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4 stars after two disasters the original line up is back, well almost cos new bass player is Jason Newsted who played once with rather unknown band Metallica. so the old lead singer back and there's so much air in the songs, Gasmask Revival is something like Fix My Heart on Outer Limits, very good rock and roll opener. Whole album sounds like something between Dimension Hatross and Outer Limits. very good one. very good cpme back.
Report this review (#33899)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars After two full-length studio albums with a truncated lineup, Voivod returns in mighty form with the reinstatement of original vocalist Snake and weighty addition of Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica), who has long championed this Canadian cult. The music continues in the vein of 1993's 'The Outer Limits', the final album with Snake before his departure. The sound is now beefed up a few notches thanks to Newsted's rumbling bass, making the instrument prominent again in the band's sound for the first time in over 10 years.

'Voivod' is a triumph, in that it pushes the band back on course to continue the natural evolution that was derailed in 1994. Songs remain rock-based, moreso than their earlier thrash and tech-metal efforts, but the progressive mindset is there, as always. Piggy's guitars come uncannily close in tone and chord voicings to 'The Outer Limits'. But the revitalized rhythm section pushing the momentum forward with a semi-chaotic ferocity is the key element that brings a smile to the face of any longtime fan, even moreso than the return of Snake at the mic.

Opener "Gasmask Revival" embodies the energy and pride of this refreshed lineup, a song similar to 'Angel Rat's "Panorama". But the most welcome tunes are the more eclectic ones, with "Divine Sun" sounding very much in the 'Angel Rat' vein with its shimmering psychedelic rhythms and Snake's introspective touch. "Facing Up" is another high point, offering a sobering reading of the state of the world given serious gravity with a mid-paced groove, melting into a crescendo of frantic paces. One of the best moments on the album comes at 2:33, where Piggy's open chords offer a wonderful cyclic melody, with Snake singing the bridge ("Too many problems of science involved...") in phrasings reminiscent of the 'Nothingface' era. "Blame Us" is similar to "Facing Up" in pace and vibe, evolving into a gorgeous ending sequence of psychedelic gloom. Moments of "I Don't Wanna Wake Up" are inspiring, going from the sensitive opening to choppy dissonant rhythms and awesome chord choices from Piggy. "Reactor" and "Rebel Robot" are balancers, offering a more crushing attack than anywhere else on the album...fear, chaos, anger, paranoia and environmental questions coming back into the band's realm of concerns.

The production is magnificent, every musician's character given greater life thanks to the clear and punchy recording. It's Snake who would've benefited from less presence in the mix, his voice spiking out way too far, covering up the music and doing no favors to a voice that is an acquired taste to most (even I, a diehard fan, have a hard time listening to his wailing on "We Carry On"). But for a continuation of the true Voivod evolution, this is one hell of a start. Further, the hidden "song" (according to drummer Away they call it "California") hints at the experimentation Voivod are currently promising for album #11, due in early 2006. Bring it on.

Report this review (#42471)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars After a short inactive period Voivod returned with original singer Snake and big fan Jason Newsted on the bass, who joined them after he had left Metallica. So this album can be considered as a comeback album. I had high hopes for the reunion album, but when I heard the songs, the hope vanished.

What I hear here is still Voivod, but this time the chaotic song structures and the typical dying world feeling disappeard, only a couple of songs contain such chords and ideas. ('Real Again?', 'The Multiverse', 'Strange and Ironic', 'Divine Sun'), in one word simplicity is the dominant factor. Catchy songs like the opening 'Gasmask Revival' (similar to 'Fix My Heart' which is the opening track for the '93 record) are lot of fun, but hardly traditional Voivod. Most of the songs are plain rock/metal, with only minor refereces to the past. It's simply not a characteristic Voivod album, that's the problem. Not bad, but it could have been done much better.

I suggest you buy their previous records, from"'Killing Technology" to "The Outer Limits", and enjoy some true unearthly magic.


Report this review (#45207)
Posted Friday, September 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Headline: This isn't prog.

Quite simply put this is not prog. I find absolutely nothing about this album that hints it is progressive. The music is bland and simply structured lacking melody and other musical traits related to the progressive style. I don't exactly know why Voivod is featured in the archives, but I cannot say it was a wise or even moderate decision to add them.

I will begin my review of the album by asking a question. What punk band did this guy come from. The vocals are aggressive and show no particular skill. Was Snake in the band because he was a friend or because the band actually thought he could sing. The aggressive punk vocals don't any character or sophistication to the album. In fact they keep more musical things from happening by taking up too much of the mix.

Piggy's guitar is built entirely around riffing. There isn't much melody, virtuosity, or creativity coming from this guy. At times some of the parts are quite catchy, but progressive music is something more than catchy. The guitar playing is much more of a metal vein than the vocals are, but it definately takes quite a bit of punk influence, which I thought was the opposite mentality of prog.

The bass is all groove. I don't really have any complaints of Mr. Newsted's performance, but I can't exactly say he's done anything that strikes me as creative or musical. He's basically doing the minimum job of holding down the groove for the rest of the band to show some technique. The problem is the rest of the band doesn't show technique.

The drums are basic, there is some delicate cymbal work at times, but once again like the rest of the band, Michel Langevin doesn't show any particular skills on his insturment. His playing isn't muddled, but there's nothing about it that makes me want to listen to it.

The production is alright for the release it is. With an album like this, the listener can exactly expect crystal clear tones with a variation of synths (obviously there are none). The guitars are dirty and specialize more in chorded playing. The bass has got a lot of bottom end, but never seems to be clear in any other range. The vocals are extremely dirty, which isn't a fault of the producer because the vocalist is of such a dirty style. The drums are clear, but there is nothing interesting about the tone. Many drummers have a distinct attack, but there's none of that here.

This is a one star album. It lucky to even get that because i shouldn't be reviewing a non-prog album on a prog website.

Report this review (#69872)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Voivod" is the self-titled 10th full-length studio album by Canadian metal act Voivod. The album was released in March 2003 by Chophouse Records/ Surfdog Records. After a longer album recording break Voivod is back in business, with a new "old" vocalist as Denis Bélanger (Snake) has returned to the fold. A bit more surprisingly a new bassist is added in Jason Newsted (Metallica, Flotsam & Jetsam) here with the nickname Jasonic. They replace vocalist/ bassist Eric "E-Force" Forrest who was crippled after breaking his back in a car accident in 2001.

Compared to the harder edged sound on the two Eric Forrest led albums "Negatron (1995)" and "Phobos (1997)", Voivod has taken a step back to the more melodic alternative/ slightly progressive metal sound they embraced in the early nineties. Especially "Angel Rat (1991)" comes to mind, but the material on "Voivod" isn´t nearly as memorable or innovative as the material on "Angel Rat" (or any other of the early Voivod albums for that matter). 13 tracks distributed over 65:38 minutes is a bit much when the songs don´t stand out more than they do. It´s not like there are any particularly bad tracks on the album and as such the quality level is consistent, but highlights are few and far between, which makes the album a rather standard/ mediocre release.

On the positive side the musicianship is excellent and the production is warm and powerful. The tracks lack a bit of edge and surprising instrumental moments, but there´s no denying the delivery is professional.

All in all "Voivod" is a decent comeback album by Voivod, but it doesn´t add much new to their discography. I had hoped for more but a 3 star rating is still warranted.

Report this review (#146969)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars This is a difficult album to judge. It's not bad, a bit long maybe, with too little variation in both tempo, volume and melodies. Nothing at all like the spaced-out prog rock of vintage years but still, for the most part entertaining.

New bass wielder Jason Metallica adds a nice groove and power that we hadn't heard on previous Voivod albums. It's supported by the drums in a ceaseless 4/4 mid-tempo. The guitars as well are kept straightforward and are mainly reduced to catchy grooves. While all this could still bring about a great rock album, the effect is largely destroyed by Snake's forced and monotonous delivery. He proves to be the biggest disappointment on this record. He had never been much of a vocalist, but the years he spent away from Voivod apparently didn't do no good.

Compared to the outstanding '88-'93 period where they offered consistently frightening, oppressive and overwhelming music, this album is no match. But it's a decent rock album in its own right.

Report this review (#237604)
Posted Sunday, September 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars After a break of six years, the reunited band comes back with this album and has once again completely changed its style. On this album, the band approaches a stoner or rock and roll sound with some alternative elements.

The album begins very straight and powerful with the brilliant "Gasmask Revival" and "Face Up", but the next songs all sound too similar, too faceless. There is much more groove in thise songs, but a lack of straightness and heaviness. Nothing special stays on your mind, there are no innovating space sounds, hilarious solos or conceptual and atmospheric intros or interludes that this band has often done. Only one song slightly surprises you in the middle of nowhere, which is "I Don't Want To Wake Up" which remains me of an old Metallica ballad. Sure thing, because Jason Newsted has joined Voivod for this album. A part of this exception, one song after the other goes by and the album really becomes boring before the catchy single and album closer "We Carry On" reconnects with the straight opener of the album and pulls the listener out of a big black hole of boredom.

Four good efforts out of thirteen songs plus hidden track aren't simply enough for such a brilliant band. They are still innovating and have once more reinvented themselves on this album, but the weird and eerie sounds of the past, the surprising and courageous elements from their last efforts have gone away on this album. The new style sounds too faceless. I must call this album their weakest one in their whole album discography.

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

Report this review (#383281)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Voivod' - Voivod (6/10)

Six years had past after Voivod came out with 'Phobos'. Along with 'Negatron', mid-to-late nineties were a somewhat depraved time for Voivod, and lacking the distinctive voice of their frontman Denis Belanger, it almost felt like a different band altogether. Although the bass was now being handled by someone new, this was essentially a return to the way that Voivod once was, for the most part. Although the songwriting here lacks the same adventurous spirit and classic quality about it as did Voivod's early material, there is still a good batch of tracks here that should pleasantly satisfy the band's fanbase, provided they don't expect something as exciting as their earlier material.

Voivod's self-titled somewhat reminds me of Metallica's 'Black Album' in the sense that their core sound is still there, but alot of what made them originally so damned intense has been sheathed away. Mostly, the unexpected time signature changes and dissonant riffs have been done away with, and while Voivod's unique sound is still here, it feels like Voivod-lite. There is still spaciness, but it is generally a tame feeling, and most noticeable here are the surprisingly conventional riffs. Piggy is one of the greatest guitarists in metal for me, but hearing him here, his genius is much less evident, maybe sparing a few quirky riffs and a distinctive guitar tone that is used throughout. The songwriting here is pretty good, and it is very clear that it is Voivod the listener is dealing with, even barring the unique way that the band performs. Although this is still on an entirely different plane than 'Negatron' or 'Phobos', I very much believe that 'Voivod' could have been much better than it is. Even with the conventional riffs, things are highly enjoyable, but the monotony wears thin within a few tracks. This is because Voivod have made the sometimes fatal pairing of keeping their sound and direction generally the same throughout the entire thing, and being over an hour long in length, even a diehard Voivod fan will be likely to think that the thing could do with a little trimming.

Had I listened to this at the time it came out in 2003, I would have been pleasantly surprised to hear the Voivod I love making a return to form. In the overall scheme of their career though, it feels like the self-titled album can only pale when compared to the truly innovative stuff that the band did in the 80's and early 90's. 'Voivod' is still a good album, but doesn't hold the same place in my heart as do the classics.

Report this review (#493114)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars This includes new boy Jasonic, otherwise known as Jason Newsted. I think that it is fair to say that there has been more noise about Jason joining the band of which he has been a fan for so long, than when he was picked up out of Flotsam & Jetsam to join Metallica. When you are a member of the biggest band in the world just what are you doing leaving them to join a Canadian outfit that have been going for over twenty years?!!

It is something that he has been contemplating since 1995, and he has now joined Snake, Piggy and Away who were all members as long ago as 1984 when the band first came to public recognition. I know that they have released many albums that are viewed as important, but for some reason I had never heard any of their music and somehow had formed the impression that they were noise merchants.

But that is a long way from the truth, as this is a solid slab of metal that moves and grows and is extremely powerful and forceful. Jason has linked up with Piggy in a way that is most unusual. Normally the bass guitar sticks with the drums, laying down a rhythm for the guitars to pit against. But on this album the bass and guitar are often locked together which gives it a distinctive solid sound. Even Motörhead, who have some of the most powerful bass guitar in the business, don't do it like this as in that case Lemmy is providing a rhythm guitar section.

From "Gasmask revival" through to the last song "We Carry On" there is not a filler in sight. Fans of Metallica will flood to this just to hear what it sounds like and they will not be disappointed but rather very surprised and pleased indeed. This is a great album, spoilt only by the fact that it has been set so that it won't play in a PC, which for me is a real pain.

Originally appeared in Feedback #72, Feb 03

Report this review (#978678)
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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