Voivod
Synchro Anarchy


4.2
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
February 13th, 2022 | 132 replies


Release Date: 02/11/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A split within my brain has opened all dimensions

As a kid, the idea of aliens creeped the hell out of me. My older brother had me watch the movie Fire in the Sky – a UFO abduction story based on actual accounts – and I didn’t sleep well for a month. For those who haven’t seen, the main character is subjected to highly unpleasant experiments at the hands of extraterrestrials; at one point a needle is even injected firmly and directly into one of his eyes. Oof. The part that really shook me, however, must be the lie detector angle, in which the violated, badly shaken protagonist passes with flying colors as he spills the gory details. Once my fear subsided, it was replaced with something else: pure fascination.

I’m not sure what I think today, but Voivod do. Can you imagine writing about – very likely dreaming about – alien lifeforms and possessed machinery for 40 years? When you spend that much time invested on a topic it sort of just becomes your way of thinking. This must be why Synchro Anarchy – their 15th trip to another planet – is as creative and effortless sounding as it is. And yeah… there are flying saucers and other dimensions and stuff! Admittedly, though, what makes this album special is how much it feels like a spiritual sequel to their 80s classics, Dimension Hatross and Nothingface.

Though Target Earth and The Wake both solidified an impressive comeback for the Canadian thrashers this past decade, the vibe here is much more retro. It truly feels like the sequel we never got to those gems. Spastic, robotic guitars zig zag through an advanced city of cyborgs – with longtime vocalist “Snake” sounding as eccentric as ever. His nasally echo is a highlight throughout the album, with extra emphasis on his unique delivery to ensure each earworm sticks. Take for example, his urgent reassurance that “we’re all planet eaters!”. When you have one of the most interesting voices in metal, a little extra emphasis never hurts.

The execution on Synchro Anarchy is often crazed and thrilling. Other than some brief, but ominous doom-inspired guitar sections in “Mind Clock,” it’s a nonstop thrill ride. Despite never really slowing down, the album covers so many moods and styles within its frenetic confines that it never feels one-note. There’s the immense, thrash-heavy sequencing of “Paranormalium”, which continues the band’s knack for writing a killer opening track. While “The World Today” and “Sleeves Off” are insanely playful and quirky, with some groove-heavy bass and twisting guitar riffs colliding for pure enjoyment. Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain has done a hell of a job taking over guitar duties on the band’s last several albums, effectively recapturing the magic of the legendary D’Amour’s playing. And yes, he’s a manic beast throughout Synchro Anarchy; unpredictable tempo changes and condensed, swarming riffs connect every mysterious corner of this bionic land.

Make no mistake: Voivod will go down in history as not only the untouchable, celestial kings of thrash, but as some of the best storytellers of Science Fiction for any medium. This is Twilight Zone or Twin Peaks-level good; it’s as intriguing as H.P. Lovecraft. Revisiting their discography – or, for some lucky souls, digesting their body of work for the first time – is nothing short of a treat. Thrash music was my first love on this site, and Synchro Anarchy reignites this passion with a demanding fury. Need I say more? As Voivod put it over the multilayered guitars and swelling bass in “Planet Eaters”: sometimes we all need to spend some time away from earth.



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user ratings (162)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


27410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

first thrash review since 2013, because well... it's Voivod



I gotta crash but I really care about this band and album so if anything needs attention in the review I'll be on it in the morning. such a fun effort, it feels like the spiritual successor to Dimension Hatross and Nothingface I've always wanted. hope some others feel the same way!

DavidYowi
February 13th 2022


2613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

jfc what a big week for releases

Digging: Dir En Grey - Uroboros

FR33L0RD
February 13th 2022


6191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Make no mistake: Voivod will go down in history as not only the untouchable, celestial kings of thrash, but as some of the best storytellers of Science Fiction for any medium. This is Twilight Zone or Twin Peaks-level good [2]



Superb review, gonna get my hand this new one. They rule.

"On est vraiment fier d'eux, nous les canadiens français."

Digging: Pink Floyd - Is There Anybody Out There?

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


17283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Voivod continue to unleash 4/5 albums.

Pikazilla
February 13th 2022


23178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This, CoL, A&P - all solid top 10 candidates. And all released on the same day too!

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


17283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This week but, last week too, the week after this



This fucking month

DePlazz
February 13th 2022


3620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Superb album

DePlazz
February 13th 2022


3620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"first thrash review since 2013"

I like how you use "thrash" as a synonym for avant prog experimental weird tech sci fi metal-and-beyond

Frost15
February 13th 2022


1368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Album gets better with every listen. Could perfectly be my fav Voivod. This band is Metal HoF Top 10

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


27410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

@DePlazz: Haha 😂 yes indeed sir, they are all those things. Hopefully I conveyed that ok in the review. I just think it’s interesting that it’s been that long since I covered a band with the thrash tag. But I agree they’re special and can’t be tied down by genre restrictions or classifications

DePlazz
February 13th 2022


3620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Review's great dude, I feel much the same.

There's some interesting insights on Piggy's and Mongrain's approaches to composing for Voivod, and on the band's musical influences in this new interview: https://www.guitarworld.com/features/voivod-daniel-mongrain-synchro-anarchy

parksungjoon
February 13th 2022


44601 Comments


>Voivod began as a straight-ahead thrash band (evidenced from 1984’s War and Pain and 1986’s Rrröööaaarrr)



unbased and stupid

combustion07
February 13th 2022


10242 Comments


Excited to jam this after seeing this ratings and some rankings including it on yt. Been digging through the discog to hype myself up for it and I believe I am ready at this point

Digging: Rebel Wizard - Triumph of Gloom

DePlazz
February 13th 2022


3620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The bass is an incredible workhorse on this one

ChaoticVortex
February 13th 2022


1317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Effin' ridiculous how good and consistent these guys are. Has some of the classic chaos-thrash songs but its the atmospheric mid-tempo jams like Holographic Thinking is what gets me, really a great blend of Nothingface, Angel Rat and new school Voivod. Also, am I the only one who felt a bit of a jazzy vibe with some of the songs here? Great stuff.

BigPleb
February 13th 2022


65019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In their top 4 albums this for me, truly amazing stuff.

evilford
February 13th 2022


55545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet TIME TO SHITPOST

Digging: Artificial Brain - Artificial Brain

WatchItExplode
February 13th 2022


9714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The production here just makes everything that much more enjoyable. Especially that distorted bass

Senetrix666
February 13th 2022


1354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

based bass

arapinho1
February 13th 2022


272 Comments


I want to get into this band. What would you recommend me for a first listen?



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