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Voivod - Target Earth CD (album) cover

TARGET EARTH

Voivod

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.88 | 79 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Target Earth" is the 13th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive/thrash metal act Voivod. The album was released through Century Media Records/Iron Gang Factory in January 2013. Since the death of original guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour in August 2005, the band have released "Katorz (2006)" and "Infini (2009)", which were recorded with guitar tracks demoed by D'Amour before his untimely death. A rather unusual way of recording, that presented the band with a number of technical difficulties, which they overcame in order to honour their fallen brother. Itīs up for discussion if the end results were artistically succesful, but they probably helped the band through their mourning process and they were certainly both interesting studio experiments. On "Target Earth" the band have added a new guitarist to the lineup in Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain. Mongrain is not completely new in the lineup though as he has toured with Voivod since 2008 and also recorded the "Warriors of Ice (2011)" live album with the band. He is also a member of technical death metal act Martyr. "Target Earth" also sees the return of original bassist Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault on a studio recording. He too has been part of the band since 2008 though.

So 3/4 of the original lineup is back together, but the big question is of course how Mongrain pulls it off playing on new original material, keeping in mind that D'Amour was always the main composer in the band (not to mention one of the most original and unique sounding guitarists in metal). Thankfully Mongrain delivers a performance that is both true to the Voivod sound but also adds a few personal touches along the way. His touch is espeically heard in the well played guitar solos, but there are other details in his playing that set him apart from D'Amour too. Itīs still predominantly dissonant riffing thatīs on the menu though, so donīt despair if you miss D'Amour. This still through and through sounds like Voivod. Of course thatīs also obvious when Denis "Snake" Bélanger starts singing in his trademark raw punked singing style.

Stylistically the music on "Target Earth" sits somewhere between the progressive thrash of "Dimension Hatröss (1988)", the psychadelic tinged progressive metal of "Nothingface (1989)" and when itīs most melodic "Angel Rat (1991)" and "The Outer Limits (1993)". But the band still succeed in creating a sound thatīs somewhat unique for "Target Earth". The band are as always very well playing and itīs an absolute joy to hear Jean- Yves "Blacky" Thériaultīs distorted bass on a Voivod album again. The sound production is professional and powerful sounding. The material is generally entertaining and as usual sci-fi themed, which songtitles like "Target Earth", "Kluskap Oīkom" and "Mechanical Mind" bear witness to.

After a couple of albums that didnīt exactly live up to the quality I expect from Voivod, itīs safe to say that "Target Earth" is a return to form. "Target Earth" is simply miles ahead of "Katorz (2006)" and "Infini (2009)" in terms of quality and memorability. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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