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Toaster Mantis View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 23 2014 at 05:04
I'm surprised there isn't more discussion of this Québecois quartet around here, what with them being the most unique big name progressive metal group of the 1980s and certainly the most interesting in my book.

Voivod
are a pretty curious band in that when I first heard them back in high school I didn't understand their music at all, but now they basically represent everything I look for in heavy guitar music of any kind. The key to VV finally clicking for me is that in the meantime I had developed an actual appreciation of their punk and 1980s indie rock influences, the band's output having as much to do with those genres as with heavy metal or progressive rock.

The thing I like about Voivod is that even their rawer-than-roadkill first two LPs feature a lot of outside-the-box thinking in terms of riff construction and instrumental interplay (like Venom played by aliens)... whereas the more introverted and psychedelic music they went into later still maintains a ramshackle and punky approach, if in the tradition of Wire and Killing Joke rather than The Dead Kennedys and Discharge. As a result I find Killing Technology much more exciting than most other 1980s speed/thrash metal groups' attempts at going into more intellectual territory during that decade, which I frankly think have aged badly and just confirm the stereotype of "mature = boring" that's pretty common in certain metal circles. (Dimension Hatross and onwards being too unique to categorize as such)

In a way I think Voivod can be called their generation's Hawkwind. Not just in being the seamless intersection between metal, punk and psychedelia... but also in how perfectly their entire "band concept" nails the vibe of the cyberpunk movement in 1980s science-fiction literature like Hawkwind did that of the 1960s New Wave movement in the same genre. (both being the only parts of it I still maintain an active interest in)

Out of curiosity, what's the skinny on the band's output after Angel Rat... which I'm not too familiar with? I like the songs I've heard from Phobos, but find The Outer Limits pretty lukewarm and one of their missteps though it's admittedly a long time ago I last heard it. Read some rather mixed reviews of Target Earth, their comeback album without Piggy, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HemispheresOfXanadu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2014 at 09:03
I tried to buy some Voivod (among several other bands) when I went to a used CD store a while ago but they were out. A couple weeks later I got Nothingface from iTunes even though I only actually knew Astronomy Domine at all. I wasn't disappointed though--some well-crafted punk-influenced psych/prog metal on every song. I now have Katorz and a live album from my music teacher which are also very cool.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 28 2014 at 05:36
I'm starting to get the impression that Voivod are one of those bands that are more influential than popular. I don't hear that much talk about them in the metal press or among people I know in real life but plenty of musicians in the relevant genre do cite them as a source of inspiration. Even on this forum there isn't very much discussion of their music compared to other big name modern prog groups.

Thing is, I don't understand that when back in the late 1980s and early 1990s Voivod happened to tour with to this day very popular bands like Queensr˙che and Soundgarden not to mention that several of their videos got regular airplay on MTV and similar channels. Maybe there's a couple of generation gaps they're on the wrong side of, both regarding 1960s/1970s prog/psych and the more extreme 1990s/2000s metal styles that Voivod in turn inspired?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote charles_ryder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2014 at 04:17
I think "Voivod" is the very influential band for all progressive rock. But they are too complicate to thrash and too heavy to art rock. Nevertheless they has respect from both. As a result there are lot of people more talking about them but no so hearing.
Apropos, I like their cover on "Astronomy Domine". It's surprising to hear the cover on Barret's song from the thrash band.
And the Target Earth IMO is not so bad album.


Edited by charles_ryder - April 16 2014 at 06:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2014 at 06:25
I absolutely adore Voivod. One of my favorite artists. A band with a completely unique sound. Their eighties output is of course legendary. The first two albums being extremely raw sci-fi themed punkted thrash metal albums. Someone said Venom played by aliens, and I think that´s a great description Personally I never enjoyed those two albums much, but with Killing Technology and especially Dimension Hatröss, they had decent sound productions and their attention to details and album flow were more attentive on those albums. Nothingface is just downright weird. Incredibly charming but weird beyong belief. Probably one of the most unique metal albums out there. And of course their cover of Astronomy Domine is godly. Angel Rat was a bit of a disappointment to me, but I´ve learned to appreciate it a bit more over the years. The outer Limits is another personal favorite of mine. I love that album with it´s cold and futuristic sound production and almost mechanic delivery. Great, great album.

Anything after that album has been a bit up and down IMO. The two Eric Forrest fronted albums are alright, but not really excellent, and the self-titled Snake comeback album is slightly tedious to my ears. The two post-Piggy (let´s use all his abandoned demos and make songs out of them) albums are not that great either, but fortunately they seem to have found inspiration again on Target Earth, which is definitely worth having.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2014 at 06:36
Only listened to Target Earth. It's awesome indeed!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote charles_ryder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2014 at 06:46
Yes, Piggy was a great guitarist and composer, but Mongrain repeats his style more or less successfully. Mongrain is not Piggy, of course, but he is not so bad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2014 at 09:02
If the current lineup stay together I´m sure Mongrain will develop a more personal style in time. His solo style is already quite different from Piggy´s ditto. It´s not like he is a newbie either. He has played quite a few years with other acts including Martyr.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2014 at 02:40
The "aliens playing Venom" description of the first two Voivod LPs was one I made in the opening post. Tongue

The couple of songs I heard from Target Earth sounds like their Mongrain has his own soloing style already, if one that is clearly influenced by Piggy. On the subject of his own band Martyr, I'm somewhat curious to hear them now... though I'm also under the impression that kind of ultra-technical death metal is on its way out, in favour of reviving older styles of DM.

Apparently the Eric Forrest-fronted albums were inspired quite a bit by what Ministry were doing at the same time?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2014 at 02:17
Martyr is in the vein of Death (the band).

I guess you´re right that the Eric Forrest albums features an industrial element, but I wouldn´t say they sound much like Ministry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2014 at 14:57
Any news on exactly what happened on that documentary that Sam Dunn of A Headbanger's Journey and Global Metal fame was supposed to be making about this band? He announced that Voivod documentary back in 2012 and I have no idea how progress is going.


Edited by Toaster Mantis - July 03 2014 at 16:05
"The past is not some static being, it is not a previous present, nor a present that has passed away; the past has its own dynamic being which is constantly renewed and renewing." - Claire Colebrook
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aapatsos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2014 at 15:49
If you read some reviews on this site, you will see that some people wonder why they are on PA. It is important that you get the "right" album to listen to, as they had several "phases" in their career (non-prog included) and that might give the wrong impression.

Give me Nothingface any day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2014 at 15:53
I always recommend people to start with Killing Technology, as that's the Voivod album which showcases both their thrash and prog sides equally. Also read a recent review with Away where he names that as his favourite out of the band's LPs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2014 at 04:37
Metal-Archives reviewer Abominatrix has finally gotten around to his project of reviewing Voivod's entire discography, right now being at Rrröööääärrr. I think it's interesting and will be to read because he's also the drummer of black metal group Demontage and it's curious to see an analysis of Voivod's evolution from that perspective rather than a hardcore punk or speed/thrash or prog-rock angle. (I think their influence on black metal often goes understated, the late Euronymous of Mayhem fame was a fan as is Carl Michael-Eide from Aura Noir/Ved Buens Ende/Virus)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PrognosticMind Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2014 at 11:19
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

Metal-Archives reviewer Abominatrix has finally gotten around to his project of reviewing Voivod's entire discography, right now being at Rrröööääärrr. I think it's interesting and will be to read because he's also the drummer of black metal group Demontage and it's curious to see an analysis of Voivod's evolution from that perspective rather than a hardcore punk or speed/thrash or prog-rock angle. (I think their influence on black metal often goes understated, the late Euronymous of Mayhem fame was a fan as is Carl Michael-Eide from Aura Noir/Ved Buens Ende/Virus)

Ah, now that's interesting. I've always loved Voivod. I kind of have a bias for Canadian metal, if you haven't figured that out yet Wink.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 15:01
Voivod is one of the roots of progmetal. Killing technology, Dimension Hatross and Nothingface broke the mold of speed/thrash metal's cliche's. They were not perfect though. They have a bunch of filler material, with the Newstead era being the bottom of the barrel. The Eric Forrest records had 1 bad and 1 good album IMHO. Negatron was dreadful and Phobos is an under-appreciated gem. And not just for the "Schizoid Man" cover.  The most recent album Target Earth is pretty amazing. Especially considering everyone, including myself, thought that Piggy's passing would signal the end of Voivod. I suspect he would be proud to know that Daniel Mongrain, who has a pretty impressive resume of his own (check out Martyr's Feeding the Abscess), was picked to succeed him.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prog Sothoth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2014 at 21:04
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

Metal-Archives reviewer Abominatrix has finally gotten around to his project of reviewing Voivod's entire discography, right now being at Rrröööääärrr. I think it's interesting and will be to read because he's also the drummer of black metal group Demontage and it's curious to see an analysis of Voivod's evolution from that perspective rather than a hardcore punk or speed/thrash or prog-rock angle. (I think their influence on black metal often goes understated, the late Euronymous of Mayhem fame was a fan as is Carl Michael-Eide from Aura Noir/Ved Buens Ende/Virus)

I agree...Piggy's style is actually well suited for black metal acts that utilize dissonant and increasingly technical riffing. Cananda's Thantifaxath (recently added here) immediately comes to mind.

Abominatrix is an excellent reviewer...I almost want to give Voivod's second album another spin after reading that review. That album never really grabbed me much except for the really fast tunes (such as "Ripping Headaches"). Always loved War And Pain though. I only gave it three stars here 'cause it's PA and all, but I'm often tempted to upgrade the rating to 4.
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