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Voivod - Nothingface CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.24 | 367 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars An absolutely perfect 5-star album, 'Nothingface' is the apex of Voivod's cosmic adventures in odd time signatures and bizarre rhythms. While they would go on to record very good albums, and one particularly great one ('Angel Rat'), 'Nothingface' remains the quintessential Voivod album. You don't have to look any further than opener "The Unknown Knows" to uncover the band's rare chemistry at this point (1989). A variety of tones and textures are spit out from Piggy's guitar, while the syncopation between bassist Blacky and drummer Away sets the foundation for some of the band's most challenging ideas. The tone of the bass is incredible, taking the fuzzy and distorted "blower" sound of their early work and compressing it into a steely bright sharpness. Away's drum work can never be given enough credit. His nimble rhythmic finesse makes the most of Glen Robinson's crystal-clear recording job. He's a pleasure to listen to, and this album stands as his finest performance, handling every tricky arrangement curveball with ease. It can't be easy to make this angular music flow, but he manages to link every part seamlessly thanks to his intelligent fills and quick thinking. Snake's voice is produced perfectly, distant and robotic but somehow empathetic and human at the same time. His punk influences are long-gone for this voyage, replaced by an approach that is well-considered, subtle, perfect for the material, and all his own.

It's almost futile to pinpoint every high mark on this album. A track-by-track synopsis is unnecessary. Every song carries its own identity, but this album is always, ALWAYS best listened to in one undistracted sitting. However, I have to point out the sublime "Missing Sequences", which still remains for me one of the finest examples of this band at its best. And amidst the dizzying second side, which always struck me as more complex and more challenging than the first half, lies the gorgeous "Into My Hybercube", which offers a few moments of linear calm within the twisting controlled- chaos all around it. And 'Nothingface' also sports one of few examples of a cover song done right. Their take on Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" not only fits perfectly into the vibe of this album, but they quite literally have made the song their own. It doesn't spike out of the running sequence like a sore thumb (as many other covers do), and it even figures into their live set to this day.

'Nothingface''s incredible performances and songwriting are wrapped in a recording job that I've always considered masterful. The band and producer Glen Robinson manage to take this cold and clinical metal and give it a kind of earthiness, an interesting paradox which manages to give this fascinating album even more intrigue.

slipperman | 5/5 |


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