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Voivod - War and Pain CD (album) cover

WAR AND PAIN

Voivod

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.91 | 54 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
2 stars After several demos and a sampler contribution on Metal Massacre 5 ("Condemned To The Gallows") VOIVOD showed the wide audience the gruesome face of death on their 1984 debut album "War And Pain". This debut release is a little 'odd'! Actually, it's not that great, it sounds like a cheap, rip-off of Venom's "Welcome To Hell" album.

Attention everyone loving unpolished, third-rate speed metal. Be sure to love Voivod's “War and Pain” as well. Some of the reasons why 1984's “War and Pain” sounds strikingly similar to Metallica's “Kill 'Em All” on some parts is because both albums feature a pretty dry production, straight-ahead metal guitar riffs and sometimes sophomoric lyrical content, but while Voivod´s debut sounds horrendously punky and talentless, Metallica´s first album has a deeper guitar tone, better song structures and better musicianship.

Voivod latecomers should know that the group wasn't meant to be a speed metal or even an extreme band as they became an experimental/progressive metal band, as evidenced on the later albums “Nothingface” and “Angel Rat” and which was quite predictable when hearing those progressive rock passages on “Killing Technology”.

The group's first classic, the song "Voivod” is featured here, and is still played by the group in concert to this day (one of the few songs that contains some contrasting textures, even if it's just for about five seconds at the beginning). This tune is probably one of the best ones the band has ever done, with its super catchy roar along chorus and its nice riffwork. Other band’s classics are "Warriors of Ice," "Iron Gang," and the title track, which are all maniacal, fast-paced and about as subtle as being hit by a sledgehammer, but that doesn’t mean they were actually good; they were sloppy and plodding.

By listening to their debut, you can easy to see that the group built their later highly original sound on the foundations of heavy metal. “War and Pain” is by no means an embarrassing debut fro Voivod, it's just that when compared to other speed metal albums of the time, it simply don't delivers that good.

The band still was miles away from the progressive direction of later albums. Halfway accessible song structures with a big Punk portion a la Discharge with a certain tendency to chaos were leaving their mark on this album. Here the comparison with the chainsaw swinging maniacs that butcher everything that is not on the trees at the three count is true. “Nuclear War” with the extremely pressing hatework on the riffs and its rawness is a proof of that.

Conclusion: Ok, enough babbling, if you worship Venom’s “Welcome To Hell” as the best thing in the world and love Discharge and Cryptic Slaughter then will also love "War And Pain". Still, I’d recommend you not to buy this album unless you are a true fan from Voivod or a collector of rare and talentless speed metal albums. Prog-heads beware!

album rating: 5.5/10 points = 56 % on MPV scale = 2/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 2/5 |

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