Voivod–Infiini, released June 23 in the US (earlier through mail order and in Europe). Basically, here’s what you need to know:
- Voivod is one of the most divisive bands ever. People tend to either love them, or hate them. A wide range of bands have liked them, including Sonic Youth which professed to liking Dimension Hatross, Dave Pajo of Slint, the guys in Neurosis, Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters, and Jason Newsted of Metallica who joined Voivod after quitting Metallica. Considered by many to be way ahead of their time, and many hail them as fantastic and inventive experimental musicians, fusing things like metal, progressive rock, jazz, and modern classical (like Stravinsky and Bartok) way back in the 1980s before any of the current round of math rock, math metal, indie rock/postpunk, indie prog, prog metal bands, etc.
- One reviewer of Dimension Hatross wrote “Think Sonic Youth, King Crimson and Slayer, and you’re sort of in the ballpark.” I’d add stuff like Don Caballero and Drive Like Jehu to that description, and of course technical metal such as Necrophagist and Martyr.
- Their best albums are Killing Technology, Dimension Hatross, and Nothingface (these are their most consistent, inventive, and coherent albums). They have other good albums, with great songs, but the ones to start with are definitely Killing Technology, Dimension Hatross, and Nothingface.
- Infini is better than their last two albums, Katorz and their self-titled “Voivod” album. I quite like it and think it is a great return to form. Some non-previous Voivod fans might not like Snake’s vocals, at least at first listen (they’re not quite as metal as on their older stuff), some of the riffs begin a little less metal than on their older stuff (but are more experimental and metal than on their last two albums), and overall there are enough great parts to make this a very solid and welcome album and a great return to form.
- Jason Newsted plays awesome bass on Infini, moreso than on the other Voivod albums on which he has played bass. On some songs it sounds like Blacky circa Nothingface, that crazy prog bass sound like on King Crimson’s Red, Gentle Giant, the Stranglers, the Jesus Lizard, etc. Awesome!
- Piggy’s solos circa Dimension Hatross are back! I wonder how he gets that tinny, 80’s thrash metal solo sound? Is it a certain kind of pedal?
- Away’s drums are more awesome that anything since Killing Technology, Dimension Hatross, and Nothingface!
- Snake’s vocals are still not back to the metal snarling of Killing Technology, Dimension Hatross, and Nothingface, but are much better than on the last two albums.
So all in all, there’s great stuff on Infini–such as this crazy solo breakdown on “Destroy after Reading,” etc. If you ever liked Voivod, you may quite appreciate this. If you never liked Voivod, who knows. You may like it, you may hate it.
This is sadly the last Voivod album with all Piggy guitars. I hope Voivod makes new albums with Dan Mongrain Dan Mongrain from Martyr, who plays with them live. BTW, both Voivod and Martyr are from Quebec, Canada! Martyr is awesome by the way (see their album Warp Zone), I’m glad that he plays with Voivod…I would totally look forward to Voivod continuing to make albums with Dan on guitar!!!
BTW I think someone should make a jazz/lounge cover album of Voivod songs with jazz/lounge singing (can you imagine a jazz/lounge singer singing Voivod lyrics like “Use the killing technology, how can I destroy the enemy”?)!
Voivod–The Unknown Knows
Martyr–The Fortune Teller