Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Voivod - Phobos CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.02 | 60 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is the ultimate apocalypse, the dystopian genocide or at least the vision of it. Dark, eerie, mechanically thrilling industrial sounds and weird voices suck the listener into an infinite black hole of despair, into a strange universe - the universe of the Voivod. Disharmonic song structures, depressing and melancholic monotony are mixed with angry screams of crazy despair, a singing style that works as a metaphor, as a dark instrument. Low tuned and spacey shredding guitars mechanise and "instrumentalize" the singer and make you travel between the universes as your synapses collapse. The bass guitar sounds low tuned, darkly vibrating. The drums feel like volcanic eruptions or colliding meteors in a hellish parallel universe. This diabolic mixture slowly leads you to a hiatus in madness. "Phobos", that's the perfect title to it, making allusion to the moon of Mars and the term of fear in a apocalyptic world with ho tomorrow. Songs pass by like the final chapter of a book of suffering, telling without a pity about a devastating dystopia leading to its final downfall. Strange, confusing and uneasy interludes give us some breaks, just to make us think about the unspeakable horrors in this universe. Rarely any album has been that intense and atmospheric, created such a tension and leaded us to such a dramatic climax, just to let us in doubt, depression and fear as the apocalypse has approached but not yet passed in the end. This is no easy stuff!

It is difficult to mention so called "highlights" in a conceptual album like this which works as a whole one. Some songs even just work in this context and that is maybe one of the reasons why the band's concerts at that time weren't much successful. How can you recreate such an atmosphere and play such songs on stage? The only song which also works as a song itself is "Forlorn", the intense final chapter of pain and despair of this album with the most addicting chorus. The bonus song "M-Body", the bands first collaboration with Jason Newsted, is also a little bit more harmonic and easier to listen to. The second bonus track "Twenty First Century Schizoid Man", a King Crimson cover, has been used on a few radio stations to promote the album and honours a great band and a milestone album and one of Voivod's main influences in the last years. The song has been adapted to Voivod's new and inhuman style without losing the uniqueness and charm of the original version, this band really has the talent to do reinterpretations and cover songs in a stunning and very personal approach.

The title song "Phobos" is somehow a summary of the album with its spherical shredding guitar play from another dimension and the crazy, inhuman screams out of nowhere mixed with weird and eerie sound effects. It is perfectly logical to make this song the title track. This song is the preview, the album is the entire movie, the bonus songs are the director's cut. If you like the song "Phobos", you must listen to the whole creation. If you are a newbie and want to get a good idea of the album, try this song first.

Voivod creates a dystopian, spacey, aggressive metal out of any category. This has nothing to do with the band's thrash and punk roots or the progressive works a few years ago, you can maybe best compare it to the last record called "Negatron" but there are still worlds between those two records. Voivod don't care about expectations or trends, they offer really heavy and inaccessible stuff which causes you headaches and vertigo for sure when you listen to it for the first time. This album doesn't give you any long breal, the dystopian and disharmonic atmosphere is never broken and you get constantly addicted to it until it is too late to escape.

This album could even be too much for you. It may disturb you, it may depress you, mix you up. You may not often be in the mood to listen to this album. But if you are, you will adore this true masterpiece.

This is not just music, it is surreal art, it is a strange game play, it is about existential emotions. The unholy and suicidal atmospheres which most of the black metal bands try to create are nothing in comparison to this album.

In the end, this album is like a good old wine. The more you listen to it, the more you will like and you get ultimately drowned into it after a first and maybe shocking and disturbing experience. But as good old wine, you need to take your time and be patient to fully enjoy this record. On the other side, too much of it may make you lose your mind. Don't underestimate this album. I assure you that it's pretty much intense!

Originally published on on October 6th of the year 2010.

kluseba | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this VOIVOD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives