Voivod - Killing Technology - April 3, 1987
Once the title track of Voivod's third release kicks in, it's pretty clear that we're not in Kansas anymore! Vicious riffs coupled with odd chord choices assault your ears, while a driving, distorted bass and pummeling drums make you look to the sky in fear of alien invaders. Then, a madman prophet starts shouting and screaming in your ear, and you realize... this is what Voivod was meant to be! Voivod's first two albums were sloppy, messy blasts of punkish thrash that left much to be desired. Their third though, is easily the most unique thrash album to be released at this point. The band does a wonderful job of creating a filthy, horrifying, robotic atmosphere in almost every song, that you truly feel as if you are "Lost in Space" as one of the tracks suggest.
What's amazing to me is just how much of a total mindfuck this album is. I had never enjoyed this album when I spun it over 10 years ago after thinking myself a true thrash metal fan. Even when I listened to it the first time for this review, it didn't click, but I heard something interesting, so I persevered and I'm glad I did for Voivod is not truly a thrash band and thus they do not play a conventional thrash style. The feel, the atmosphere, the drive behind the music is different than say, Slayer or Exodus. Voivod exists on a different plane -- not necessarily a higher one -- where Slayer delves the depths of human depravity, telling tales of murder and satanism, Voivod looks to the skies and wonders what evil lurks above?
The execution is not totally perfect, of course. There are some parts of songs that feel totally disjointed from others, which is an expected result of a band trying to become more progressive and focused but an undesirable one none the less. Snake's vocals are also a bit of an acquired taste as he talks, whines, shouts, screams over the exotic soundscapes below, but then again, how many metal vocalists aren't acquired tastes?
At any rate, personally, this is huge. Until a week ago, I hated Voivod. 20-year-old me is shaking his head, going "dude..." It just goes to show you, just because you hated something before, if you allow yourself to be open and to grow (I can hear my wife laughing now), you may find some value in that thing you hated.
Standouts: Ravenous Medicine, Killing Technology, Lost in Space