Voivod
Nothingface


5.0
classic

Review

by Voivod STAFF
September 7th, 2011 | 60 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A godless endeavor in rewriting the alphabet of progressive rock.

An ancient Hellenic proverb says that nothing stays hidden under the sun for too long (Ουδ*ν κρυπτόν υπό του ηλίου). This proverb also applied for Voivod, the quirky metal act from the French speaking province of Quebec in Canada. In a somewhat awkward appointment with fate, the immense artistic success of their previous album, Dimension Hatross, their extensive touring with already established thrash metal bands such as Kreator and their overall and ever-growing fame in the underground, turned some heads from the major music labels over the band’s side for close inspection. Eventually, Voivod signed a contract with the major label of Mechanic/MCA records. Only a year after the release of their tech-thrash masterpiece Dimension Hatross, Voivod release their new album, Nothingface, a godless endeavor in rewriting the alphabet of progressive rock.

In Nothingface, Voivod stray away from tech-thrash, while they thoroughly emphasize on those highly inventive/original prog ethics that made Dimension Hatross (more) and Killing Technology (less) masterpieces in their respective domain. The rhythm section of Away and Blacky, always detached from the prevailing trend of a band’s rhythm section either thrashing (or tech-thrashing) everything in its way or having their members’ heads conditioned with tons of hairspray, becomes even more volatile yet firm with respect to the past. The evolution and the welding of the ensemble or rhythms per song, are second to none and this comparison includes critically acclaimed progressive rock bands such as King Crimson or Pink Floyd, to name a few. The same apply with Piggy’s guitars, while the ever-present punk element in his previous work is almost (but not completely) absent here. The elements that prevail come in the form of subtle yet apt psychedelic leads placed when least expected or asymmetrically frenzied rhythm guitars, being on par with the equally arrhythmic rhythm section. The punk element in here, holds exclusively due to Snake’s i(c/r)onic vocals. The lyrics continue to evolve around sci-fi affairs, only now the latter are far more abstract and sinister when compared to the loose but clearly set lyrical concepts of Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross.

The change in song writing ethics brought a corresponding change in the sound production as well. Voivod cease their fruitful collaboration with Harris Johns and trust the console to Glenn Robinson. The sound production is an acquired taste. The overall sound is the cleanest the band had ever had, yet it feels “clinical” not always in a good sense. Rhythm section, vocals and lead guitars are sounding as they should, but the suppressed distortion levels of the rhythm guitars take something away from the record’s overall dynamics, without compromising, however, in the least, its pioneering progressive rock nature.

Overall, the band is so notoriously confident of its capabilities so as to perform a superb cover of a Syd Barrett song, “Astronomy Domine”, amplifying the dynamics of the latter by a factor close to infinity. In a severe twist of a metaphor, it’s as if Voivod set foot in Nothingface to fully realize the Uncertainty Principle of that mad Physics scientist Heisenberg, who proved that the momentum and the position of an electrically charged particle could not be simultaneously determined with apt accuracy. The dedicated tracking of the ever changing dynamics of each song will inherently undermine the complete realization of the subtle beauty that lies in the myriads of details. If the focus shifts to the aforementioned details, the failure in fully capturing and digesting the intelligent evolution of each song will be imminent. This perpetual battle between form and detail is what makes Nothingface of infinite musical worth.

In conclusion, with Nothingface Voivod wear the wings of Icarus to fly as close to their sun of inspiration and they scandalously get away with it. This album simultaneously ties and unties the Gordian knot, giving multiple beautiful headaches to those who will wish to come closer to its end dynamics and to the band, only both are pretty much like the nothing-face of the record’s cover. Open in every possible interpretation, capable of accomplishing anything.



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user ratings (286)
Chart.
4.3
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other reviews of this album
Ryce (4.5)
The album that is widely hailed as the blueprint for all modern progressive metal; a true novelty of...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2011


6112 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The Unknown Knows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2QeFd7M0mk&feature=related


Nothingface:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOc0-3s1DNg&feature=related

Astronomy Domine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGNMeLTClBw&feature=related

Missing Sequences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0aNd0KqpsU&feature=related

X-Ray Mirror:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTlXuWxu8T8&feature=related

Inner Combustion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CX2NBGdy6k&feature=related

Pre-Ignition:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CX2NBGdy6k&feature=related

Into my Hypercube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Dd_V1Coc0&feature=related

Sub-Effect:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkIX7wkHr7c&feature=related





Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Disasterhate - Sacrifice To Eclipse

Ovrot
September 8th 2011


10495 Comments


waiting for this

Parallels
September 8th 2011


6641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

for a second i thought it was voivod writing a voivod review, and then it actually was.

I am impressed, superb review Voivod. pos'd. I've been wanting to check this out for a long time, and will do so now.

Ovrot
September 8th 2011


10495 Comments


sorry voivod i can't pos this until you 5 aspid

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2011


6112 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Ovrot

done lol



I may review Aspid in days to come.

Ovrot
September 8th 2011


10495 Comments


pos'd

not if review it first
go review dixie dregs

Apollo
September 8th 2011


10307 Comments


"This proverb also applied for Voivod, the quirky metal act from the French Quebec, Canada"

Line doesn't make sense, it should read:

"The quirky metal act from the French speaking province of Quebec in Canada"

something like that

aside from that though, good review I have yet to really look into any of Voivod's material and from all accounts I should change that

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2011


6112 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Apollo

You are right it does read better, so i fixed it.

Apollo
September 8th 2011


10307 Comments


:D glad to help

Parallels
September 8th 2011


6641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

English is such a backwards language...

You say 'blue wall,' but it would make more sense to say 'wall blue' so your mind comprehends the fact that it is a WALL before the fact that it is BLUE.

I digress... This album roolz.

lostforwords
September 8th 2011


446 Comments


Excellent review once again, I'm not surprised at all. Over time your reviews have become much more descriptive and accurate, kudos!! and pos


TheNotrap
September 8th 2011


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to this back in the 80's but I don't remember much
These guys were very original at the time...no doubt

Digging: Lago - Tyranny

Jethro42
September 8th 2011


12440 Comments


Ceci est l'album à se procurer s'il en est un, de toute évidence.
This is obviously the album to get if there is one.
Bon travail, Voivod.


Nagrarok
September 8th 2011


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally, Voivod continues with Voivod! I've been digging their discography lately and this is definitely my favourite; pretty close to the 4.5, but not quite yet.

Tyrael
September 8th 2011


20879 Comments


Voivod rules at Voivod!

Pos.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

fulgrim
September 8th 2011


1542 Comments


Still haven't got round to listening to these guys. This a good place to start?

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2011


7391 Comments


The album kicks ass! Good review too.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

TheNotrap
September 8th 2011


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably their best record IMO
My fav track is Astronomy Domine cover

"This a good place to start?"
I guess so

Detritivore
September 8th 2011


270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"nothing stays hidden under the sun for too long", its true man. This album is a jewel, besides the artwork of this and Dimension Hattross are weird but really cool.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2011


20688 Comments


Great review as always, pos'd.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt



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