Voivod
Dimension Hatross


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 28th, 2008 | 189 replies | 22,478 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Voivod's Defining Album

Music is a dynamic entity that is constantly moving forward and reinventing itself. That forward movement keeps the music pure as it continuously cannibalizes the weaker bands and forces them back into obscurity, but sometimes bands that are simply ahead of their time get forced into obscurity as well. Voivod is the perfect example of a band that was well ahead of their time and has languished in obscurity for it. If you ask the average person into metal about Voivod their knowledge will generally extend as far as vaguely remembering that their guitarist was another victim of the metal/cancer connection, and nothing else. Even worse is that Voivod now suffers the same stigma as Flotsam and Jetsam in that the average person’s only knowledge of the band is due to Jason Newstead playing with them. Voivod deserve more then the relative obscurity that they’ve been forced to endure as albums such as Dimension Hatross overwhelmingly prove.

Dimension Hatross found the band perfecting the thrash/prog combination of previous albums as well as finally giving the band their own unique sound. There are many reasons that someone could site for the band’s distinctiveness. You could point to the nasally, almost spoken-word vocal style of “Snake” as a reason. One could also point to the weird aliens-in-space direction of the lyrics as another reason, but you still wouldn’t have found the main source of their individuality. If you were to focus on the chaotic, ever-changing nature of songs such as opener, “Experiment”, with its angular riffs, thrash outbursts and jarring musical changes then you’d at least be in the ballpark because the majority of that distinctive sound comes from the riffs and arrangements of guitarist “Piggy”.

For someone who knows how to play guitar or knows music theory it might be easy to describe the style and creation of the riffs on this album, but for the average listener it’s damn near impossible. The riffs are frenzied and dissonant and are often higher-pitched then what you might expect from a metal band, but they never come off as atonal or noisy. Songs such as “Tribal Convictions” or “Macrosoultions to Megaproblems” are great examples of that unique sound and the multifaceted way in which he uses it. After a slow build up, “Tribal Convictions” comes in with a slow, groovy riff that still manages to use his weird dissonant riff style, but after a few minutes the song erupts into thrash speeds. It’s at those high speeds that the riffs really become raucous and tense, coming off like some sort of alien air raid siren. If it was just the sound of the riffs that set the band apart it would be enough, but it’s not just the sound of those riffs but also their arrangement.

Every song on this album has multiple movements that are combined in such a way as to constantly build a sense of tension. A song such as “Chaosmongers” begins slowly, but quickly builds in intensity before erupting in a whirlwind of siren-like riffs that constantly change speed and rhythm, accentuated by some very capable percussion and double-bass from the drummer. In fact, just about every song begins in a more subdued manner and slowly builds into a very edgy and chaotic collection of dissonant riffs and jarring rhythms. These weird riffs combined with the chaotic arrangements may have been too much for the average fan, but apparently it was just perfect for other musicians. Despite the lack of acknowledgement from the average metal fan many bands around today site Voivod as a huge influence on them, from Meshuggah and System of a Down to Mayhem (listen to “Grand Declaration of War” and tell me this album’s influence isn’t all over it).

As groups such as Cynic or Atheist have proved, a band that is ahead of its time and spends its career in obscurity can still manage to force their way out once times have caught up to them. I only hope that Voivod’s chance to show fans what they were missing years ago comes to pass. If that day does come it will probably be because of this album with its unique riffs, strange vocals and perfect blend of prog and thrash. Anyone into challenging and unique music owes it to themselves to seek this out, because this album was so ahead of its time that only the production gives away the fact that this wasn’t released some time in the last few years.



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user ratings (275)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
CrimsonFloyd (5)
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Voivod STAFF (5)
A macro-solution to the mega-problems of 80’s metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, this was completely re-written after a few helpful hints. We'll see if it came out any better for it.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

BallsToTheWall
July 28th 2008



44164 Comments


Well I do agree that the only thing I really know about this band is Piggy and some other stuff I collected from a mag. Nice review though, i'll torrent this.

rasputin
July 28th 2008



14517 Comments


Nice review Willie. You've mentioned these guys before quite a few times, added this to my list of albums to check out.

Wizard
July 28th 2008



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you ask the average person into metal about Voivod their knowledge will generally extend as far as vaguely remembering that their guitarist was another victim of the metal/cancer connection, and nothing else.

Bang on. Really like the way you opened this review up.

Excellent review as always. I fall into the category that you described in the intro; I've never heard more than a song by these guys. Maybe its time to pick this album up?

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah definitely. It's so old that it shouldn't be more then a few dollars... if you pay for it at all ;)

username345
July 28th 2008



594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Quality album.

moltenlava
July 28th 2008



312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent album and excellent review. This band was fearless back during a time of great musical conformity. I wonder if bands like Atheist, Death, Cynic were influenced by these guys.



Wizard
July 28th 2008



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if you pay for it at all

You know I despise Lars Ulrich, don't you? hahaha
I will be on the look out for this!This Message Edited On 07.28.08

SHOOTME
July 29th 2008



2393 Comments


Lars Ulrich


The Meg White of Metal.

WillieFisterbut


Some guy who just wrote another good review and deserves a pos.

Wizard
July 29th 2008



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some guy who just wrote another good review and deserves a pos.

Some guy? This is Willie we are talking about. The guy who could old school most of the kids on this site.


Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha ha. I review new shit too. I'm just trying to finish off bands' back catalogs so that they all have reviews.

Meatplow
December 12th 2008



5524 Comments


This album is excellent.

Wizard
April 7th 2009



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Willie, I think I'm going to take your advice and invest in this. Where the fuck have I been with these guys?

Willie
Moderator
April 7th 2009



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have an answer ;)

If you liked Nothingface than you should probably like this more.



This Message Edited On 04.07.09

Wizard
August 11th 2009



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Willie, do you know how long this took to order in?

I finally got it tonight in the mail and I plan on cracking a beer and cranking this badboy from start to finish. I will give you an update tomorrow.

Willie
Moderator
August 12th 2009



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Looking forward to it.

Wizard
August 12th 2009



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit Willie, you're review is bang on about this album. I mean, listening to this stoned makes the album all the more better, but this is like the forgotten classics of forgotten classics.

Best songs: 'Technocratic Manipulators' (speedy riff at the end of the song gets my blood pumping), 'Tribal Convictions', 'Cosmic Drama', and 'Macrosolutions To Megaproblems' (craziest song on the album).

Willie
Moderator
August 13th 2009



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is like the forgotten classics of forgotten classics
See, I don't push you to check out crap ;)

Have you heard the album before this one, Killing Technology? It's more raw and a little less developed but it's good too.

Wizard
August 13th 2009



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more raw and a little less developed but it's good too.

I have that one on backorder too : ). This took me about 3 months to get in. Loving this album at the moment.

Willie
Moderator
August 13th 2009



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Did this sound anything like you expected? Seriously, does this even sound like anything you've heard before?



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