riff), "Technocratic Manipulators" (the most difficult listen, with a wide variety of alien rhythms that somehow maintains one of the most linear grooves on the album), and side two's ultra-spacey "Brain Scan" and weird tech- shocker "Psychic Vaccum". These and the other tracks possess highlight after highlight. I've heard this album probably 150 times in its entirety, and I still listen with wonder.

To their credit, all the technicality and complexity doesn't result in coldness. This is a human album with just the right balance of earthiness and alienation. Truly progressive, in every sense of the word.

(P.S. CD copies tack on "Batman", the theme from the '60s TV show. Vinyl was the dominant format in 1988, and I have never considered it a part of the album. It might've been fun live, but it lessens the effect of the album beyond words.)

slipperman | 5/5 |


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