Review: Arising from within after an early period of sloppier and basic punk-metal hybrids, Voivod use speed metal pacings and song structures around an unearthly dissonance built into heavy metal of a progressive nature. Often bouncy and bluesy, the music takes its raw material from the heavy metal of the middle 1970s and the sense of melody in songwriting and techniques for harmonizing dissonance that were central to prog rock bands from the same era. Driven by an adept and centered guitar which leads rhythm and an understated but precise accompaniment of drums, lyrical bass and deadpan vocals rising from shout into harmony in the style of many crossover bands of the time, the music of Voivod combines the most twisted and extreme elements of popular music with its most banal and ordinary form, bluesy heavy metal.
2. Tribal Convictions
4. Technocratic Manipulators
5. Macrosolutions To Megaproblems
6. Brain Scan
7. Psychic Vacuum
8. Cosmic Drama
Songs begin with infectiously rhythmic grinding riffs that launch a melody which expands through the change in theme across transitional and repeated motifs, zooming from the profanely simple to a poppish melody to an almost sacred, neoclassically influenced melodic construction and breakdown of an artistically crafted technical metal tune. Their rhythms underscore change in direction or modal continuity of subphrase and integrate interruption as a form of continuity in the introduction and closure of a complex cyclic selection of motifs. In uncanny mutual stimulation, vocals and guitar lines follow the same melodic outline within differing, often harmonizing, shapes in which a fluid dynamic dictates what invokes the next change in phrase and thus motif. While often ending with bluesy flourish, or very metallish thunder of suspended rhythm, riffs march around a clear tonal center and melodic suggestion of basic interval structure, allowing them to function as blueprint for both each song and its contents. In this a blueprint was established for underground progressive music from death/black metal to grindcore.
Where this release is strong is in its clean suggestion of the quintessential Voivod style of progressive heavy metal, and in the use of contemporary vocal and rhythmic stylings to send the listener an encloaking vision of a different sonic world order. All instrumentation is exact and unconventional in its approach to invention, while calling to mind the best of conventional wisdom from baroque to King Crimson. The most telling indicator of this characteristic is the density of this album, which exceeds most other metal works (similar to Morbid Angel or Burzm) in compacting detail and allusion within unfolding narrative.