Voivod
Warriors of Ice


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 22nd, 2011 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The remaining original members of Voivod reunite to thrash through selected tracks from their first six albums.

Technical thrash/prog rock veterans Voivod have been through a ton of shit over their thirty year career. They’ve had to deal with multiple line-up changes, including five different bass players and two vocalists, and have gone on ‘hiatus’ twice in the last ten years. Of course, the biggest loss was the death of their iconic guitarist, Denis D'Amour. It was his distinctive playing style, more than anything else, that gave the band their unique sound and it ended up influencing countless other guitar players. When he died there was the obvious question of whether the rest of the band would continue, and after much soul-searching they opted to remain active. This lead to a series of concerts including a special headlining gig at Club Soda in Montreal. This concert was special because it featured all of the remaining original members reunited onstage for the first time since 1991; rounded out by Daniel Mongrain on guitar. Fortunately, for those of us that couldn’t make it to Canada for that solitary show, the band have released it as the fifteen track Warriors of Ice.

With the inclusion of original bass player Jean-Yves Thériault, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Warriors of Ice is basically a celebration of the band’s first six albums (as well as two songs from Infini). That means that everything from the sloppy thrash of War and Pain to the slick prog of Angel Rat is represented, and they all benefit from the modern, bottom-heavy production. Of course, purists may argue that the original productions were pretty damn good (and I would agree), but there’s something to be said about hearing “Voivod” from their 1984 debut with a huge clear guitar sound and a thunderous rhythm section backing it. The songs that seem to benefit even more from this thick production are the ones taken from Angel Rat and Nothingface – both of which lacked any real power on the original albums. Both of those albums were aligned more with prog rock than the band’s thrash beginnings and the productions reflected that focus, but on Warriors of Ice they’re treated to the same heavy sound as the rest of the music. The gritty guitar sound and fat bottom end give the Angel Rat songs a power that they originally lacked, to the point that they actually sound more like metal tracks now. Nothingface’s songs benefit from the same powerful sound, but it also gives the quirky technical arrangements more of a chaotic feel than the originals – especially near the end of the title track.

Even after thirty years of struggling through relative obscurity, Voivod are still here and playing for their love of metal and it shows on Warriors of Ice. Over the course of fifteen tracks, the band faithfully recreate their quirky thrash tunes with the same reckless abandon they had in the early 80s, while still being just as adept at replicating the technical aspects of their later albums. Regardless of album, though, each song is delivered with an energy and heaviness that the original albums’ productions just couldn’t deliver, and that fact combined with the special reunion of the original members should be enough for any Voivod fan to seek this out.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A quick write-up for an under appreciated band.

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Emim
June 22nd 2011


26625 Comments


The recommended section definitely makes me want to check this out.

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hell yeah. All four of those recommended albums are worth checking out for lovers of old school metal.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2011


6112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the slick prog of Angel Rat

yeah yeah yeah. I will review this real soon.


Angel Rat and Nothingface – both of which lacked any real power on the original albums

true true true




Amazing review!!! Major kudos to you Trey!!!

Although I seldom purchase live albums, I will get this just for the live Angel Rat and Nothingface songs.

I watched the YouTube videos from the Voivod show in Athens, Hellas (unfortunately i couldn't be present in the flesh...) and it is true that the Angel Rat songs were given tremendous dynamics live.



Also I would strongly recommend listening to the first 5 Mekong Delta albums, for anyone liking Voivod and the recs from Trey.

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Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not really into live albums either, but this one really does the songs justice (and makes those proggier songs much better). I'll look into that band.

Edwin
June 22nd 2011


1399 Comments


Didn't know this was coming out but i'll give it a whirl, seriously underrated band.

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you like the band's first six albums then you'll love hearing these songs with a much-improved sound.

Nagrarok
June 22nd 2011


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Willie, I've been meaning to listen to Nothingface, but perhaps this would actually serve as an adequate introduction to the band?

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have you heard anything from this band before? If not, I wouldn't recommend Nothingface as the place to start. This would be a good place to start, though... or the actual Dimension: Hatross album.

Tyrael
June 22nd 2011


20879 Comments


Great review for a great band. Good job.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Nagrarok
June 22nd 2011


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to go with Nothingface since it's the highest/most rated album here, but since you mention this has great sound and compiles highlights from their earlier albums, I think it'll do quite nicely indeed.

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool. Let me know what you think, especially since it will be your introduction to the band. Their "best of..." collection would be another good place to start. Nice selection of songs on it.

scissorlocked
June 22nd 2011


3510 Comments


want to listen this badly

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2011


7289 Comments


Great review, Willie. I haven't heard these guys before - but this might just be the time to start trying them out.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

andrikos
June 22nd 2011


67 Comments


Excellent review! Love Voivod, I'll definitely get this.
Angel Rat is my favorite Voivod album but I do agree it's pretty thin sounding and it lacks impact. A truly and hugely unappreciated band of metal/thrash/prog titans.

eggsvonsatan
June 22nd 2011


1087 Comments


I had no idea they were doing this. Seems kinda unnecessary. I'd rather see them do a new album.

eggsvonsatan
June 22nd 2011


1087 Comments


I really think they're only under appreciated on this site. They get cred everywhere else. Everyone is too busy talking about the new Opeth album cover.

Willie
Moderator
June 23rd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I had no idea they were doing this. Seems kinda unnecessary. I'd rather see them do a new album.
They are doing another album. This concert was necessary because it was getting the original band back together after their guitarist's death, and after they had decided to continue on.

drano00
June 23rd 2011


47 Comments


wtf? didn't even know these guys were still around. checking this out fo sho

Willie
Moderator
June 23rd 2011


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, that seems to be what a lot of people are saying (about not knowing they were still around or never listening to them in the first place)... sad.



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