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Voivod - Nothingface CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.24 | 367 ratings

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5 stars "Nothingface" is the fifth full-length studio album by Canadian progressive metal act Voivod. The album was released through Mechanic/MCA Records in October 1989 (released through Noise Records in Europe). Itīs the successor to "Dimension Hatröss" from June 1988. "Nothingface" is Voivodīs most commercially successful release and the promotional video which was shot for the cover of "Astronomy Domine" by Pink Floyd was aired on MTVīs Headbangers Ball and helped strengthen Voivodīs reputation and profile on the scene. Itīs not like Voivod sold millions of albums and commercially successful should in this case be understood in the right context. But considering the type of music they play on "Nothingface", any kind of commercial success is a major achievement.

Stylistically the material on "Nothingface" is a strange, sci-fi themed, and darkly psychedelic tinged type of progressive metal, featuring odd abrupt rhythm work/time-signature changes, and dissonant riffs. Lead vocalist Denis Bélanger "Snake" sings more melodic on "Nothingface" than he has done on any of the previous releases, but his melody lines and the rhythm of this delivery are often weird and not particularly catchy. He sounds a lot like a punk singer who went through the wrong rehearsal room door but decided to stay and play with the technical metal/progressive metal band who happened to be playing there. So in many ways "Nothingface" is a fragmented and odd release, but thatīs exactly why itīs so brilliant...

...itīs so unusual, creative, and unique that there really isnīt anything like it out there. Never before...and never since. Coming from the technical thrash metal/progressive metal of "Dimension Hatröss" the change of musical direction must have confused many of the bandīs thrash metal fans, who were probably already a bit tired of the experimental songwriting on "Dimension Hatröss". "Nothingface" takes that approach and runs with it. Most thrash metal oriented riffs are gone from the music, and instead the use of twisted, dissonant, and unconventional riffs have increased. Thereīs also an almost uplifting funky groove to some tracks, which is something new too. Despite being a bit more melodic inclined release, "Nothingface" is by no means an easily accessible listen. Itīs an aquired taste too and Iīm sure that most people are left a bit baffled after their first listen. Peopleīs reactions to listening to "Nothingface" can most likely be put in two catagories...those who found it an odd, inpenetrable, and uninviting listen and those who found it weird but were left with an urge to give it more spins because they heard something intriguing they felt was worth exploring more.

"Nothingface" features a powerful, organic, and detailed sound production which perfectly suits the material. The bass is quite prominent in the soundscape and provides the right amount of heaviness to the music, when the guitar often wanders off in more high end riff or lead part territories. The drums feature a powerful organic tone, and the vocals are placed just right in the mix.

Upon conclusion itīs almost impossible to describe what "Nothingface" sounds like on paper in a way that leaves the reader wiser or more informed after reading the review. Itīs one of those releases which you have to give a listen yourself to be able to judge and evaluate. But to my ears (so hereīs a pretty subjective opinion) "Nothingface" is the true definition of an artist being progressive. Voivod created something which didnīt exist before (not even in their own previous work) and they progressed a whole music genre in the process. So even if you arenīt able to appreciate the music and arenīt able to enjoy listening to it, there should still be points for creativity and uniqueness. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives).

UMUR | 5/5 |


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