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Voivod The Outer Limits album cover
4.16 | 186 ratings | 18 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fix My Heart (4:57)
2. Moonbeam Rider (4:11)
3. Le Pont Noir (5:43)
4. The Nile Song (4:00)
5. The Lost Machine (5:53)
6. Time Warp (3:54)
7. Jack Luminous (17:29)
8. Wrong-Way Street (3:50)
9. We Are Not Alone (4:27)

Total Time: 54:24

Line-up / Musicians

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

- Pierre St-Jean / bass

Releases information

Artwork: Michel Langevin

LP MCA Records ‎- MCA-10701 (1993, Europe)

CD MCA Records ‎- MCD 10701 (1993, Germany)
CD MCA Records ‎- MCAD-10701 (1993, US) Different cover (3D) and includes 3D-glasses

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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VOIVOD The Outer Limits ratings distribution

(186 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

VOIVOD The Outer Limits reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Voivod are a band difficult to classify with regard to their many changes of direction in music. In fact their earlier works can be seen as "thrash-metal" but later they began to play a more sophisticated and softer music on 'Nothingface' which is often regarded as their masterpiece. With 'Angel rat' their music was more rock-oriented with floydian influences. On the present album : 'the outer limits' they mature both in terms of sound quality and vocals. A particular mention goes to the drumming which has never sounded as briliant as on this record. Voivod play a more accessible music than on Nothingface but still very exciting. All instruments can be heard distinctly and the mixing is very satisfying. As on 'Nothingface', Voivod's members underline their love of Pink Floyd's music (the psychedelic-era) by covering a song written by Roger Waters and that originally appeared on the soundtrack to the movie 'More' : "the nile song". The effect is as haunting as on the original song, with Snake perfectly mimicking Roger's voicing and the drummer reproducing faithfully Nick's drumming. Voivod proved once again with this record that by changing their way of playing, they can still create good music. Fans of purely progressive music won't find this record essential as it is essentially rock inflected, but the only track "Jack luminous" is worth calling this album an essential metal-prog album, as it is one of the most briliant epic written in the metal area. For me, this album remains the best Voivod album, not as ambitious as 'Nothingface' but more powerful and more mature.
Review by slipperman
4 stars One original member less, and a slight ratcheting down from their previous four albums, 'The Outer Limits' still deserves acclaim as yet another trip into superb sci-fi prog-metal. The most immediate difference from predecessor 'Angel Rat' is the bright production. Cavernous, tech-y and full of echo, where 'Angel Rat' is compressed, dark and focused, the sonic difference between these two is quite literally night and day. Away's drums are a little too click-y on the toms and bass-drums, a hallmark of bad '80s metal productions and a hangover into the '90s in this case. But Piggy's shimmering guitar sounds benefit greatly from the production (credited to Mark S. Berry.who?). His use of open chords and upper-neck chord-inventions reaches a peak on this album and, as on 'Nothingface', he takes center-stage on many of these tracks.

The wide variety of approaches heard on 'Angel Rat' continues here, with straight- forward drivers ("Fix My Heart", "Wrong-Way Street"), gloomy numbers ("Le Pont Noir"), a 17-minute epic ("Jack Luminous") and tech-y cyber-metal ("The Lost Machine", "Time Warp"). While leagues different than 'Nothingface', there are some similarities: the cold technical pulses of "The Lost Machine" and "Time Warp" recall what many fans probably expected the album after 'Nothingface' to sound like. And the similarity does not end there, as we get another Pink Floyd cover, this time with the obscure "The Nile Song" (from Floyd's 'More' soundtrack). I've never warmed up to this version, it plods along despite the beautiful sonic canvas it's laid out on, and it doesn't reach any kind of climactic point. On the plus side, we get theatrical tale-telling in "Le Pont Noir", led by one of Snake's most dramatic vocal performances. And Voivod gives fans what they wanted all along, a long, sprawling, progrock-inspired epic, all 17 minutes of "Jack Luminous" traveling through the cosmos with a wide dynamic span. Total success. And, from a band that offered some of most warped chords and time- signatures ever heard, we now get an exercise in minimalism with "Wrong-Way Street", with one prominent, upbeat bassline pumping along for 99% of the song's 3:50 duration. I wonder if it was an intentional 180-degree turn away from exhausting previous track "Jack Luminous"?

Remaining songs "We Are Not Alone" and "Moonbeam Rider" aren't filler, each works its own special magic to give the album that much more depth, but they're not highlights either. The absence of bassist Blacky can be felt immediately. There's no remarkable bass presence on this album, the performance and tone being fairly nondescript (done by session member Pierre St-Jean). I suppose Piggy had his hands full, but it seems like he could've/should've performed the bass tracks.

While it's not their final album, 'The Outer Limits' finalizes the natural and uninterrupted growth of Voivod, completing the most fascinating evolutionary string of metalworks since Black Sabbath's '70s output.

Review by Melomaniac
4 stars As a long time Voivodian, it was hard for me to choose an album to review. Why start with "The Outer Limits" you may ask? Simply because I think, even though it is not a "masterpiece", it probably is the Voivod album most likely to please prog rock fans, as it is more a progressive album than a metal album.

The album kicks off with "Fix My Heart", an brilliant, catchy uptempo rocker, showcasing great riffs from guitar-genius Piggy. Not exactly prog, but a great opener for this album.

In "Moonbeam Rider", the prog influences begin to show. Different textures are well amalgamated, and one can begin to grasp the magnitude of Piggy's work, creating all the texures by himself with no (or so little) guitar overdubs. A very good number.

Then comes "Le Pont Noir" (translated The Black Bridge), an eerie number indeed. Reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, King Crimson and The Doors. Again, notice Piggy's playing and songwriting, especially in the part where Snake (vocals) sings "Ooh", the delayed guitar part creates a weird harmony with itself.

My least favorite track of the album, the Pink Floyd cover "The Nile Song" from the soundtrack to Zabriskie Point could have been left out. Clearly not as good as when they covered "Astronomy Domine" on Nothingface, which, in my humble opinion, turned out to be more enjoyable than the original.

Following is my second favorite track from this album, "The Lost Machine". A dark sci-fi tale telling the story of humans trapped in an alien spaceship working as slaves for a machine tha rules them all. Great Piggy stuff here, weird chords that might make Robert Fripp blush with envy at creating something close to that. The music also fits the story line so well.

"Time Warp" has its interesting moments, the middle section in particular, but I find the overall track only acceptable.

And then, my favorite Voivod track ever, THE masterpiece of progressive metal, the 18 minutes epic "Jack Luminous". The story is brilliant : an alien comes to Earth to warn us against an intergalactic tyrant that goes by the name of "President X-D", that he will take over our planet hypnotizing us. He knows, because he fled a conquered world. But, President X-D has been hot on Jack's trail and follows him here, in the end conquering our world. Musically, it is a wonder, Piggy's best guitar work and songwriting ever to grace a recording. King Crimson again springs to mind, but a King Crimson light years ahead of what we know (even after hearing The Power to Believe). This track alone is well worth the price of the album.

"Wrong-Way Street" is another upbeat rocker, not exactly original compared with te rest of the album, but nonetheless a decent track.

Album closer "We are not Alone" closes the album with style and speed, the most metal track of the album along with Jack Luminous.

With this album, Voivod completed the transition from generic thrash metal band (first two albums) to cyber thrash prog metal (Killing Technology, and two excellent albums, Dimension Hatross and cornerstone NothingFace) to prog hard rock band (Angel Rat and this one), before returning to their roots with the following album "Negatron", almost becoming a death-metal act (after Snake's departure), blah blah blah and so on.

A good place to star a Voivod collection, as much as Angel Rat is.

R.I.P. Piggy, probably the most creative, original and influent guitarist in the history of metal.

To purchase without doubt. Thanks for taking the time to read me !

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Going through the library's Cd collection, I happened remembering that voivod was in the Archives, and since my borrowing pile was not very firnished, I selected one album, hoping I could wing it and land a representative album of theirs. Of course a certain cover helped me make my choice.

Apparently , this Quebecois group have been much longer in activity than I originally thought (from the selection available in the shelves of the library, this was the earliest of their albums) and that helped also, since I always try to pick among the first albums. From the other albums ratings, this choice apparentmly was not bad at all.

While never a major fan of metal music, I must confess that I actually managed to listen to the album four times during that week of rental, and I sort of enjoyed it (even though the album is too long for me) espcially the first four or five tracks. Needless to say thatFloyd's The Nile Song (which was the most metal of their song) naturally caught my attention, but other stand out tracks are Le Pont Noir and much later on the Jack Luminous track. I still have no idea of how they sounded like in their early days, but obviously fairly different since ProgMetal started some four or five yearts after the band's debut. And from what I gather from this album VoiVod are not a side inclusion in the progArchives and thety certainly sound progressive enough when compared to other ProgMetal groups I am aware of.

As Metal music was never my forte, I will avoid being too severe with such a band, so I will give them an average three star, even if I did not copy the album or will not be likely to rent it again.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Another masterpiece of melodic prog rock/ Metal from Voivod. After the rather dissapointing Angel Rat Voivod was back in great form. Blacky had left the band and it´s very obvious if you listen to the album. The bas on the album is not as prominant as it had been on previous albums ( played by a session musician on this album)

The album cover and sleeve art is worth mentioning as Away really made some nice drawings for "The Outer Limits". I really love the picture in the sleeve showing what I think is Jack Luminous. He looks ever so wicked, just brilliant.

The strange rythms from the earlier albums are not present on this album, and rytmhmically it sounds closer to Angel Rat. But the production makes this album sound so grand compared to the more "closed" production on Angel Rat. "The Outer Limits" sounds like it is recorded in space. The production is crystal clear and you can hear everything that is happening. Some people find it to be sterile, but that is how I like it.

There are many great songs on the album but the cover of Pink Floyd´s "The Nile Song" and "Jack Luminous" are worth mentioning. the first for being a really great version of this classic song and the latter for being a 17+ minute epic that really justify Voivod´s place in the Prog Archives. Jack Luminous has many sections and some really cool sci-fi lyrics, and it´s the only epic Voivod has ever made.

A highly recomendable album, mostly for prog heads and not metal heads. This one is just too soft for you boys.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I have the remastered edition which was limited to 2000 numbered copies. It's #807.The cover and pictures in the liner notes are 3D graphic designs, and the 3D glasses are included.This would be the last album with the vocalist "Snake" on it until the re-union album 10 years later.They're actually down to a trio here but in the liner notes they don't even mention that they used a session bass player on this recording.These Canadian thrashers have gone commercial on this one as we get mostly catchy and melodic songs with lots of guitar and drums.The vocals don't do much for me which has caused me to listen to this one longer then I normally would before I rate it. I love the instrumental work for the most part but the vocals just don't measure up in my opinion.They're not bad I just don't like them. So I was hoping my opinion of the singer might change but it hasn't.3.5 stars.

"Fix My Heart" is real barn-burner with some great guitar throughout. "Moonbeam Rider" is another fairly heavy tune. I like the atmosphere after 2 minutes as spoken words come in followed by a ripping guitar solo. "Le Pont Noir" is one of my favourites. He sings with a deeper voice and I like the vocal melodies that come and go. "The Nile Song" is a PINK FLOYD cover.This is powerful as drums pound and the guitar lights it up. The vocalist almost yells the lyrics. Blistering guitar 2 minutes in. "The Lost Machine" is uptempo with a driving rhythm. "Time Warp" is rather bombastic with vocals. Some atmosphere before 2 minutes. Kicks back in and becomes catchy but not in a good way.

"Jack Luminous" is the 17 1/2 minute epic. Great bass to open as the tempo picks up and the guitar comes ripping in.The song continues to change moods and tempo the rest of the way. "Wrong Way Street" opens with chunky bass as guitar and drums join in.This is a great track. One of my top 3. "We Are Not Alone" hits us with a stampede of drums early as vocals come in. Guitar solo before 2 1/2 minutes then it settles with some more good bass.

Clearly a good album but not one I really enjoy a lot.

Review by Kazuhiro
5 stars The case that the directionality of the music that should be shown for various musicians remarkably revolutionizes often happens. The announcement of the work will head for the top for of course one musician in the flow in the age attended with the revolution and the creation. Each shape repeats the direction and the diffusion of the creation in the field. However, it might be unusual that the band that has both a certain kind of purpose and the direction gradually establishes the route of one food for the revolution. However, the band that remarkably gradually revolutionizes the technology of the theme and the performance in addition to directionality will try the root of own music to this Voivod.

Element that various bands are used original methodology with a certain kind of fashion in field of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, rides on the stream, those items put purpose, theme, and message of splendor at state of saturation on work, and told. Or, the result of those elements' splendidly uniting when conversion into music is attempted by the technology of the performance and absorbing the culture is rare. However, they have succeeded in splendidly making all elements an embodiment by music. As for Thrash Metal that a certain kind of sensual part and an intellectual element join, this band is proving splendidly with this work.

In the history of their music, this album that hits totaling 7 work eyes surely receives one the top. An original intellect that can do the theme that clearly catches directionality that the lock faces and evolves from the past to present and the future only by them is created having it.

It was from time of "Nothingface" that had been announced in 1989 that Voivod gradually showed the glimpse. The route as Thrash Metal is revolutionized little by little, and Denis of Vocal is established the method of the expression to the song further and has succeeded in expanding the width of the sense of the band. How to make the sound of the album informs the listener of the fact into which it is refined further and Voivod began to change little by little. The fan might certainly have been puzzled to the music that they had been doing. They accomplished the revolution that was not able to be imagined from the initial performance performed with the overwhelming power. However, it is guessed to them it was surely certain. The element of SF that the root and they of the music that the member had had had been advocating as a hobby originally made the band exactly toward direction of Prog Rock.

"Angel Rat" announced in 1991 develops the element that they original further had and shows an intellectual lock. If the composition of "Angel Rat" is considered, the revolutions of men who are hiding themselves in the flow of a straight lock might have a very much or a loose part. However, all might be groping and be the revolutions to reach "The Outer Limits". They are done a silence through necessity about the problem of the contract the office and the distribution belonging ahead for the tour at this time. They will put power in making this album in such a flow.

Composition of complex rhythm according to a certain kind of theme in addition to element of for one thing straight lock of their charms and it. And, their roots are united. Or, it might be in the point (giving a code of the discord that guitar player's Denis weaves indeed sensual, intellectual impression to the listener and no stay in a simple lock). The element that all anyway senses, hobbies, the cultures, and the purposes gather in one is included in this album.

Indeed a lot of elements of SF are included in this album. "Jack Luminous" of the masterpiece that exceeds 17 minutes will be able to be satisfied enough of the space element by dividing into the part of six. It might be understood that they were influenced from Pink Floyd and VDGG if it listens to this tune. Wanting to do the transmitted allegory to the radical "Le Pont Noir" ..splendid, beautiful tune.. has finished in Quebec from of old. Wanting to do "The Lost Machine" is a tune in the radical for the element of SF to twine round the problem of ozone as for the dream that drum player's Michel had. Riff has the overwhelming might and the element of senses. The development of a complex rhythm has been exactly digested in them.

It is guessed that the fact that always pulls the item of the lock by Voivod from the age of Thrash Metal and accomplishes the technology and the revolution like this in various bands is an intellectual lock that throws the methodology from the angle besides Dream Theater on the listener.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars All Voivod albums are very different. But Outer Limits is maybe the most uncharacteristic of all in their catalogue. Bass player 'Blacky' had left the band and the replacing session player was kept more to the background, abstaining from that typical dirty distorted bass sound that was used so prominently on Voivod's earlier albums. The consequence is a more rocking rhythm section and a higher focus on 'Piggy's guitar work.

The adventurous neurotic riffing of their progressive years is mostly replaced by influences from blues and heavy rock, making the music flow much more naturally then on Nothingface. This more easy-going style doesn't mean this album is similar to their preceding album Angel Rat. That was an album that I appreciated a lot but that was maybe a bit too light and easy for Voivod. Outer Limits is less straightforward, featuring accessible but still intricate and superb songwriting. As a result, the album has both immediate appeal and lots of potential for growing listening pleasure. The 17.30 minute Jack Luminous for example is certainly not the type of song you will love right away but it's a real grower. Their fabulous Pink Floyd cover of The Nile Song is instantly likeable and blends perfectly with their own songs.

So Voivod had become a lot more melodic over the years. That did not only result in more harmonious guitars but also in much improved vocals. 'Snake' would never be the best vocalist around but he has found a good melodious approach here and has lots of memorable vocal lines throughout the album. In fact, he manages this more tuneful style very adequately.

A last difference is the sound. Where all the previous albums were very dense and neurotic, this one is very bright and clear. In fact it is as far from metal as Voivod would ever get. But luckily the typical alien feel has been further explored, to an extent that this is their most spacey, open and atmospheric album, some of the guitar leads and solo's are really out there. An excellent production.

This album brings together everything what makes Voivod such a great band. A unique sound, great songs, excellent musicianship and that peculiar out-worldly ambience. Together with their Dimension Hatross thrash metal masterpiece, this is the second Voivod album that comes with the biggest recommendations from me.

Review by Gooner
5 stars I have 2 words: "Jack Luminous!"

Even if you're not a metal fan, all prog.rockers MUST hear "Jack Luminous". I would consider myself a moderate metal fan, the most progressive in my collection would be Fates Warning, Queensryche, Anacrusis and Voivod(...and a little Anathema and Meshuggah). I remember hearing Voivod's "War And Pain" album back in the day when it came out and I thought it was more hilarious than anything musically serious. On each Voivod album, they progressed in leaps and bounds. This, "The Outer Limits" being the pinnacle of their creativity and masterpiece of their "progressive" period(along with "Dimension Hatross"). In retrospect, this could sound like a collaboration between the direction Tool would take and King Crimson playing Rush and Motorhead with precision. But this came out in 1993(a little ahead of its time). The album is rife with retro-sounding soundFX from '50s and '60s sci-fi movies. The festivities begin with "Fix My Heart". A real rocker and great for the highway(could be the '90s "Highway Star"). "Moonbeam Rider" is a thrashy rollercoaster where the late Denis D'Amour really shines with his unique guitar style(glissando guitar-like and Frippy/thrashy). "Le Pont Noir" is another highlight. Very dark and psychedelic. "The Nile Song" is a Pink Floyd cover. It's OK, but it's the weaker of the tracks on this album(they do a better job on "Astronomy Domine" from Nothingface). "Jack Luminous"(this is the "Close To The Edge/Tarkus" of tech/extreme prog.metal). I can't even describe it, really. Prog/Metal/Trash(played with precision and never sloppy). It must be heard from every fan of prog.rock. "We Are Not Alone" ends the album with that very question: ARE WE? (I think I hear a UFO whooshin' by at the conclusion of the track...very cool!). A masterpiece of tech/extreme prog.metal. Comes with 3D glasses.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'The Outer Limits' - Voivod (9/10)

Like many of the best bands, Canadian progressive thrash legends Voivod have been known to reinvent their sound with each album. From their beginnings as a more run-of-the mill metal band, Voivod took leaps and bounds into progressive territory with 'Nothingface', a schizoid rockfest which has since become a thrash landmark and one of my favourite albums ever. For the next handful of albums after that, Voivod would continue to change up their sound, and this streak of changes would culminate with 'The Outer Limits', an album which takes the band's science fiction themes to new conceptual heights. Although I cannot say that Voivod's seventh outing has the same unique vibe and charm as their crowning work 'Nothingface', 'The Outer Limits' is an incredible album that tales some time to grow on the listener, and results as an exciting masterpiece from one of the best progressive metal acts ever.

Quite contrary to the proggy, frenetic and unconventional metal riffing I have heard from Voivod in the past, 'The Outer Limits' opens with a deceptively straightforward number, 'Fix My Heart' is the sort of track you would expect to hear from a hard rock band like Deep Purple; a driving rock with bluesy licks and fills. An instantly likable track for those who don't need their metal to be particularly brutal or heavy, the song did not originally hit me as being excellent, but a few listens in convinced me otherwise. Instantly memorable melodies and some excellent straightforward riffage from Denis L'Amour opens 'The Outer Limits' on an exciting note. Things get somewhat more complex and atmospheric from here on in, however.

'Le Pont Noir' was among the first Voivod songs I ever heard years ago that really struck my notice, and in the context of the album, it is even better. Trailing two fairly upbeat-oriented songs, the track is hypnotic, mysterious and eerie. Reminding me often of a metal-oriented sound of The Doors, vocalist Snake's vocals really shine here. He has never been among the more technically accomplished singers, but his voice really works for the sound here, along with much of the music on 'The Outer Limits'.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of 'The Outer Limits' is the seventeen minute epic 'Jack Luminous', which has received otherworldly amounts of praise in the past as being one of the most excellent pieces of progressive metal. Although its quality is evident right from the start, I must say that 'Jack Luminous' is a piece of music that takes several listens to appreciate fully, and is the biggest reason bar none as to why 'The Outer Limits' is a grower piece. Taking a tongue-in-cheek science fiction concept with a keen social commentary and setting it to music, there are plenty of sections to this song, but the melodies are kept strong. One thing that potentially harms the impact of 'Jack Luminous' is that it does not have the same cohesion as a more well-known prog metal epic like '2112' or 'A Change Of Seasons', instead going more down the route of being a musical journey of ideas, with an implied beginning, middle and end. As it stands though, the musical ideas work so well together on the track that it certainly takes its rightful place as being one of Voivod's greatest achievements.

The songwriting on the album is consistently strong, and it may come as a surprise to some that the only potential flop on the album is the Pink Floyd cover of 'The Nile Song', a relatively obscure track from Floyd's 'More'. Although the song does little to deter the rest of the album, it simply does not have the same charm as the earlier Pink Floyd cover of 'Astronomy Domine' that Voivod played on 'Nothingface'.

'The Outer Limits' is arguably Voivod's most mature record, as well as being remarkably consistent throughout. Quite a bit more streamlined and to-the-point as much of the earlier work, this album is a natural development from 'Angel Rat', but really takes Voivod's staple themes of science fiction to greater depths. The album takes a while to warm up, and doesn't have quite the same jaw-dropping effect as 'Nothingface', but while less immediate, 'The Outer Limits' is one of the best prog metal albums to be released in the early '90s.

Review by friso
4 stars Voivod - The Outer Limits (1993)

Well this quickly became one of my favorite Voivod albums. The production is sharp en professional, the band enthusiastic and the songs relatively catchy. The balance between the innovative forces and the melodic forces is finally in place. Voivod playes its own brand of progressive metal with a major role for the innovative odd guitar chords of Denis d'Amour, the punky vocals of Denis Belanger and the sci-fi lyrics and atmosphere of the music. I found earlier progressive albums to be a bit poorly produced, but since Nothingface - another favorite - the band has done fine. Between these two albums we find the peculiar 'Angel Rat' album, which focusses more on art-rock songwriting in the tradition of seventies Alice Cooper. 'The Outer Limits' sees Voivod returning to their progressive metal basis, albeit a bit more polished (which a minor listener of the heavier forms of metal can find very pleasing).

On this album the main progressive force is the seventeen minute 'Jack Luminous', which many have pointed at as being a highlight of the progressive metal genre. On other tracks Voivod can be surprisingly simple and effective, whilst giving most songs some original twists and innovative instrumental sections. The opening track 'Fix my Heart' is quite approachable for newcomers and it reminds me a bit of the poppier work of Megadeth, especially when it comes to the vocals. 'Moonbeam Rider' introduces the abstract atmospheres of Voivod in a relaxing sci-fi mood, I simply love this track! They should use it for a sci-fi or racing movie. 'Le Point Noir' is a strong with a strange clean section and a brilliant heavy refrain theme which reminds me a bit of the later works of King Crimson. 'The Nile Song' is no favorite of mine, but it works fine as a Pink Floyd cover and it is defenitly way better then the underproduces original. 'Time Warp', 'Wrong-Way Street' and 'We Are Not Alone' are all more conventional tracks that are very enjoyable.

Conclusion. If you can do without the trash-element of Voivod you're left with perhaps their finest progressive metal album. A great place to start in their discography it would seem. Four stars for this one!

Review by Warthur
3 stars The trouble with following the work of a band like Voivod, who've always made a virtue of regularly re-examining, rebuilding and refreshing their sound, is that sooner or later they're probably going to come up with an experiment which loses you. The more regularly they change up their sound, the more likely it is that they'll hit on something which just doesn't suit your tastes or otherwise clashes aesthetically with what you're looking for. That's not your fault or the fault of the act in question, it's just part for the course.

For me, Voivod hits this point with The Outer Limits, where they seem to be trying to do this balancing act between catchy, melodic numbers (like opener Fix My Heart) and pieces that'll appeal to their prog fanbase (such as the epic Jack Luminous), and it's this confused approach which robs the album of the cohesion that releases like Nothingface enjoyed. (Plus, they picked one of the least interesting Pink Floyd songs to cover this time around.) Fun, still, but not peak Voivod.

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Following the lackluster descent to Angel Rat from the twin crowns of Dimension Hatross and Nothingface, there was, in this writers opinion, nowhere to go but up. The sci-fi-prog-punk-space-metal band from Quebec had seemingly gone to great lengths to "normalize". There was now a shift to recapture there stellar form. Still without a full-time bassist, and now without all-world producer Terry Brown, they seemed to have their work cutout for themselves.

The first time I picked up this album at the record store shortly after its release, I was dubious. I had been so disappointed with Angel Rat I didn't see how the band would redeem themselves. The first impression was amusement at the 50's era b-movie poster cover art and logo, then intrigue when I noticed the sticker on the outside wrapper that said "3d glasses inside". Ok, this fish noticed the bait, could they set the hook? That's when I turned the CD over. I read to my buddy standing next to me.
"Hey, Jeff?"
"Jack Luminous, 17 minutes..."
Hook set. I mean really, to the 23 year-old self-assured seasoned progger a 17 minute song was a slam dunk, right? Well, whatever the case, the joy was back with Voivod. The Joyvod if you please. It was like seeing an ex out in public and seeing how amazing they are doing and suddenly wanting her again. And I got her home and undressed her and it was amazing...I mean...uh...I got the CD home and unwrapped it. The package was as advertised. Cardboard 3d glasses and a 3d drawing for each song. Drummer Micheal Langevin, as routine provides the art. And the music...well...

That's where you start to realize why you broke up with your ex in the first place. The opener, Fix My Heart, had a moment in the intro with a soaring, reverbed out guitar part that set the familiar Voivod space-metal tone. But the substance of the song was very reminiscent of Angel Rat, if a bit more driving.
[Blank stares] "Ugh, I need a beer!"
"I'll come with you"
"Damn, it was too much to ask for them to redeem themselves."
"I guess, so."
"I brought this movie called 'Profondo Rosso', I hear its pretty cool."[Track 2 - 'Moonbeam Rider' starts playing]
"Yeah, lets watch it...actually this sounds ok, lets give the rest of the album a shot"
The album then begins to take a much more progressive, contrasting feel that was lacking on Angel Rat. And Denis d'Amour's reinserts his sinister high register unorthodoxy, albeit still not dissonant as was his earlier trademark. But certainly haunting. Particularly on the quite parts of Le Pont Noir. His verse parts took on a renewed heavy drive, not to the extent of the bands genesis, but in start opposition to the ultra-restrained tone of the previous album.

Voivod appeared to be back, their ubiquitous sci-fi themes in tow. Complete with stories of space travel, alien society saboteurs, media hypnotism, and unseen stalkers. The big hook that was the 17 minute long Jack Luminous was a good piece sound wise, but as it turns out only had the story as the unifying theme. The song actually felt like four different songs with no recall or codas to tie it together. The real gems of the album were the haunting Le Pont Noir and the driving, sinister Lost Machine. Additionally, for the second time in their career they through in a Pink Floyd cover, Nile Song. And once again, not one of my favorite as an original, so I can take it or leave it.

The Outer Limits was a huge improvement over the disappointing Angel Rat, but nowhere near the epic masterpieces that Dimension Hatross and Nothingface were. This is an essential album to my collection, your results may very. I will ere on the 4 star side given the hideous next 15 years or so for the band.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars These Quebecoise do know how to make good music--even if it does sound somewhat dated-UK scene stuff!

1. "Fix My Heart" (4:57) pretty straightforward rock song. (8.25/10)

2. "Moonbeam Rider" (4:11) more movement from this song leads to a more interesting listen. I like the EDGE/U2 chords between the verses and choruses--and then NEKTAR arpeggi in the soft part of the third minute--which is followed by an awesome little solo section. (8.75/10)

3. "Le Pont Noir" (5:43) Leonard Cohen gone dark? Works for me! A top three for me. (8.75/10)

4. "The Nile Song" (4:00) interesting cover of Pink Floyd. Almost OZZY-SABBATH-like. (8.75/10)

5. "The Lost Machine" (5:53) I love the start to this one! Then it settles into a kind of heavy CARDIACS feel, with a surprisingly straightforward structure. The switch at 2:40 is rather drastic and not altogether engaging. Luckily, it doesn't last long--we're back to the main motif by 3:25. Another top three song. (9/10)

6. "Time Warp" (3:54) I like the vocal of this one; the U2-like music is okay. The chorus is great. (9/10)

7. "Jack Luminous" (17:28) a very cool song, great construction. My other top three. (32/35)

8. "Wrong-Way Street" (3:50) "Radar Love" with more U2/EDGE guitar. (8.5/10)

9. "We Are Not Alone" (4:27) another amped up U2-War-like intro before the song takes off into KINGSTON WALL territory. Interesting! (8.75/10)

Total Time: 54:24

B+/4.5 stars; a surprising score for this album that is much more interesting and accessible that it's score would seem to indicate. Hmph! Still, a near-masterpiece of prog-oriented Heavy Metal.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Nothingface had been a turning point for Voivod in '89, cementing a trait of constant re-structuring and fine-tuning for every subsequent album for the band. The next LP Angel Rat began to hint at a future where Voivod would become an innovative piece of the prog metal scene, but as an album itself ... (read more)

Report this review (#1323982) | Posted by aglasshouse | Sunday, December 14, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first album after the departure of bass guitar player "Blacky" and the last album before the departure of singer "Piggy" has nothing of a lack of inspiration, motivation or energy that many other metal albums had at this time. The band is still in development on this album, still tries out some ... (read more)

Report this review (#383278) | Posted by kluseba | Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Voivod was formed in 1982 in Quebec, Canada by Denis "Piggy" d'Amour (guitars), Michel "Away" Langevin (drums) and Jean-Yves "Blacky" Theriault (bass). Vocalist Denis "Snake" Belanger joined them few months later. While these French Canadiens' music is often classified as metal, their music is be ... (read more)

Report this review (#44674) | Posted by riversdancing | Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars after Angel Rat this album appears to be a bit disappointing but i wish every band disappointing album like that... Jack Luminous is briliant suite in King Crimson style, the rest of the album is very good, Fix My Hear is classic rock song, very vital and vivid. the only weak moment of the alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#33890) | Posted by l-s-d | Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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