Voivod
War and Pain


3.5
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
January 31st, 2011 | 16 replies | 7,972 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The not-so-humble beginning of one of metal’s finest acts.

The first years of the 80’s for metal were a period of intense turmoil, in terms of birth of new bands and music trends but also in terms of politics and nations’ shadowy economic conduct. Focusing on the musical unrest, the great progressive rock bands that had reveled during the decade of the 70’s were decaying at its dusk. The outburst of punk accelerated that decay. Punk changed irrevocably rock/metal by forcing it to sound naughtier and more brutal than ever in the years to come. However, the punk “virus” didn’t have the same effect to every metal band, as one can clearly see from the milestone albums of Motorhead, Venom, Iron Maiden and Metallica that were issued in the early 80’s. That “virus” also infected a new band, originating from the French Quebec in Eastern Canada and named after the cryptic word Voivod (a paraphrase of the Serbian word “Voevoda” which stands for “warlord” or “leader of a community”). Their debut, War and Pain (also a paraphrase of the title of Leon Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace) came out in 1984.

In War and Pain, two bands are calling the shots for Voivod, namely Motorhead with their punk/metal rock n’ roll urge and Venom with their raw black metal fiend. As a result, War and Pain relies on fast pace drumming, frenzied soloing and furious punk/rock n’ roll/metal riffing, constituents of a sound slipstreamed with the aura of early 80’s black metal to a significant extent. Although the originality of their sound is severely compensated by the aforementioned influences, Voivod manage to interject a few but really bizarre and original elements in between. While the overall pace of the album is quite fast, there are discrete occasions, where the band slows down unexpectedly to give room to some really strange and disharmonic rhythm and/or lead guitar riffing (listen for example to the middle part of “Warriors of Ice”, the beginning and the end of “War and Peace”, the first half of “Nuclear War” and the second half of “Iron Gang”). In addition, while the guitar soloing is frenzied and heavily influenced by Motorhead for the post part, at times it gets so spacey and eerie, leading the mind to the way bands like King Crimson or Pink Floyd handled their soloing affairs.

Baring in mind the above, one cannot neglect the fact that the fast punk n’ metal stuff is inadequately mixed with the eerie and dissonant musical parts. The former shifts places with the latter abruptly for the most part. This abruptness (or clumsiness) can be thought as a double-blade knife. Some may worship these shifts, while some may hate them. It can be safely said that the band is aiming at building a new sound; however, the lack of experience plus the somewhat “inappropriate” external influences seem to hinder the band’s few but discrete initiatives towards that direction.

Expanding more on the lack of experience by the band, Piggy’s guitars are pretty much, the only thing that really stands up within the album’s context. That stems from his ability to adapt to the vein of Motorhead and Venom convincingly and give something completely new at the same time, despite the fact that it feels under-developed and it exists in relatively small portions. Away’s drumming is simple and fairly decent, keeping up the fast pace of the songs. Blacky’s bass is surprisingly audible in between the whole chaos, showing fair skill in accompanying the drums and the punk-ish metal character of most of the guitar riffs. However, during the not-so-few times that the band goes “on the other side”, his bass lines show some potential. Snake’s vocals are definitely an acquired taste. While he barely stays on par with the rhythmic changes per song, his singing is soaked in lunacy and grimness, guided also by the naive character of the lyrics.

The sound production of metal guru, Brian Slagel, is ideal with respect to Voivod’s material. When the band is going berserk with their punk n’ metal stuff, the production is dirty, yet all instruments are readily audible. During the occasions where the band gets off the road, he manages to give the necessary depth, especially to the lead guitars.

War and Pain shows a band which pays tribute to its influences, while it brings forth some new elements, which are irrelevant to the band’s musical foundations. The fusion of the former to the latter, although it is not working very well, it clearly assesses the band's beginning as not-so-humble. It remains to be seen whether the band will take things to the next level or settle safely as being a great Motorhead/Venom influenced band with some interesting twists. To be continued…



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user ratings (130)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2011



5919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Voivod:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV5kCMWti4Y&feature=related

Warriors of Ice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOrE7BS6VFE&feature=related

Suck your Bone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31BSzQLfIg0&feature=related

Iron Gang:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FM0Ly0Lixs&feature=related

War and Pain:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSozmwCbkbA&playnext=1&list=PLE6A7AF6BA27B5740

Blower:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EseBTn54OHQ&feature=related

Live for violence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnBgZZGceU&feature=related

Black City:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnBgZZGceU&feature=related

Nuclear War:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnBgZZGceU&feature=related





Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

FatChickIrl
January 31st 2011



4096 Comments


never listened to voivod lol

scissorlocked
January 31st 2011



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

review is win, POS
very accurate description of the music and the general background of the band

the album is pretty weird in my opinion as it signifies the birth of a sound of a truly unique band

I think there's a typo here:

"Their debut, War and Peace (also a paraphrase of the title of Leon Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace) came out in 1984."

I think you mean War and Pain

Digging: John Roberts - Ausio

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2011



5919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah man you are right, i will correct.

Willie
Moderator
January 31st 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I can't get into these guys any earlier than Killing Technology.

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

Dryden
January 31st 2011



12928 Comments


awesome

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2011



5919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't get into these guys any earlier than Killing Technology.

Yeah i know what you mean.

I had this under a 2.5-3/5 rating myself when i first listened to it, but during the last few weeks that i was listening to this to review it, it kind of grew on me.

If this had only the Motorhead/Venom "rip-off" influences, then yeah it would be a 2.5-3/5. But it doesn't have just that.

Those eerie guitars present here was the seed for the superbly developed lead guitar work that's found later in Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross.

KILL
February 1st 2011



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review man i need this

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2011



5919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks KILL

Willie
Moderator
February 1st 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Do killing technology.

Gigglesdemon
February 1st 2011



187 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review for a great band. Like this album, but their other stuff is a lot better. Pos'd.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2011



5919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do killing technology.

i will do Rrroooaaarrr first and then Killing Technology.

Plus i will omit the Voivod records that already have a review, for now at least.

Jethro42
February 1st 2011



12377 Comments


Excellent write up, man. I don't own any Voivod album but I've heard 'Nothingface' and couple of scattered songs here and there and I dig their sound. Band is from my hometown and sometime in their beginnings they were in a rehearsal studio next door to Crypt, a (ex) band I've played with before that.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2011



5919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanx Jethro, much appreciate it.

Nothingface is a beautiful headache.

Willie
Moderator
February 2nd 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i will do Rrroooaaarrr first and then Killing Technology.

Plus i will omit the Voivod records that already have a review, for now at least.
Yeah, you don't need to compete with my Dimension: Hatross review ;) Actually, that was one of my first reviews... I'm sure you could do better.




linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 14th 2012



1846 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's probably because i listened to their other 80's albums before this one, but Voivod's debut fails to keep me interested or indeed bothered to listen any further. It may be the rawness or the quite obvious punk influence, but fans of the more experimental side of voivod will most likely dismiss this album as one of their worst. A good album, perhaps overshadowed by future releases, that somehow doesn't fall fully on its face.

Digging: Black Anvil - Hail Death



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