Voivod
Killing Technology


5.0
classic

Review

by Voivod STAFF
March 24th, 2011 | 97 replies | 13,290 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is not an exercise.

War and Pain and Rrroooaaarrr, the previous two albums by the French-Canadian metal act Voivod, left the (very) few fans curious enough to approach them, with a strong sense of confusion as to where the band was heading. The band’s debut was a decent yet semi-unsuccessful attempt to mix elements inherently thought as unmixable, that is, the catchy punk n’ roll Motorhead-influenced riffing with the spacey guitar wizardry of bands like King Crimson and Pink Floyd. In Rrroooaaarrr the situation got even more confusing, as the band merely erased its past and led its aggressive footsteps in the muddy Venom avenue, while its attempts to increase the songs’ diversity were a hit-or-miss case. It is safe to say that those two albums translate themselves as puzzle pictures that merely make sense in their own right, as their constituent elements feel forced to fit into the whole picture. With their third album, Killing Technology, Voivod continue to tread on the subconscious path of self awareness, only now they make the earth tremble in their way.

Killing Technology is, with its turn, severely disjointed from its predecessors. This is no big surprise really, as Rrroooaaarrr itself had little to converse with War and Pain and vice versa. The album begs to differ right from scratch, with the band’s imminent intention to compose a significant portion of songs with an extended temporal length. The listener’s interest remains constantly at high levels, though, as the songs are decorated with excellent and spot on rhythm changes that file under the “odd time signature” tag. In that light, the rhythm section of Away and Blacky takes its long overdue distance from the one-dimensional perceptions of previous albums, shifting “randomly” between technical/fast paced double bass drumming and groovy rhythm patterns, intended to make our heads roll one time too many. Guitarist Piggy, on the other hand, exploits the aforementioned mosaic of musical substrates in full, in order to unleash his post-apocalyptic riffing raid. While his guitar work continues to depend on the Motorhead/Venom dipole and to punk in general, the newly developed patents present in here, erase all the aforementioned loans permanently. Shredding and frenzied, his razor-sharp rhythm guitar riffing sublimely imitates, on not-to-few occasions, the idle and repetitive loops of machines’ continuous shifting between discrete operation frequencies. His lead guitar work, one the other hand, is not of this earth. Piggy brings back to life those eerie leads first endeavoured in War and Pain and he aptly places them in between of the rhythm guitar mayhem (listen to “This Is Not Exercise”), while his newly invented high-pitched and punk-influenced leads work either as dystopic yet majestic song introductions (listen to the awesome beginning of “Forgotten in Space”) or as sonic substitutes of the rhythm guitars. On the occasions when the rhythm section descents into the groove, his optimally placed and conceived solos match in skill those of a classical solo violinist.

Great progress is achieved towards the sound production as well. Voivod leave behind the amateur experimentations of the past and deliver the sound console to Harris Jonhs. Jonhs does a great job in tiding up the sonic mess in which the previous Voivod albums lied. His production establishes a sound, in which noise, a universal constant for the band, is largely suppressed, compared to the past, but always present. However, all instruments are audible in the final mix. Although the overall feel of the production appears to file under the characterization “bad”, considerable depth has been given to the guitar leads and soloing. In this respect, the album’s sound feels as if an early 80’s punk rock band decided to play thrash that is polluted with a serious 70’s prog rock twist.

Apart from the tremendous breakthrough in terms of music and sound production, a huge improvement takes place, in terms of the quality of lyrics and of Snake’s vocals. Speaking in more detail about the latter, Snake’s improvement in singing is of equal magnitude with the overall improvement of the band’s music itself. His voice steps on the right spots within the songs and transmits tremendous vigor and agony. The lyrics relate to a loose concept with regard to the band’s main character, the warlord “Voivod” (check the superb cover of War and Pain). After witnessing first hand (in War and Pain and Rrroooaaarrr) the wars of mankind, he observes the latter becoming idle and stale due to its increasing dependency on technology and social terrorism, while facing the sleepless threats of nuclear demise and natural disasters. In the light of the relevant lyrics, Snake becomes the narrator of Voivod’s observations and does a tremendous job.

Summing up, the title of the second to last song says it all about the album. This is not an exercise. While critically acclaimed metal bands are reaching out to keyboards so as to make their music diverse, being a hit (Iron Maiden on Somewhere In Time) or miss (Judas Priest on Turbo) case and 70’s prog rock legends are fleeing to pop, in order to “survive”, Voivod are drawing a most unexpected ace of spades from the bottom of the deck. Their advent lies in the blending - within the context of thrash - of elements from bands and genres that were inherently thought of as incompatible. What more could someone ask?



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user ratings (193)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Killing Technology:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5HN3otnoL8

Overreaction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO9diasHlzU&feature=related

Tornado:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Ihi2u35JY&feature=related

Too Scared to Scream:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmR_zzxkICU&feature=related

Forgotten In Space:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc3RLJu4DFk&feature=related

Ravenous Medicine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDrId6jlzxA&feature=related

Order of the Blackguards:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=migoIU2vGI4&feature=related

This Is Not An Exercise:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zuoibqIOt8&feature=related

Coackroaches:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGF4KKbcW3A&feature=related



This took like forever to be completed.

Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

scissorlocked
March 24th 2011



3508 Comments


ace review man, I was looking forward to this

lyrics and music are definitely at higher levels here, but if this is a 5, then what would Nothingface or Hatross be?

Digging: John Roberts - Ausio

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

if this is a 5, then what would Nothingface or Hatross be?






they are fives as well.

Away stated recently that he prefers this over Dimension Hatross.

I do too.

scissorlocked
March 24th 2011



3508 Comments


then, maybe i should listen to this more carefully

Willie
Moderator
March 24th 2011



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album, but I think it only set the stage for Dimension:Hatross

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

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album, but I think it only set the stage for Dimension:Hatross.





True, but Dimension Hatross feels refined with respect to the thrash element.

Killing Technology is the spontaneous marriage of raw fury, punk attitude and sheer technicality.

Somewhere i read a comment about this, describing it as

"Discharge go to outer space"

I couldn't agree more. There isn't a rock/metal record like this.

Willie
Moderator
March 24th 2011



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True, but Dimension Hatross feels refined with respect to the thrash element.


True. They're definitely two very different albums.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I also think that in here lies the best vocal performance of Snake.

All his refrains here are classics, hands down.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks man, much appreciate the feedback.

KILL
March 24th 2011



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review is awesome gota check out this one hard

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You should man, this will be highly rewarding.

37er00
March 24th 2011



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This band rocks

Jethro42
March 24th 2011



12377 Comments


Awesome review, Voivod. You're a very good writer, really. I'm gonna surf on your links sometime soon.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, much appreciate it.

andrikos
September 20th 2011



67 Comments


Awesome review for an awesome album. Congrats buddy!

Willie
Moderator
September 20th 2011



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Am I the only one that thinks that System of a Down could cover "Killing Technology" or "Tornado" and probably make it sound pretty natural?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

These tracks are pretty much untouchable, imho.




:edit:

Some of the pos votes were deleted i see...

Banned users probably?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ghost neg (?)

oh well...

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 20th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks man.

I would swap places for 2 and 3 in your list, but that's just me.



I'm planning to review The Outer Limits next month.

KILL
September 11th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

THE TORNADO IS RIGHT THEEEEEEEEEEEERE



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