Voivod
The Wake


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (249 Reviews)
October 4th, 2018 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Thinking of The Wake as Voivod’s best album runs the risk of hyperbole, but it is easily one of the band’s grandest achievements

Nobody should be surprised that Voivod’s fourteenth full-length The Wake is this excellent. After all, 2013’s Target Earth and 2016’s Post Society EP proved that the Quebec prog legends could produce fresh material that lived up to classics like Dimension Hatröss and Nothingface. Truth be told, The Wake offers much of that same quirky tech thrash, but the stakes were raised somewhere between releases. If its immediate predecessors were tentative first steps toward a new beginning, then this is where the band truly flings itself from the nest.

With original bassist Blacky gone (again) and a fellow named Rocky in his place, it’s seemingly all up to guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain to engineer that signature Voivod sound. Fortunately, he assumes command fantastically with a slew of deceptively catchy riffs, choppy rhythms, clean atmospherics, and disorienting solos all delivered in bright, high-pitched dissonance. The bass could stand to be a bit higher in the mix, but it provides many of the same tricks.

Of course, the two original members don’t slouch either. Away’s blend of punk, metal, and jazz drumming is as reliable as ever, but vocalist Snake is the album’s other main MVP. In addition to not being as overwhelmed by the guitars, his lines are among the most developed and emotive of his career. He still isn’t the most technically impressive singer out there, and his robotic sneer remains omnipresent, but his performance could hardly be called one dimensional. Those not sold on him before will still consider him an acquired taste, but longtime fans are sure to appreciate the enhancement.

But even with the energized band chemistry, the orchestral inclusions are what truly make The Wake stand out from every other Voivod album. They truly add to the songs’ various moods as the high speeds of “Iconspiracy” get more intense, the plodding march on “Always Moving” adds more dissonance, and the twelve minute “Sonic Mycelium” encompasses the album’s various themes with extra grandiosity. Considering Voivod has always had more Stravinsky tinges than your average metal group, it’s surprising that a move like this wasn’t made sooner.

Thinking of The Wake as Voivod’s best album runs the risk of hyperbole, but it is easily one of the band’s grandest achievements. It strikes the perfect balance of emulating their classic style while still offering fresh elements, and the band dynamic is tight despite only featuring two original members. This is an album that should be appreciated by any listener whether they’ve never listened to Voivod before, lost track of them in the 90s, or have been there every step of the way. Truly a model example for both old and new bands to follow.

Highlights:
“Obsolete Beings”
“The End of Dormancy”
“Orb Confusion”
“Sonic Mycelium”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (108)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Madbutcher3 (4)
Voivod decrease the thrash and amp-up the progressive elements again, and as a result The Wake is th...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JustJoe.
October 4th 2018


5161 Comments


Why aren't you staff.

Digging: Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2018


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Why aren't you staff.



Could ask the same thing myself. That's a lot of reviews and I'm sure this guy's been on here for a lot longer than I have.



On another note, this album rules and is only further proof that Voivod are in a league of their own. So nothing's changed in 30 years in that case.

Digging: Slow Crush - Aurora

DePlazz
October 4th 2018


1090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Album's dope

jesterhead92
October 4th 2018


5341 Comments


Great review. Voivod is one of my favorites bands ever and this is not a disappointment in the slightest

MetalMarcJK
October 5th 2018


80 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review! You summed it up nicely. Love this album.

Digging: Voivod - The Wake

jesterhead92
October 7th 2018


5341 Comments


Hey can we bump this shit please where is the fucking love

Metalrain
October 7th 2018


462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Orb confusion has been on repeat for days, love that song.

JustJoe.
October 7th 2018


5161 Comments


jesterhead92 told me to bump this.

jesterhead92
October 7th 2018


5341 Comments


Good boy Joe

Casavir
October 7th 2018


2059 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still a 4 for me but impressive nonetheless.

Digging: Sacral Rage - Beyond Celestial Echoes

jesterhead92
October 7th 2018


5341 Comments


A 4 isn’t exactly an insult lol

sonictheplumber
October 7th 2018


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think he's just sayin that in response to the kneejerk 5's lol

Digging: Katabbas - Coda II: Prelude

sonictheplumber
October 7th 2018


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

basically no 80s thrash band is even capable of puttin out anything this good in 2018 so the shock from that is resulting in people givin this a goddamn 6 out of 5 and shit imo

sonictheplumber
October 7th 2018


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i remember the same thing kinda happenin when sodom's in war and pieces came out, really solid record but it had like a 4.2 when it came out just cause the competition was like, municipal waste and testament

jesterhead92
October 7th 2018


5341 Comments


I mean after Target Earth and Post-Society, the quality of this album shouldn’t be too surprising. Did people forget they’ve been putting out good shit ever since Mongrain joined a few years ago?

sonictheplumber
October 7th 2018


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mongrain is seriously like a metal holdsworth

sonictheplumber
October 7th 2018


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its like they got a lock of piggys hair before he died and created this freak in a lab

jesterhead92
October 7th 2018


5341 Comments


He was seriously the best guy they could’ve picked to replace Piggy. Still maintains that warped atmosphere of classic Voivod but he’s also got a bit of his own style injected into his riffs.

DePlazz
October 9th 2018


1090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Whoever can write something like Spherical Perspective is a fucking genius of insane beautiful weirdness.

BigPleb
October 9th 2018


55082 Comments


Yeah, time to jam this beast.



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