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4.9 out of 5 stars
Nothingface
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2005
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
***** - FIVE STARS

===================

WOW. This completely blew me away....

I'm an 80's Metal freak, and have heard almost everything in Metal from Thrash / Death / Speed / Old-School. Nothing has touched me quite like this before though. It's genius....

It's sounds like Fusion Metal, but it's not. I don't know what it is, but I love it. It's got so much sound, and the emotions here are unlike any I've heard displayed by a Metal band. It's different that's for sure. It's certainly one of the most original releases I've ever heard, and I'm sure it wont be my only Voivod purchace....

It's funky, it's heavy, and it's very catchy / fun for the listener. No question a MASTERPIECE. If nothing else, you'll be very impressed in my opinion. This band was so far ahead of their time it's sickening....

NOTHINGFACE RULES!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The year is 1989 and practically every Thrash Metal band is trying to release another 'heavy & aggressive' album to cash in on it while Canada's Voivod releases Nothingface. The album contains an excellent cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" and the video gets considerable rotation from MTV to introduce the new sound and direction of Voivod. This was the first album I bought of theirs and to this day I consider it a timeless classic regardless of any genre. What sets Nothingface away from any other release out there is that it is the very first record (along with Fates Warning's Perfect Symmetry) to truly bring the Rush influence into Progressive Metal in a way that was fresh. As Voivod's main goal was to be different than other bands, with each following release, they incorporated odd time signatures, key and tempo changes and futuristic lyrics in their songs. And, without doubt, Nothingface is their finest moment. It has already taken its place as a historic recording in the evolution of Progressive Metal.

The (timeless) music presented on this album sees the Canadian band largely exploring other areas and experimenting with a unique style of writing and performing. No longer a Thrash Metal act, guitarist Denis D'Amour and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault lay off a virtuosic overkill of riffs that are seamlessly blended and carried to a new musical platform. Denis Belanger's vocal melodicism is heavily stressed and perhaps his finest job to date. However, the drumming on the album has got to be the most brilliant aspect of the musicianship. His odd-metered approach gives the music a level of depth and credibility. Michel Langevin's performance on this disc (as well as other Voivod releases) is nothing short of amazing. He has a tasty style which is heightened to levels of excellence by his complex and multi-facetted polyrhythm work. The perfect harmony between the bass and drums proves to be one of the tightest and most impressive rhythm sections ever! The bass is a wall of relentless throbbing but it is cleverly kept in the context of the song. Most of the bass and guitar lines are played in opposition to one another and they are surrounded by a sonic intensity that is virtually impossible to verbalise. It really is so difficult to believe that this album was recorded in 1989 -- it was way ahead of its time in every respect from musicianship to lyrics to production.

Throughout the whole 43-minute disc, time signatures continue to shift, blur, change and re-invent themselves. With Voivod eventually letting their Prog Rock influences (Pink Floyd, Rush and King Crimson) seep in, the result is a powerful record with incredible aesthetics. D'Amour's razor-sharp guitar riffs are creepily worked into the mix giving each song a unique vibe. Belanger delivers deeply thought-provoking lyrics which seem to have improved greatly compared to their pre-1987 releases. The lyrical content, albeit a bit hard to grasp immediately, is as profound as the listener wants it to be. The subject matter seems to deal with how technology takes over the world and how the individual suffers the risk of losing his identity because of the constant changes happening. The Floyd cover "Astronomy Domine" established Voivod as an ever-changing Progressive Metal band whose work has been vastly underrated among the Metal community. Not be overlooked is producer Terry Brown of Rush and Fates Warning fame. Without his added touch, this album would never be as impressive as it is.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
An odd and strangely satisfying amalgam of Rush, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Metallica, my opinion of_Nothingface_ has not budged an inch since I first bought it over ten years ago - it is like no other metal album you will ever hear. Voivod were pounding out literate, hi-tech excursions into the beyond before Fear Factory ever got near a drum machine. _Nothingface_, like its more primal predecessor _Dimension Hatross_, is song cycle about the continuing adventures of everyone's favorite sentient subatomic particle - the VoiVod. Although decidely more polished and progressive than any previous Voivod release, you don't need your physics book though to groove to the eerie, pummeling take on "Astronomy Domine" - a song which, if I am to believe every on of my friends who have lent a brave ear to it, is quite possibly the mother of all Pink Floyd covers (with a killer video to boot). The opening track "The Unknown Knows", feeling very much like a musical rocket launch, prepares you for all that you are about to experience - constantly shifting dynamics, sudden tempo changes, epic and strange atonal riffs that seem like they are beamed straight from the heart of Planet Fripp - and ending most unexpectedly with a wink and a nudge and a gaily lilting accordion.
If the music weren't so friggin' fantastic I would dock a star for the lackluster re-issue by Noise/Combat, which has questionably ditched the artwork created by drummer Away for each of the songs, as well as the cryptic, circular lyrics, leaving you even more in the dark as to what the hell is going on. If you can locate the original (out of print) MCA release of this album you will be better off. Still, this was a stone-cold masterpiece then, and hasn't lost a bit of its luster since.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
No one would ever have predicted back in 1984 that the band who stormed onto the scene with "War and Pain" would end up five years later dropping the twisted cybermetal of "Nothingface". Charting their musical progression through the median three albums, it seems obvious in retrospect, but despite the fully realized work that is "Dimension Hatross" it's "Nothingface" that is Voivod's true masterpiece.
"The Unknown Knows" and "Nothingface" jump out of the starting gates with a heavier direction than much of the album will maintain. Doubtless Voivod were breaking in fans of "Dimension Hatross" gently, as both songs follow in that general path. However, the third track, a cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine", fully introduces the zoned out, trance-like dirge that will permeate the rest of the album. Frankly, this is one of the best cover versions I've ever heard, despite being ultra-faithful to the original (a process I usually detest). The drums in particular are absolutely fantastic - we're not talking double kick drum rolls or any other form of technical virtuosity, but the soft/loud buildups and the way Michel Langevin works around the melody is awe inspiring and makes this an utter pleasure to listen to.
Of the remaining funereal "ballads", "Missing Sequences" and "Into My Hypercube" are both astounding, whereas standout rockers include "Pre-Ignition" and "X-Ray Mirror". The lyrics all consist of paranoid, futuristic Kafka-meets-Orwell parables about loss of identity and invasion of privacy. For the most part they're fairly impenetrable, but the band have helpfully (?) provided abstract, impressionistic computer art for each song.
Although Voivod have a series of great albums that boast different approaches and succeed in conflicting manners, "Nothingface" is both the best and most accessible album they've released to date.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Voivod is a band known for evolving their sound with each successive release. When NOTHINGFACE was released in 1989, it was at a time in the bands career when they were pushing the limits of the metal genre that they were awkwardly associated with. Every song on this release is filled with original ideas unique to each player, creating a twisted version of progressive metal which paralells what King Crimson was trying to do to bend the rules of early 70's music. Voivod was at the height of their experimentation with this release, coming after other bold releases, Dimension Hatross and Killing Technology. There is no easy way to describe this music - dark and dissonant, angular, tight parts all fit into a pulsing, writhing intensity of sound that does not let up. Every time I listen to this disc I am completely amazed at how original and creative these four musicians are, and how well they played off each other to create this ethereal masterpiece that, I do not beieve, can be touched by any other band, not even the new incarnation of the band (they are still creating some terrific music, albeit less progressive and ground-breaking). It is a shame that this release did not receive the attention it should have at the time. NOTHINGFACE, DIMENSION HATROSS and KILLING TECHNOLOGY should be essential for anyone interested in heavy, complex, inspiring innovative metal (and I use that term loosely).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
The band's fifth CD, and probably one of their best. Top rate progressive thrash (is there actually SUCH a genre?) Okay, how about maybe 'technical thrash'? That may be more like it. I haven't heard this disc in ages. It's GREAT! Best two tracks are "The Unknown Knows" and their Pink Floyd cover "Astronomy Domine". Unreal! Also about every other tune here rips, like "X-Ray Mirror", "Inner Combustion", "Pre-Ignition" and the wailing "Into My Hypercube". Good thing this is on CD, otherwise, I would've worn out like maybe two vinyl copies by now. Line-up: Denis Belanger - vocals, Denis D'Amour - guitar, Michel Langevin - drums and Jean-Yves Theriault - bass. I saw Voivod on this very tour with Soundgarden. One of the BEST club gigs I have ever encountered. Highly recommended. Might appeal to fans of Soundgarden, Coroner, Death Angel, Celtic Frost and Venom.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
No one would ever have predicted back in 1984 that the band who stormed onto the scene with "War and Pain" would end up five years later dropping the twisted cybermetal of "Nothingface". Charting their musical progression through the median three albums, it seems obvious in retrospect, but despite the fully realized work that is "Dimension Hatross" it's "Nothingface" that is Voivod's true masterpiece.
"The Unknown Knows" and "Nothingface" jump out of the starting gates with a heavier direction than much of the album will maintain. Doubtless Voivod were breaking in fans of "Dimension Hatross" gently, as both songs follow in that general path. However, the third track, a cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine", fully introduces the zoned out, trance-like dirge that will permeate the rest of the album. Frankly, this is one of the best cover versions I've ever heard, despite being ultra-faithful to the original (a process I usually detest). The drums in particular are absolutely fantastic - we're not talking double kick drum rolls or any other form of technical virtuosity, but the soft/loud buildups and the way Michel Langevin works around the melody is awe inspiring and makes this an utter pleasure to listen to.
Of the remaining funereal "ballads", "Missing Sequences" and "Into My Hypercube" are both astounding, whereas standout rockers include "Pre-Ignition" and "X-Ray Mirror". The lyrics all consist of paranoid, futuristic Kafka-meets-Orwell parables about loss of identity and invasion of privacy. For the most part they're fairly impenetrable, but the band have helpfully (?) provided abstract, impressionistic computer art for each song.
Although Voivod have a series of great albums that boast different approaches and succeed in conflicting manners, "Nothingface" is both the best and most accessible album they've released to date.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Still Life? Images and Words? Remedy Lane? no it's Nothingface. Anyway that's my belief and I'm sticking to it. This album however is not thrash metal. I maintain this is prog metal. My idea of prog thrash is Coroner. Also I can here a slight Robert Fripp influence in Piggy's guitar but it's not overwhelming. This is quite simply the most important album for rock guitar since Larks Tounges in Aspic. So what does it sound like?. Robotic, sometimes dischordant but always beautifully structured within the song. The guitar is also very high in riffing which i love and the rhythm section is both competent and original and powerful and there's no cookie monster vocals from snake and I better stop because I think I need to clean myself.Best Album of the 80's. End.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album is a must have for anyone who likes complex metal. This is DEFINITELY the best Voivod album. After releasing this album, they headlined a tour with Faith No More and Soundgarden. They were poised for superstardum, but then released Angel Rat, a very disappointing follow up. Shortly thereafter, thesinger and bass player left the band, and alas the band faded away (although they continued to release albums with new members).
This album features many complex time signatures and many tempo changes, but somehow manages to keep it all very song-like. If I had to compare them to a band around now, I would say that this album is a bit like Meshuggah (although the vocals are quite different).
BUY THIS ALBUM IF YOU CAN FIND IT!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There will never be another recording like Nothingface. Voivod managed to eschew their metal roots, while still being heavy. These songs are complicated, dissonant and full of wild twists and turns. Listening to Nothingface is akin to sitting in front of a gigantic factory at night, listening to the voices of the engines and machinery and watching the billowing smoke. This is music that maps out a tortured landscape of the future.
I think I've listened to Nothingface so much that it's ingrained in my memory forever. It has been more influencial to me than any record I own.
Progressive, intense and smart stuff. Highly recommended.
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