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VOIVOD

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Canada


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Voivod biography
Originally from Quebec, Canada, VOIVOD formed in 1982 as a fairly straitforward metal band, favoring the British Metal end of the spectrum. After a few years their sound took a major turn to the progressive side, incorporating futuristic imagery and unified concepts for albums. Two of the four founding members (bassist Jean-Yves Theriault and vocalist Denis Belanger) left Voivod in the early 90s; the band continued as a trio in the late 1990s with new member Eric Forrest handling both vocals and bass guitar. Forrest was badly injured in a car accident in Germany in 1998, and Voivod briefly disbanded in 2001 before Belanger returned to the band. Since the death in 2005 of Denis D'Amour (guitars), the current incarnation features two of the four founding members: Denis Belanger (vocals), and Michel Langevin (drums) along with Jason Newsted (of Flotsam and Jetsam and Metallica) on bass guitar. They rank alongside DREAM THEATER as pioneers in the development of progressive metal in the 80s, but tend to favor a heavier and more sparse musical style more akin to QUEENSRYCHE. Keyboards (or any other instruments besides vocals, guitars, drums, and bass) are almost non-existent in the music.

Their first truly progressive album was "Killing Technology" (1987), followed by "Dimension: Hatross" (1988) which is often considered their most innovative work. "Nothingface" (1989) continued on the science fiction theme, and featured a cover version of PINK FLOYD's "Astronomy Domine" (They also covered PINK FLOYD's "The Nile Song" on their 1993 release "The Outer Limits"). "Angel Rat" (1991) is also well-regarded in progressive metal circles. They continue to record and tour, and have been seen on the Ozzfest roster a few times.

If you like your music heavy, dark, and cold with a pronounced sci-fi flavor, VOIVOD is essential. They are worth checking out for the PINK FLOYD cover songs alone.

James Lee, USA

Voivod official website

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Buy VOIVOD Music


Voivod - Post Society - EPVoivod - Post Society - EP
Century Media 2016
Audio CD$6.35
$9.09 (used)
Killing TechnologyKilling Technology
INgrooves Fontana/Sanctuary 2010
Audio CD$7.49
$7.01 (used)
InfiniInfini
Relapse 2009
Audio CD$13.55
$1.95 (used)
War and PainWar and Pain
Metal Blade 1994
Audio CD$9.17
$5.79 (used)
NothingfaceNothingface
MCA
Audio CD$109.99
$28.99 (used)
PhobosPhobos
Linus Entertainment 2005
Audio CD$8.10
$8.54 (used)
NegatronNegatron
Linus Entertainment 2005
Audio CD$8.12
$11.68 (used)
KronikKronik
Linus Entertainment 2005
Audio CD$7.77
$15.97 (used)
Dimension HatrossDimension Hatross
Futurist Records 1994
Audio CD$29.98
$13.98 (used)
Angel RatAngel Rat
Mechanic 1991
Audio CD$28.11
$9.00 (used)
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VOIVOD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VOIVOD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 70 ratings
War and Pain
1984
2.56 | 67 ratings
RRROOOAAARRR!!!
1986
4.04 | 127 ratings
Killing Technology
1987
4.25 | 156 ratings
Dimension Hatross
1988
4.24 | 241 ratings
Nothingface
1989
3.93 | 120 ratings
Angel Rat
1991
4.16 | 120 ratings
The Outer Limits
1993
2.53 | 54 ratings
Negatron
1995
2.99 | 56 ratings
Phobos
1997
3.10 | 58 ratings
Voivod
2003
3.12 | 57 ratings
Katorz
2006
3.18 | 47 ratings
Infini
2009
3.88 | 76 ratings
Target Earth
2013

VOIVOD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 14 ratings
Voivod Lives
2000
3.30 | 9 ratings
Warriors of Ice
2011
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live At Roadburn 2011
2012

VOIVOD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.38 | 13 ratings
D-V-O-D-1
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tatsumaki - Voivod Japan 2008
2009

VOIVOD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 8 ratings
The Best of Voivod
1992
2.00 | 13 ratings
Kronik
1998
5.00 | 2 ratings
To The Death 84
2011

VOIVOD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Anachronism
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
To The Death
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Morgöth Invasion
1984
4.33 | 3 ratings
Thrashing Rage
1986
4.25 | 4 ratings
Cockroaches
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Astronomy Domine
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Into My Hypercube
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Lost Machine
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fix My Heart
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Nile Song
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nanoman
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at MusiquePlus
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
We Carry On
2003
4.67 | 3 ratings
We Are Connected
2015
3.19 | 8 ratings
Post Society
2016

VOIVOD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Outer Limits by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.16 | 120 ratings

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The Outer Limits
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Post Society by VOIVOD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
3.19 | 8 ratings

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Post Society
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Post Society" is an EP release by Canadian, Jonquière, Quebec based thrash/progressive metal act Voivod. The EP was released through Century Media Records in February 2016. Since the release of "Target Earth (2013)", the band have released a couple of minor releases, but the most significant event in that period is that original bassist Blacky (Real name Jean-Yves Thériault) jumped ship again in 2014 (he had a couple of longer periods in the band between 1981, 1982-1991 and 2008-2014). He has been replaced by Rocky (Real name Dominique Laroche).

"Post Society" features five tracks and a full playing time of 30:25 minutes. Four original compositions and a cover of "Silver Machine" by Hawkwind, which closes the EP. Only three of the original compositions are exclusive to "Post Society" though, as "We Are Connected" was released on a split single with "Language of the Dead" by At the Gates in March 2015. The split single was only released in a very limited number of copies, so it´s arguably a good idea to include "We Are Connected" on "Post Society".

Other than "Silver Machine", which more or less follows the original with a twist of Voivod, the material on the EP sounds unmistakably like Voivod. Adventurous song structures, dissonannt guitar riffs, innovative and powerful drumming, a rumbling distorted bass, and Snake´s distinct sounding raw vocals in front. Like the case was on "Target Earth (2013)", the tracks on "Post Society" also features elements from different eras of the band´s career. So the final result is a unique combination of thrash and progressive metal. It´s a little more controlled than the anarchistic and raw speed/thrash metal of the band´s early days, and not as rock oriented and melodic as the mid-period progressive metal releases.

All material on the EP is of a good quality, but to my ears the highlights are the title track and "We Are Connected", while "Forever Mountain" and "Fall" are slightly less memorable. The cover of "Silver Machine" is enjoyable too, but nothing out of the ordinary. The sound production is clear and powerful, and as always the musicianship is top notch, so upon conclusion "Post Society" is a quality release by Voivod. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

 Angel Rat  by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.93 | 120 ratings

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Angel Rat
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Target Earth by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 76 ratings

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Target Earth
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Few metal bands have inspired as much intrigue as Voivod; the progressive thrash outfit were responsible for some of the most unusual records of the 80's and 90's. Combining the ferocity of speed metal, the eclectic and technical nature of progressive rock, and fascinating lyrics about science fiction and war, Voivod seemed poised to revolutionize the metal scene. While they didn't exactly connect well with the mainstream crowd during their "heyday" (their most successful record, Nothingface, reached only 114 on the Billboard 200 chart), they certainly gained a bevy of loyal hardcore fans nonetheless. Even with a few weak experiments here and there (the band's industrial years come to mind), fans of progressive rock and thrash alike were starting to notice Voivod's efforts one-by-one. Perhaps that's why the death of the group's legendary guitarist Piggy in 2005 resonated with so many of those fans. Piggy was practically the sound of Voivod, giving that atonal, angular sound that made the band so notable in the first place. So what was next? Would Voivod be gone forever? Would they create a record that would completely alter their sound altogether and alienate their fanbase?

Thankfully, neither of these scenarios are the case here. Recruiting new guitarist Daniel Mongrain (a.k.a. Chewy), Voivod decided to press on and released a record of all-new material, Target Earth. Thankfully, Chewy has a style very similar to Piggy, so his work feels warmly familiar when trying to fit in with the other members. Musically, Target Earth strikes a balance between the aggression of 1987's Killing Technology and the dark, atmospheric side of 1989's Nothingface; as such, the whole experience sounds like a reboot of the band's old discography, as if the industrial 90's records never existed. The band also return to the sci-fi lyricism and eerie guitar dissonance as well, along with irregular drum patterns an unorthodox bass lines. With all of this in mind, Target Earth is something of a rehash, but that's not necessarily a bad thing; in this case, it's welcome for the most part. Songs like the opening title track, "Warchaic", and "Kaleidos" exhibit these familiar strengths in full form, with all of Voivod's expected quality present. While the instrumentation is more of the same, Snake's vocal attack is, well, just that. An attack. The vocalist hasn't sounded this confident and energetic in years, and he displays a great deal of the thrash style he utilized on old Voivod records such as War and Pain and Rrroooaaarrr. Along with this, he also brings out the progressive years of the band, with his spacey droning mixing in with the aforementioned thrash barks. This results in a great deal of vocal contrast and diversity. "Empathy For the Enemy" sees both Snake and the instrumentalists going for a creepy atmosphere, with drawn out clean guitar lines and unpredictable drumming patterns mixing with Snake's Pink Floyd-esque spacey vocal work. Then there's "Kluskap O'Kom," which opts for a direct speed metal assault; the aggressive vocal style is mixed in with 80's thrash with hints of progressive rock and punk music, and the song moves at a wonderful pace.

Unfortunately, the album has its flaws. The biggest one is the fact that so much of the record sounds so familiar to the band's heyday. It shouldn't be a big problem, but it gets frustrating; there were numerous instances where I was able to pinpoint what would happen next in the music because it's, well, same ol' Voivod. There are definitely differences, such as a bigger emphasis on jazz fusion with this record, but they're still overshadowed by familiarity in the end. Also, while Chewy is a great guitarist, Piggy's absence is definitely felt. Only Piggy himself was capable of utilizing his trademark guitar work to full effect, and even Chewy fills his spot effectively, it just simply doesn't sound the same.

Even with that said, Target Earth does manage to be a great return to form for the boys in Voivod. They've come a long way, and it's remarkable to hear such a good record from a band who lost their most important member. Even with Piggy's death, the band were still able to churn out an excellent record out with their trademark style and lyricism. With all the members turning in solid performances and the compositions being familiar-yet-fresh, this is one of the first great albums of 2013. Voivod, I applaud you for continuing to press on and release such high-quality material.

(Note: this review was originally published in 2013)

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

 The Outer Limits by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.16 | 120 ratings

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The Outer Limits
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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!

 The Outer Limits by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.16 | 120 ratings

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The Outer Limits
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by aglasshouse

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 was a bit of a shaky change of tone. This loss of footing was completely thrown out the window with it's followup titled The Outer Limits. A fresh, slightly manufactured sound rife with complexity and creative promise was prevalent, without losing the classic aggressive elements of their past.

The track-list provides an albeit cluttered set of unique elements that range from the dark, melodramatic 'Le Pont Noir' to the heavy-footed stomp of 'The Nile Song' and 'The Lost Machine', to gargantuan 'Jack Luminous'. The Outer Limits has some of Voivod's most interesting and eclectic work to date, and surpasses many albums that followed it. If you are one for mind-challenging music in the metal vein, then this is an album you should definitely check out.

 War and Pain by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.03 | 70 ratings

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War and Pain
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

3 stars I'm feeling bad giving 3/5 to Voivod's debut since I prefer listening this one than Wish You Were Here (My rate for it is 4/5). The fact is that War and Pain is obviously not the reason to Voivod being here. And their first two albums are the less relevant albums in every way into their discography. But this debut is the hardest. Hard listening, really. Harder than the bizarre and chaotic Voivod presented between Killing Technology and Nothingface. That's because of the poor thrashy sounding. Sounds a monotonous hardcore/thrash metal album at first, but after all these Voivod years I'm saying this one pretty kick asses, and the happiness to find a fine album into something previously boring is better than a masterpiece at first listen.

This is much more than a simple repetitive thrash metal. Piggy dissonant guitar riffs, the Voivod's soul, is already there. The main Voivod's plot is SCI-FI, and the album concepts by Away are awesome. The early sound of Voivod has the futuristic setting, but not in a space opera way, full of dimensional travels, technologies and space pirates. This one is the beggining of the Voivod saga, right on Earth, and the album theme is around nuclear devastation. The raw rotten rock of War and Pain fits perfect with the album concept. The poor quality of this death/thrash record brings the catastrophe to the air, and listening to this album I breathe the polluted and dirty smoke from a post-apocalyptical city ruled by an evil cyberpunk bikers gang, wearing red mohawks, gay leather outfits, big ass boots and monochles, trapping innocent hostages and torturing them til death with chains, and laughing at the misery and scarcity. I can clearly watch Piggy in the middle of the ruined old buildings playing Suck Your Bone, while the angry Snake sings barely biting the mic. Piggy's guitar is too damn dissonant as ever, and you will find some kind of strange psychedelic riffs, full of effects and feedback on the last track. Oh hell, you will find the angriest Snake ever listening to this album, his voice is unique. Take a look at Blacky and you will see, his appearence and attitude playing the bass is so violent! The cover art it's a fine way to describe what I heard from Voivod's debut. The band was very influenced by the 70's progressive scene and crust hardcore. Here's the answer if you are asking yourself what the kind of hell these guys were trying to do with their first underrated album. This is the extreme, heavy heavy side of Voivod. I needed guts to start enjoying War and Pain. But it worth a lot.

 Voivod by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 58 ratings

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Voivod
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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

 Target Earth by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 76 ratings

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Target Earth
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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. It´s 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. It´s still predominantly dissonant riffing that´s on the menu though, so don´t despair if you miss D'Amour. This still through and through sounds like Voivod. Of course that´s 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 it´s most melodic "Angel Rat (1991)" and "The Outer Limits (1993)". But the band still succeed in creating a sound that´s somewhat unique for "Target Earth". The band are as always very well playing and it´s an absolute joy to hear Jean- Yves "Blacky" Thériault´s 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 O´kom" and "Mechanical Mind" bear witness to.

After a couple of albums that didn´t exactly live up to the quality I expect from Voivod, it´s 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.

 Target Earth by VOIVOD album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 76 ratings

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Target Earth
Voivod Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I know. The cover looks like something spray-painted on the wall of a comic book store. If I came face to face with that gun-toting character in a war scenario, I wouldn't stand a chance since I'd be laughing too hard to aim properly. It's a bit of a shame since a good number of Voivod's previous album sleeves possess sweet and pretty killer artwork that genuinely reflected the wild music within. In this case, rest assured that Target Earth is not specifically groovy disco sci-fi metal from da streets, but it's good. Damn good at times.

I honestly did not expect the band to persevere after guitarist Piggy's passing, especially considering he was essentially the backbone of the band's unique sound. Bringing in Chewy, though, as their new guitarist and getting their original bassist Blacky back in the fold has not only kept the band going, but revamped the band with a new sense of energy. If they could add a full-time keyboardist named Bunny and a saxophone player named Spanky, then they'd really be all set, but as for now, Voivod are officially back doing what they are best known for, which is their brand of cyberpunk metal with lots of tritone chord progressions meshing with some Pink Floyd and Rush influences.

And I dig it. Right off the bat, the music harkens back to their late 80's golden age, channeling aspects of everything from Killing Technology through Nothingface. Chewy was no doubt a fan of that era of the band growing up, and especially Piggy's rhythm techniques, thus his contribution to the band's current sound has such a strong vibe of works like Dimension Hatross that Target Earth almost feels like some lost recording from 1988.

Soundwise all instruments are clearly discernable, including Blacky's heavily distorted bass licks. Many of these tunes have abundant tempo and time signature shifts, as tracks like "Kaleidos" can attest, which must be a chore to pull off on stage. This is definitely some of their busiest and most difficult material since Nothingface, and yet these songs never lose themselves into convoluted riffs tossed together willy-nilly. They are catchy and memorable to the point where I was whistling parts of the somewhat psychedelic "Warchaic" long after my first listen. Although the overall sound is somewhat constant, the speed and attitudes vary from track to track, with slow trippy passages complimenting thrashier d-beat backed riffs.

Snake the singer is another key factor in Voivod's vision, providing vocals that are really hard to classify except that they work perfectly with the cyberpunk and space-rock mentality. A bit rougher in tone these days, bringing back a bit of that Killing Technology 'throatiness' while retaining his detached, cool demeanor, Snake still has a commanding presence, although during the first track at key moments there's some effects tacked on to his lyric dispensing that causes him to sound like Dave Mustaine with a stuffed nose (not a particularly good thing) that luckily aren't repeated later during the album's running time.

These guys should feel proud of what they achieved here. While a whole lot of heavy bands from the 80's continue to pump out new garbage under their flagship name just to play their old tunes during metal festival tours and whatnot, Voivod actually captured what made them great back in the day and revitalized that sound for this age. It can be debated as to whether a band mining almost entirely into its back catalogue for inspiration can be considered a 'progressive' act, even if that old material defined the group hitting a creative stride, but in this case I wouldn't bother. I'm just enjoying this stuff.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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