Review Summary: Voivod unlock the dead end of their perfected self.Nothingface
turned out to be Voivod’s biggest hit. In terms of commercial success, it was their major label that managed to push the envelope to a greater audience. After all, the late 80’s were a period, in which the musical endeavors of a respectable number of metal bands genre-wise and/or band-wise, eventually led to the foundation of a small, but steadily increasing fan base, which searched for the quirky and the obscure. On the other hand, the band’s artistic progress was nearly geometric. Album after album, the external influences were being swiftly eradicated and by the time Nothingface
saw the face of the earth, Voivod were engaged to undisputed perfection. However, as Truman Capote could cynically (and regretfully...) tell us, undisputed perfection can lead to a creative dead end. Of course Voivod and Capote cannot be directly compared even if all analogies are being accounted for, but albums like Nothingface
can turn into an unsurpassed curse, in terms of artistic creativity. With the release of their 6th album, Angel Rat
, Voivod manage to unlock the dead end of their perfected self.
In its own right, the new album feels – and in event, is – markedly different from its predecessor. The sole liaison linking the two previous Voivod albums resumed in the band’s superb musical skills used to craft them, aside from their trademark musical patents. With Angel Rat
, Voivod show enough audacity to shatter this liaison, attempting to make progress out of simplicity and using a relatively small portion of the band’s distinct quirkiness. The overall structure of the songs could be briefly filed under the “linear”/”progressive” rock tag, but this is clearly half of the truth. The band’s intimate character is enriched with elements from the blues and/or from melancholic/atmospheric/”Goth” rock. The previously mentioned attributes, succeed in partially bending the aforementioned linearity and in characterizing half (at least) of the songs in the album with a great replay value, while the rest are enjoyable as well. The sound production treads on previously made trails (what is Nothingface
?), yet the positive effect here is not of the same magnitude. In here, every instrument is audible in the final mix and the overall sound quality favors the atmospheric portion of the music, however, the guitars could be a lot more heavy, in order to further emphasize the record’s straightforward nature.
In concluding, with Angel Rat
, Voivod take a curious and pretty much unexplainable turn in their career. Their departure from the great endeavors of the past could be probably linked to that of a critically esteemed scientist who has been trailing the high ends of his scientific conduct for years and suddenly decides to go back to the very foundations of the science in which he/she previously excelled. Whatever the actual case may be, Angel Rat
is an elegant (but not perfected) tranquillizer for the beautiful headaches the three previous Voivod records have created, and as such, its end merit is adequately credible.
Stand out tracks
Clouds In My House