(9/10) Canadian prog thrashers Voivod were never a band whose music was easy to follow. It always demanded time and some spins to explore and grasp the details of their songs. This goes for the raw and anarchic sound of the early days and it’s like a common denominator, bridging to the here and now.
Also the newest album, ‘The Wake’, isn’t a catchy piece of music. The longplayer needs time, focus and preferably ear-phones. Voivod never stood still when it comes to their music and evolved it over time. The harsh early days, the ‘commercial’ ‘Angel Rat’ and the latest progressive releases show a constant movement without ever denying roots. It’s a bit like with the Voivod logo. It went through many adjustments over time, but it was always recognizable as Voivod (and that had nothing to do with letters).
In this context ‘The Wake’ is another piece that completes the puzzle. Progressivness is again the main characteristic and it’s a heavy weight the album starts with. ‘Obsolete Beings’ is a fast and aggressive opener before the scenery changes for ‘The End of Dormancy’. Voivod reduces tempo dramatically. A dark and oppressive atmosphere takes over and it’s the blood curdling way “The Wake” is screamed out that acts as a pepperoni for this great song.
A new thing on this album is embedded into ‘Inconspiracy’. While keeping a fast metal beat, the middle part includes some soundtrack-like sequences, adding more drama to the song. It’s a cinematic moment that I can’t remember having heard of Voivod before.
‘The Wake’ is a complex piece of music with ‘Event Horizon’ being a perfect example. The song is potentially confusing to you the first time you listen to it. It grows though the more often you listen to it and represents Voivod’s musical ambition in perfection.
Not that much new though when it comes to the story ‘The Wake’ tells. Of course it’s the Voivodian themes like disaster, consciousness and so that are addressed on this album. And what’s not new either is the fact that Michel ‘Away’ Langevin took care about the artwork of this album, all together rounding off the complete Voivod package you could wish for.
Five years after ‘Target Earth’ delighted fans of progressive thrash metal, it’s ‘The Wake’ that picks up where the band left with the predecessor and also shows a link to the earlier days. This album delivers a lot to work on as a fan and I think that this exactly what fans are looking for. ‘The Wake’ is an outer space metal monster – a Voivodian blast.
- Obsolete Beings
- The End of Dormancy
- Orb Confusion
- Spherical Perspective
- Event Horizon
- Always Moving
- Sonic Mycelium
Label: Century Media
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date EU: September 21st, 2018