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Voivod - Nothingface CD (album) cover

NOTHINGFACE

Voivod

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.22 | 198 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Detached technical metal with some shining moments.

Another very technical prog album from Voi Vod, "Nothingface" follows along the same lines as the previous release "Dimension Hatross", science fiction concepts, odd time sigs that change constantly and very heavy riffs. Snake's vocals are easy to listen to, no growling at all, and lots of innovative styles. The sterile lyrics and sheer detachment the band conveys on this will alienate some and, in my opinion, hinders it from being up to the standard of the previous release.

It begins with The Unknown Knows, a low droning sound is heard that builds into spacey industial noise, then Piggy's distorted mega riffs and howling lead screams out. The riff that follows is a fast tempo fractured ametrical pattern. It sounds the same as "Dimension Hatross" album but delightfully so as that was a terrific release. It doesn't take long until the odd time shifts begin; at 3:44 a broken signature pummels the order into glorious chaos. The bass pounds deep and resonates with excellent pulsating drums.

Astronomy Domine is one of the best Pink Floyd covers, Voi Vod also did other Pink Floyd songs but nothing comes close to this. The harmony in the verse is similar to early Floyd. I love the way Piggy plays the metal riffs to this classic instead of the "oooooohs". The lead break is astounding, as good as I have heard on this song. It also has that "Ummagumma" quiet section, and is very spacey and must be the heaviest version ever. Quite simply this track is a masterpiece.

Missing Sequences has a strong rhythm and features a booming bass solo and some innovative guitar work. Snake sings some excellent melodies on this track, and definitely it is a great performance from Piggy who keeps perfect timing with the percussion in very complex technical patterns.

X ray Mirror lyrics make sense "Tunnel seems so long, Touching the bottom, A slim reflexion, Punctured my vision, I didn't notice, Beside the last door, Standing on nothing, There was a mirror." The time sigs are in constant flux, competing with odd drumming and bassline shapes.

Inner Combustion is a great song with powerful lyrics; "All am I, I am all, Fluorescent light, Pellucid mineral, Essential dogma, Excludes the logical, Immobile centre, One, two, three for nothing, Projection ponder, Under a raven's wing, Catalyst fusion, Inner combustion." Piggy's metal riffing is second to none and he is simply at his best here, especially the grinding lead break. Snake's vocals remind me of Hawkwind at times.

Pre-ignition is a faster song with some inventive signatures and weird lyrics; "Grinding round, The hydraulic wheel, Extraction, The ultimate greed, Now hidden from view, Surveying stable shifts, A feeble groove, Unintentional split." It's not a love song. The industrial sounds add to the overall concept of decayed social damage by pipes and factories that pollute the skies in an apocalyptic future dystopia.

Sub-Effect has some awesome riffing that slices and dices any sense of consistent timing; perhaps it is consistent in that it has chaotic punctuations consistently. It has a terrific middle section with chiming guitar, especially the section where Snake sings "Please no Too late for S.O.S. Mute island, fish-eye view, Circling the border line, No resource, no rescue, I'm stranded, I'm otherwise."

There are lots of moments to savour for metal heads and prog fans alike but this album did not impact me as much as "Dimension Hatross" previously. Perhaps it was too similar, or too mechanised; either way it did not surprise me and did not feature as many highlights. Nevertheless, "Nothingface" is a solid Voi Vod album and worthwhile seeking out, if only, for nothing else, the Astronomy Domine masterpiece.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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