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Respected, influential, sometimes difficult, usually godlike, always amazing. The most creative band to master the metal form. Their thirteenth album includes founding members Snake, Piggy, Away, and former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted.
With their 13th full-length album, Voivod welcome back original vocalist Denis Belanger, and bring on board none other than Jason Newsted of Metallica fame. Theyre clearly enjoying a fresh lease on life. Indeed, here they recall the rough and punky days of the new wave of British heavy metal. With "Rebel Robot," though, they rediscover their old rhythm-shifting form. "The Multiverse"s echoing, head-spinning intro evolves into a complex monster, as Belanger howls about the incomprehensible enormity of everything. He rises to the occasion yet again during the discordant but melodic "Divine Sun" and the churning, shape-shifting "Invisible Planet." Occasionally, they drift into more conventional heavy rock, and one wishes they'd included some sonic experimentation along the lines of the grim and freaky extra track that follows the apparent closer "We Carry On." Nevertheless, their new-found exuberance is a joy to witness and, hopefully, the presence of Newsted will help them find them an overdue large following. --Dominic Wills
Top customer reviews
At the time (2003), with Snake returning, we were all expecting Nothingface II. Almost a decade later, this album can really be appreciated. Back in '03 this collection sounded, dare we say it? a little "tuneful"! But it has grown on me over the years. "Gasmask Revival" "Invisible Planet" "I Don't Want To Wake Up" "The Multiverse" "Reactor" "Rebel Robot" "Divine Sun" + the truly weird "Le Cigars Volants" are all classic Voivod tracks. There's even some ambient noise experimentation tacked onto "We Carry On", if that's not enough avant-rock for you! It's a strong come-back album after a decade of problems for the band.
After enduring record-label fall outs, band shake-ups, near-fatal bus accidents, slow recovery, and going bankrupt, coming back strong with Metallica's world-famous bassist, a band as venerable and uncompromising as Voivod is entitled to a little triumphant rock n roll ala "We Carry On"!
Now, with the loss of Denis D'amour ("Piggy"), this music is all the more precious...
I know it's always a thrill when band meets saviour ie fellow thrasher made-good and ready to bail his friends/family out with some major-label clout (and don't forget finding a band with more thrash pedigree than Metallica). Additionally, when an original member is back from rehab/fresh off a solo career/ out of jail, etc. and rarin' to go back in the studio, hopes tend to run high for the new material. So when the album hits the cd/hard drive and the first opening strains of the comeback glide into the synapses, the anticipation is at a fever pitch. No wonder they passively-aggressively fired Eric: it wasn't _him_, it was _them_! :)
So where does the album fall short? Well, for one thing, you can't be in a band with Lars Ulrich for 15 years and _not_ lose some of your edge. I place the blame squarely upon Newsted's influence, not just in terms of stripped down arrangement, but also of production values: meaning, the dreaded over-maximized brick-wall limiting, which, when applied to metal, makes the music sound thin and tepid as opposed to the dense and loud ostensibly aimed for.
Once again, we have an album which starts out with the typical 'welcome back' (including some unimitable Snake screaming), and then with almost instantaneous deceleration, falls in upon itself by the third track. What Voivod have produced here, my friends, is sort of a Voivod lite, with Snake's vocals minus Piggy's trademark backwards leads and (definitely missing) Blacky's arranging abilities. While it's good to hear Snake again, it's somewhat grating to have to hear the band trying to play the same rock and roll game as a thousand other, less successful and nowhere-near-as-historical bands out there and, furthermore, it's a crying shame to hear Snake trying to sound like John Lyndon and quite anticlimactic for for everyone else to try to follow Jason's lead in the arrangement department. Note to anyone who cares: Snake is not a tenor, and Newsted is not a producer.
At a time when metal was enjoying a return from the underground, and while younger and fresher bands were upping the ante in terms of musicianship and atmosphere, putting this out was a major misstep for Voivod. Coupled with the fading health of a critical player, this album and its subsequent support were not the comeback fans were hoping for, despite any of the promotion and celebrity talent.
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