Voivod
Infini


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 15th, 2009 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite a few weak moments, Infini is a great final representation of the band and their quirky take on progressive metal.

Writing this review could have been like getting in a fight with a girl – you could beat her up and be the asshole or let her beat you up and forever be known as the guy that got his ass kicked by a girl – either way you lose. If you’re curious how that analogy could have anything to do with this album, a little background information is in order. Voivod’s guitar player died from cancer during the recording of their previous album, Katorz, but the band had enough material to finish it without him. Actually, they had more than enough material because shortly before his death he asked that the band make one final album using the riffs he had saved on his laptop, and they obliged. There are a few questions that arise from this scenario, though. First, how good would most of these riffs be if they were basically jam-sessions that he recorded on his own? Second, would the band be able to take riffs that couldn’t be altered and still mold them into complete songs? Essentially, it really could have been a disaster. That would have left a reviewer with two options, either take his posthumous work and be the asshole that trashes it or be overly positive and lose all credibility – either way you lose.

It turns out, however, that making music for over 25 years might actually give a band the skills needed to continue creating enjoyable music, despite any hurdles. It also turns out that there’s a difference between a seasoned musician recording music to his computer and some snot-nosed kid in mommy’s basement playing with Garage Band. This leads to an unexpected third option for a reviewer – write a positive review for an album that doesn’t need to rely on nostalgia or non-musical occurances to get it. To finish off the analogy, this would kind of be like getting hit by the girl, but discovering it doesn’t really hurt and she’s wearing a low-cut shirt anyway. Basically, Voivod’s final album doesn’t suffer from any of the concerns stated earlier. The riffs are the quirky, original style that Piggy has been a master of since the 80s, the sound is clear and most of the songs feel energetic and complete.

Despite that description, most still wouldn’t know what to expect from this album since the band have gone through many musical changes throughout their career. For fans the best description is that since the return of original vocalist, Snake, the band have played a hybrid of Angel Rat rock and Dimension: Hatross progressive metal. That basically implies that the song structures themselves are relatively simple and built around choruses, but that the riffs are mostly the shrill, angular style that made the band famous. Another thing that has evolved are Snake’s vocals. Since his return he has delivered a hybrid of his various styles. Essentially, his voice is as nasally as ever but he has returned a bit of the gritty delivery that’s been missing since the Killing Technology days.

This hybrid of eras, both musically and vocally, leads to a great album that manages to not sound like a rehash of the band’s past. In fact, Inifini sounds like it could have fit perfectly between Dimension: Hatross and Nothingface with it’s sudden thrashy outbursts, weird sci-fi lyrics, and emphasis on more standard structures. Kudos has to be given to the surviving members for taking random riffs and creating complete and enjoyable songs with them. It should be expected, though, that the band’s desire to get the rest of Piggy’s material out to the public would result in including a few riffs or songs that they probably shouldn’t have. “Pyramidome” is the perfect example of the band using a weak main riff that also seems to have resulted in a lackluster vocal performace as well (he literally sounds like he’s drunk and just slurring whatever comes to mind). At 13 songs, the band could have cut the three weakest ones and used their good riffs to improve a few of the remaining 10. This would have made for an album that was at least equal to the previous album, if not better. As it stands, this album suffers from a few riffs and songs that were better off left on Piggy’s hard drive.

Despite a few weak moments, Infini is a great final testament to the talent of departed guitarist, Piggy, as well as the remaining members. It takes the better elements from two of the band’s best albums and combines them to create an album that is simple in its structure yet still retains the great riffing and occasional musical tangents that the band excel at. The only minor issue was the band’s desire to include as much of Piggy’s material as possible. This definitely resulted in an album that is a little weaker than it could have been, but when the band shines they have the ability to make you forget about those missteps. For anyone that had quit on the band when Eric Forrest took over bass and vocal duties, my suggestion is to start with the band’s self-titled album and work your way up to this but for those that have never given up, this isn’t going to be the album that disappoints you.



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Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 15th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is already released in Europe but doesn't come out on this side of the pond until the 23rd. I'm posting it now so it doesn't get lost in the major releases of that week (Dream Theater, The Mars Volta, etc).

Wizard
June 15th 2009


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First paragraph is full of win dude. I saw they were releasing this and will most likely pick it up. And fuck silly Dream Theater and The Mars Volta, this will most definitely be much better.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

fireaboveicebelow
June 15th 2009


6837 Comments


doesn't really read like just a "good" cd, but it's also just another example of how well you know your shit

And fuck silly Dream Theater and The Mars Volta,
might as well agree

Willie
Moderator
June 15th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And fuck silly Dream Theater and The Mars Volta, this will most definitely be much better.
The new Dream Theater is actually pretty good (I've got a review for that finished already), but I don't really like anything The Mars Volta have done since their first two albums.
doesn't really read like just a "good" cd
I wrote it as a 3.5, but I realized that it's not as good as the last two albums that have the original vocalist and Jason Newstead and I have those both rated at 3.5's



ThusSpokeZarathustra
June 15th 2009


293 Comments


At least it sounds like it’s a bit of a return to old form..


Wizard
June 15th 2009


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The new Dream Theater is actually pretty good (I've got a review for that finished already), but I don't really like anything The Mars Volta have done since their first two albums.

Well I might as well give in to the new Dream Theater. Bang on with The Mars Volta though.

Listened to a song off this. Good stuff.

willfellmarsy
June 15th 2009


3849 Comments


want...great review...

you guys are fags for your mars volta comments...

Willie
Moderator
June 15th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

At least it sounds like it’s a bit of a return to old form..
The only albums that don't really have the "classic" Voivod sound are Angel Rat, the self-titled album and The Outer Limits. Even the albums with Eric Forrest sounded like they were based off of Rooaaarrrr and Killing Technology. But yeah, this is a throw back to the past, but with a solid Angel rat influence.
Well I might as well give in to the new Dream Theater.
I was surprised with how good the new DT was.
want...great review...
Thanks. If you like this than look into their entire back catalog.

Oh yeah, before anyone bitches about me not mentioning that Jason Newstead is on this album, it kind of frustrates me that a band that has such good music is mostly known (these days) due to cancer-related death and Jason Newstead playing bass.

Wizard
June 15th 2009


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah, before anyone bitches about me not mentioning that Jason Newstead is on this album, it kind of frustrates me that a band that has such good music is mostly known (these days) due to cancer-related death and Jason Newstead playing bass.

I absolutely hate this too. Unfortunately, thats kind of how I discovered these guys hahaha.

Willie
Moderator
June 15th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know it's how a lot of people did and any exposure is better than nothing. I just didn't want to personally contribute to it.

Wizard
June 15th 2009


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hear ya though. It's like Neurosis blowing up on this site because of me. I wish I didn't have anything to do with it and it was all about the people just wanting to hear great music hahahaha.

/sarcasm obviously

MassiveAttack
June 15th 2009


2688 Comments


crafty.

Willie
Moderator
June 15th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ha ha, well even if I was just furthing that information to the handful of people that will actually read this, that's still too many.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 15th 2009


3773 Comments


Where's the best place to start with these guys?

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

Willie
Moderator
June 15th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It depends on what you like. For a good solid progressive metal album without the excess try "The Outer Limits". If you like old school thrash mixed with a unique progressive side than try "Dimension: Hatross" (which is one of two albums thought to be their best... The other being "Nothingface"). For a good cross between "Outer Limits" and "Dimension" try Katorz.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 15th 2009


3773 Comments


Cool, on to it.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 15th 2009


4950 Comments


never really got into voivod. didn't know the guitarist died.

MisterBeefy
June 15th 2009


244 Comments


Looks interesting...I'll give them a chance, also willie do you review any mainstream music at all....well except Red of course.

Willie
Moderator
June 16th 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, he died of cancer. Kind of sucks since they were doing some cool things again.

I review mainstream music from time to time, but I try to avoid reviewing things that will end up with multiple reviews, but I've reviewed New Found Glory, Dido, Dixie Chicks and things like that in the past. I did the new Dream Theater review and that one will probably have like 10 others.

Altmer
June 16th 2009


5652 Comments


I will do the new Dream Theater just to keep up my streak of DT reviews. I never got into Voivod, don't think I'll get this until I have listened to their old shit.



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