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Voivod Angel Rat album cover
3.85 | 166 ratings | 19 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shortwave Intro (0:26)
2. Panorama (3:14)
3. Clouds in my House (4:48)
4. The Prow (3:50)
5. Best Regards (3:51)
6. Twin Dummy (3:07)
7. Angel Rat (3:46)
8. Golem (4:47)
9. The Outcast (3:19)
10. Nuage Fractal (4:00)
11. Freedoom (4:42)
12. None of the Above (4:16)

Total Time: 44:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Denis Bélanger "Snake" / vocals
- Denis d'Amour "Piggy" / guitar, keyboards
- Michel Langevin "Away" / drums

- Ray Coburn / keyboards
- Ivan Doroschuck / keyboards (9)
- Jean-Yves Thériault "Blacky" / bass, keyboards
- John Bailey / synth programming
- Pierre Jasmin / computer programming

Releases information

Artwork: Michel Langevin

LP MCA Records ‎- MCA 10293 (1991, US)

CD MCA Records ‎- MCAD 10293 (1991, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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VOIVOD Angel Rat ratings distribution

(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

VOIVOD Angel Rat reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marc Baum
4 stars This is the first Voivod album that I have discovered and I must say that I am blown away with this spaced up metal release! It's very hard to describe their type of music in some words, but "Angel Rat" is strongly Rush oriented, one reason could be that Terry Brown had recorded it. The opening song "panorama" is very accesible for this band, most of their songs are very complicated to understand at the first listening, but with this song they had broken this rule! The whole album sounds like Rush on speed, but don't forget the voice Denis Belanger, which is just state of art! Well, I still enjoy the whole album when I hear it, but there is one song that sets a bit apart from the others, that's the title track. Unbelievable atmospheric, spaced-up, melodic prog song. In the beginning days of Voivod, their name stand for alien-themed, punk-styled thrash metal, since "Killing Technology" the things turned into more psychedelic kind of hard rock/metal ('til "Nothingface" all was a little bit Pink Floyd influenced, for example they also coverd a song from PF on Nothingface), but "Angelrat" was the most melodic and accesible work to date by this band and showed their faible for Rush progressive sounds, mixed together with fast heavy metal power. Those, who think this sounds interestening, should watch out for "Angel Rat" and Voivod in general. I highly recommend this album as a fan of metal & progressive rock!
Review by slipperman
5 stars Funny how one of the most streamlined Voivod albums is also considered their deepest foray into prog-rock. Also funny how so many people hated this album when it was released in 1991, but now admit liking it. That's okay.some of the best albums are the ones that take a long time to sink in. I loved 'Angel Rat' from the beginning, but was still shocked at the direction they took, especially considering the last we'd heard from them was the cold tech-fest of 'Nothingface'. Where that album was incredibly ambitious, painstakingly thought-out and sonically antiseptic, 'Angel Rat' exudes a natural, earthy flow. Helped by the tight yet expansive production job of master Terry Brown (yes, THAT Terry Brown), 'Angel Rat' is a triumph.

Gone are the difficult rhythms, the cybernetic coldness replaced by wide, warm vistas of guitar, subtle beds of keyboards and Away's maturation as a drummer of pure feel and deep-pocket groove. Opening track "Panorama" reflects these traits, a straightforward plunge into cerebral rock. Masterfully crafted, its deceptively simple arrangement is bulked up considerably by the infectious rhythmic drive and Snake's (finally) human vocal approach. "Clouds In My House" brings the prog in, with a gorgeous backdrop of shadowy keyboards laying down its foundation. Rhythms are driving and smooth, with a wonderful tone to Blacky's bass. At this point it becomes quite clear that no other metal band had ever progressed so far in so short a time. To think that the churning noise of 'Rrroooaaarrr' was only 6 short years before 'Angel Rat', and that all 4 members made this evolution see how 'Angel Rat' is a very special album in the band's discography.

"The Prow" is next. Capable of conjuring deep emotional reaction, this deceptively simple song is spiced with a shimmering mid-section and a compelling nautical vibe. Purely passionate performances from all members. There's a lot to say about its superbly crafted 3:30 running time, but let me only point out Away's hi-hat/snare syncopation--a joy to listen to every time. (An underrated master of his instrument.) From here the album scatters in a variety of directions, from more straightforward moments like "Best Regards", "Twin Dummy" and "The Outcast" (all of them having their own character) to spacious epics (in scope, not in elapsed time) like "Angel Rat" and "Freedoom". Piggy's guitar work is compact and relativity conservative, but when he shines, he's a neon star exploding. Check out his deceptively simple "lead" at the end of "Best Regards": one caterwauling note-bend that finally dissolves into space. Intuition on the level of David Gilmour. Blacky's bass is a crisp punch during this entire sequence. This song is one of his best moments; it's sad this was to be his final album with the band.

Though they're fairly short (3:35 and 4:37, respectively), "Angel Rat" and "Freedoom" are the prog highlights on the album. The title track is sympathetic and edgy, making smart use of dynamics and getting the most out of their studio and producer. "Freedoom" is a cosmic chill-out that ends up exploding in an "Astronomy Domine" fashion in its climax. And then there's the sad tale of "Golem" (dominated by Blacky's simple-but-effective bass lines) and the science-fact lesson of "Nuage Fractal", both deep-album tracks that keep the album moving with considerable momentum. Things come to an end with the urgent "None Of The Above", which swings the folk-tale musings and science-fiction delving back to the real world. A driving, rhythmic, pulsing song, the album ends almost like it began.

'Angel Rat' is Voivod's ultimate triumph. It shows a band that has learned much from the experimental and complex material of albums previous. It is masterfully written and suberly performed, a clutch of songs maintaining the spirit of discovery and progression they've always strived towards, with emphasis on studio creation, songcraft and aural escapism. Everything the band had been working toward comes to fruition on 'Angel Rat'. It was a commercial failure upon release, but seems to be enjoying a resurrection as an "ahead-of-its-time" prog-metal classic these days. Long may it fly out of the cut- out bins.

Review by Melomaniac
4 stars After having perfected their truly original sound (from Killing Technology to NothingFace), Voivod could have easily made a Nothingface part II and fans would have been wild with glee and admiration. But instead, it was decided to try something totally different from their previous outings, more daring, more melodic, progressive, psychedelic and less metal. I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that Voivod served as an opening act for Rush (during the Presto tour in Montreal, Voivod presented Nothingface live to a much bewildered audience), but the influence is there for all to notice. Heck, even old-time Rush producer Terry Brown produced this one !!! And to good effect.

Long time Voivod bassist Jean-Yves 'Blacky' Thériault, probably in part due to the band's sound shift, serves time here as a session player, but is still giving it all. He is creative and has a great tone. Axeman Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour shows his prog influences like never before here, as one can easily discern an approach similar to Alex Lifeson's songwriting and use of the instrument. Skinpounder Michel 'Away' Langevin also displays interesting creativity, opting for intricate drum parts rather than the usual double bass-drum beats of the past , fitting perfectly with the style of this album. The most improved upon aspect of Voivod on this album though are the vocals. We get to hear interesting and creative melodies courtesy of Denis 'Snake' Bélanger, who turns out to be a surprisingly good vocalist on Angel Rat.

The songs on this offering are varied, yet all good. A great listen from beginning to end. Prog lovers not into metal should find this album interesting. Though not a masterpiece, I give this album four well deserved stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Angel Rat was a dissapointment to me a first, but it´s grown a little on me. This was the last album Blacky would appear on, and you can hear why. There is not much left of his signature rumbling bass ( it´s there, but due to the more subtle compositions it´s not as prominant as before), and maybe he didn´t feel there was a need for him in the band anymore.

Compared to Voivod´s earlier materiel and especially the masterpieces Killing Technology, Dimension Hatröss and Nothingface the music had become much simpler and more song orientated. The structure of the songs are very much radio rock like, which to me is dissapointing as I am bored quickly with this structure.

There are gems on Angel Rat though and a song like "the Prow" is in my eyes the most catchy and melodic song Voivod has ever written. Beautiful track, just beautiful. Songs like "Panorama", "Clouds in my House" and "Golem" have strong melodies too, but I grow tired through the album of the simple song structures and repeated choruses.

This album is not very progressive in any way, and I´m sure this is not the album that paved the way for Voivod´s place in the Prog Archives.

A solid offering though, it´s just pretty mediocre, and not very progressive.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars The flow that the band had transfered the register to Mechanic Records of the affiliate of MCA in 1989 was indeed time of the revolution for the band. Voivod that receives the advice of a good flow and directionality for the band announces "Nothingface" in 1989. The impression as the content of overall a little dyspepsia might have been given to the listener in this album. However, the directionality of the music of the band leapt surely and rapidly. As for the power of the band, the listener might also have felt the appearance gradually revolutionized.

Act and meaning that performs tune of Pink Floyd. And, they have enumerated the name of Van Der Graaf Generator as one of the bands that were influenced Voivod. They surely changed the music character. The element of Thrash Metal and Punk Rock shown by an initial music character gradually became progressive on the boundary of "Nothingface".

The story that appointed Terry Brown to the producer lifted around them for producing this album. Terry Brown is famous on business with Rush. And, it is guessed that the tour in Canada to which Voivod went with Rush at this time gave a good effect for Voivod. The opinion of the company that belonged and the opinion of Terry Brown might have greatly influenced the situation in which the music character of Voivod changed remarkably.

When it composed music, intellectual sounds of men who had them listen in this album and philosophical lyrics will have been a very important, perfect challenges. The element that the band had is originally revolutionized further and the song of Vocal has been changed compared with an initial work, too. Especially, power of "Clouds In My House" and active element. Or, the progress of sensual Riff and the code is perfect. It is correct and one of the famous piece of musics of them. mightThe frame of Thrash Metal that "The Plow" and "Best Regards" are simple is exceeded. An element of Groove of "Golem" and a sensual melody might succeed, too. And, the usage and the dash feeling of the harmonica of "The Outcast" are also preeminent.

The speed that the band at this time revolutionized might have been very rapid. And, the root of the member of the band is united and progresses splendid music to the tune. And, Voivod faces development toward one top that is called "The Outer Limits".

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is quite a change compared to their previous effort. The overall sound is still very Voivod, maybe with a hint of 80's Rush in song writing and drum style. But gone are the over-complex song structures and the cool and almost sterile sound. Instead we get very straightforward but enjoyable guitar rock with catchy melodies, clean singing, restrained arrangements, excellent bass work and a rhythm section that plunges in no time through this fine set of songs. All this will probably not sound very appealing to hardcore metal heads and the album did certainly not found its way to most fans. But it's a jewel for anybody that's into great melodic rock songs.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Back in the eighties and early nineties I lived in this small cottage that had been winterized, it probably wasn't even 500 square feet in total. Anyway we didn't have cable TV either so the two channels we did get were CBC and Global, both Canadian of course.There was this show that came on late Sunday morning that we always watched unless we were still sleeping that interviewed bands and showed videos and did silly things. It was kind of cool, and it was on that show that I first heard of VOIVOD. They interviewed them and SOUNDGARDEN because they were on tour together. SOUNDGARDEN was opening for VOIVOD on their "Nothingface" tour.They showed clips of both bands work back then and they were experimental and very different from what I was into. VOIVOD got the opportunity to open for RUSH on that same tour and since they were fans and would get some great exposure, it was a win win for them. RUSH suggested they get Terry Brown to produce their next album which turned out to be "Angel Rat" a completely different sounding animal to all the albums they had done previously. This was melodic and catchy yet still heavy and dark at times. Interesting how VOIVOD and SOUNDGARDEN released more accessible albums in 1991 in "Angel Rat" and "Badmotorfinger" respectively. I remember on that same TV show in 1991 seeing the video for "Clouds In My House" and thinking that is so good. Would you believe up until this year I could not put my hands on this album. It's out of print and badly needs to be re- issued. Thanks again to Bonnek for coming through for me. I'm glad I don't live close to him because he'd probably have me doing yard work or something to make up for all this music.

After a short intro we get "Panorama" which hits the ground running. Ripping guitar 2 minutes in. I like how the mood changes on the chorus. Great tune. "Clouds In My House" is a top three for me. It turns heavy quickly with vocals. Lighter on the chorus. It RUSH-like just before 2 1/2 minutes with bass and guitar then the guitar lights it up. Vocals are so good. "The Prow" is another top three track. It's uptempo and vocal led. Such a feel good tune. It settles before 2 minutes then kicks back in with some killer guitar. "Best Regards" is a good little rocker. It settles into a slower but heavier groove before 2 1/2 minutes.

"Twin Dummy" is a straight forward uptempo rocker until it turns a little experimental before 2 minutes. "Angel Rat" is the other top three tune. It reminds me of the eighties. I like this a lot. It's more laid back as guitar makes lots of noise. Vocals are great too. "Golem" opens with some good low end sounds as vocals and guitar join in. A change after 2 1/2 minutes. "The Outcast" opens with heavy guitar and drums as vocals join in. Excellent track. "Nuage Fractal" is dark and heavy with vocals. "Freedom" opens with gentler guitar with bass, drums and then reserved vocals. It kicks in after 2 minutes. How good is this ! Especially 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "None Of The Above" is heavy with vocals and check out the guitar 2 minutes in.

Easily 4 stars.

Review by Gooner
3 stars I dug into the archives to give good'ole "Angel Rat" - Voivod a pair of fresh ears. There are a couple of turkeys on there(yes, including "Angel Rat" the title track with the awful opening lyric_the idiot walks along the canvass_, "Twin Dummy", "None Of The Above"...just awful). However, everything after the track "Angel Rat" is prime Voivod(in their psych-era)...and the opener "Short Wave Intro/Panorama" [email protected]#$%^&' rocks! "Clouds In My House" is an alternative classic with a great video to boot! Sounding more Rush than ever(due to Terry Brown's involvement as producer). A darker mood prevails which sets it apart from the previous mechanical sounding Nothingface. "Angel Rat" is another transitional album which would move Voivod forward into the prog.rock masterpiece known as "The Outer Limits' from 1993.
Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Angel Rat' - Voivod (7/10)

Although I'm entering the fanhood of Voivod a little later than most of the band's dedicated apostles, I've been listening to the albums from this band's illustrious career, and piecing together a timeline of their stylistic changes. The band started out with a clearly defined root in thrashy speed metal, but around the middle of their career, Voivod was morphing their sound with every album. 1989's 'Nothingface' was one such album that showed Voivod doing something new, and as the peak of their metal output, it was a jaw-dropping display of progressive thrash metal. Now, after such an exciting style that the band had finally found for themselves, a fan of the band at the time would probably have thought that Voivod would continue to pursue that sound for themselves, releasing album after album of similar sounding 'Nothingface' successors. Even though it came out twenty years ago, the band's sixth album 'Angel Rat' still comes as a big surprise to me. Instead of sticking with this golden style that they had innovated with 'Nothingface', they instead move on again in search of new ways to approach their music Toning down their metal grit in favour for a more mellow take on Voivod's distinct sound.

I would restrain myself from calling this a metal album; while Voivod was most certainly a metal band in earlier albums, there is not nearly the same bite here that they used to have. The songs are given mostly conventional structures, and if I was going to give any label to this music, it would have to be 'spacey hard rock'. While hearing 'Angel Rat' described like this would have me think that they were dumbing down their sound in the commericial vein that a few other thrash bands did in the early '90s, but Voivod would maintain their progressive edge in the music, despite things being a little less sporadic in the music itself. The songs here still have the sci-fi vibe of earlier Voivod material, and these songs feel more influenced by Voivod's prog influences than the metal. Piggy's riffs are still quirky, but the vanguard experimentation has been toned down. This is a very band-based effort that focuses on good songwriting. It lacks the shock and jaw-dropping nature of 'Nothingface', but the music is good. The band's performance is tight, and this may be Denis Belanger's greatest vocal performance in Voivod's history.

Despite the concise nature of the songwriting, I do find this to be Voivod's biggest grower album, and it's precisely for the fact that it is so mellow, when compared to the rest. There's no 'in your face' attitude or proggy vibe here, just songs, and for a band who would have me constantly guessing at what new exciting things would be coming the listener's way, that can be a big adjustment. Although I didn't find myself liking it all too much at the beginning, 'Angel Rat' is a greatly written album that fits snugly into the middle of Voivod's golden years.

Review by Modrigue
3 stars Grunge from outer space?

First VOIVOD studio album from the 90's, "Angel Rat" marks a musical orientation change from dark thrash prog metal towards more accessible "space grunge". Fans of the 80's stuff from the Canadians may be a bit disappointed at first listen. It's also the last record with bassist Jean-Yves Thériault (Blacky). However, "accessible" does not necessarily mean of lesser interest, and grunge is a subgenre that VOIVOD influenced. In fact, the band has been cited as a reference by the members of NIRVANA, due to their particular dissonant sonorities.

Furthermore, there's still a bit of metal as well as typical VOIVOD tortured sounds in this opus. Therefore, "Angel Rat" is more a logical evolution than a radical turn, and thus deserves attention.

The first half of the disc is the most interesting. "Shortwave Intro" is a short electronic opening for the powerful and somber "Panorama". Its dynamic riff sets the tone for the rest of the album. "Clouds In My House" and "The Prow" are efficient grunge songs with a few spacey touches and haunting moments. Very nice. "The Prow" may be my favorite of the disc, ideal to navigate aboard a cosmic ship! "Best Regards" is a cool 80's heavy rock with some changes, while the dissonant "Twin Dummy" is a bit average. After this sonic deluge, calm comes back momentarily with the title track. An enjoyable alternative rock track, nothing more.

The second half of the record is unfortunately not as good. The hard grunge "Golem" and the US big rock "The Outcast" are not very convincing. The best and most original passage of this second half is undoubtedly "Nuage Fractal". This strangely named space rock will you make you travel through the dark universe! "Freedoom" is another alternative rock song, but more peaceful and floating this time. Not bad, but does not really maintain attention until near the ending. The disc concludes with the average "None Of The Above".

Neither very progressive nor often cited by fans, "Angel Rat" contains however very good tracks that should interest the fans. Even if the overall result is unequal, the band manages to keep their musical identity while merging their style in the then nascent grunge genre. Don't pick this disc if you're looking for heavy/thrash prog metal, but if want punchy, accessible and a little somber rock, or just to discover VOIVOD, then you can go for it.

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Continuing through Voivod's discography we suddenly drop off dramatically from the pinnacle of the band's development that was manifested in their masterworks, Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. All the signs were there for a knockout release: An amazing concept album that was matched in quality and intriguing direction shift by it followup which actually saw the band acheive a degree of popularity. Then the band hooks up with producer Terry Brown, who produced the classic era of prog royalty and fellow Canadians, Rush. With continued major label (MCA) backing the stage was set for something secial. But the magic was not to be. Bassist Jean-Yves Thériault left the band prior to the release, which should have been a warning sign

The product ended up being a very bland output. Shorter songs, pedestrian beats, and a sudden shift toward a very generic chord use and song structure. The only growth that was readily noticeable was the most melodic vocal output from Denis Bélanger to date. But it was not enough to prevent a very uninteresting, lackluster album. Voivod's core story-lines of sci-fi and intrigue was still the motif, but the abandonment of the ritualized dissonance and obtuse rhythm changes distanced the music from the story. The entire project came off as an attempt to be more "accessible" to the alternative college radio crowd that had helped the band achieve the degree of popularity seen on Nothingface. If anything positive could be said of the project outside of Snake's melodicism, it was that the recording quality was top- notch. But it was at best only as good as Nothingface, and if it was in some regard better, it was not so much that one would say, "thank god they hired Terry Brown to achieve this amazing quality".

Angel Rat isn't a "bad" album. It just isn't a good album in the context of what might have been for Voivod. And things would flounder as the years went by with ok, to not so ok, to downright bad albums. It would be 22 years before the band would produce anything close to what they accomplished with Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. There are many who hold Angel Rat in very high regard. I am not one of them. 2 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars They are not from this world any more! Voivod has transcended the waves of space and time and floats somewhere high above an ordinary human state of mind. I may warn you, because this album has nothing to do with the band's early thrash metal albums or the later extreme post industrial metal. This i ... (read more)

Report this review (#383277) | Posted by kluseba | Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 1991 Voivod decided to record a lighter album. This is more like rock and roll release with some outstading psychedelic vibes. The progress of the band took several years. Since Killing Technology it was clear that band drifted into progressive rock tunes but Angel Rat proves they didn't want ... (read more)

Report this review (#169002) | Posted by LSDisease | Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Angel Rat" by Voivod is a very good album. Though not "perfect," by prog-rock standards or my own, there is still so much to appreciate in this album it often petrifies me. Voivod is a band known for their science-fiction themes. Many other prog bands deal with similar themes, or dungeons ... (read more)

Report this review (#115445) | Posted by chorvath | Saturday, March 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been listening to a lot of Voivod recently and this album is perhaps the easiest to listen to. It is certainly their most accessible. But don't come to this album expecting the melody and intricate soloing of typical progressive metal. Voivod are not about that at all. Rather they are about ... (read more)

Report this review (#96244) | Posted by scarista | Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, this was my first Voivod album I bought around '93 and I was blown away. It was completly different from the bands I knew, but I liked what I heard here and started to collect Voivod albums and became a 'Vodhead' (who spread the Voivod virus accross the universe). This is the last album ... (read more)

Report this review (#44863) | Posted by riversdancing | Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Don't believe the hype....Period. I bougt this record due to the the great reviews here on I have found a lot of great music after the reading the reviews here on this site. However, this 5-star Angel Rat rated was a huge disapppointment. To me these guys play simple ro ... (read more)

Report this review (#35182) | Posted by Siggy | Friday, June 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As nothingface, this record broke the spell and beacme a No1 hit for at least for 8 weeks (as long as i remember) A more commercial approach from the band, and a more focused lyrical statement. This record is by far better than son many post-glam prog-metal acts (no names required). The open s ... (read more)

Report this review (#33887) | Posted by arqwave | Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this album in my opinion is Sgt Pepper of 90s. yes for me the best album of 90s. 11 pop rock songs but it's more like psychedelic pop, briliant guitar work and very interesting lyrics. Michel Langevin plays his drums very swingy what sounds really good. producer Terry Brown (worked with Rush) ... (read more)

Report this review (#33886) | Posted by l-s-d | Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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