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Angel Rat

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★★★★½
(18 Reviews)

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Billy Idol guitarist s new solo album With help from King s X bass wizard / vocalist dUg Pinnick (performing Robin Trower s Day Of The Eagle )Featuring drummer Brian Tichy (Billy Idol, Derek Sherinian)Special Digipak Edition** I think the time is right for me to make a record that is totally me my world, Stevens says of Memory Crash. Boasting such tracks as Water on Ares , Hellcats Take the Highway , Small Arms Fire , an interpretation of Robin Trower s Day of the Eagle (featuring Dug Pinnick of King s X), and the rousing/psychedelic Cherry Vanilla , Memory Crash is a journey through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind , to steal a line from Rod Serling. It s virtually musical cinema. I have a lot of weird little segues going on with this record, Stevens says. I ve always loved that about the prog records, like Dark Side of the Moon. You enter this little theater of the mind. It s a true headphone experience. Nothing encapsulates this more than the sizzling wah-wah- and flanger-inflected instrumental Cherry Vanilla. I just happened to have a recorder with me when I was on my way to an appointment, says Stevens. There were these women walking by, talking amongst themselves, so I caught them on tape. I just wanted to capture this moment of people s everyday lives and problems. On the track you also hear this other voice that says, Hey, man, can you dig what is going on in the world today , or something to that effect. He goes on to say, Man, you just gotta play a stone groove. Other words, when all else fails, just play a good guitar groove. Indeed. A freaked-out, Hendrix-meets-Stevens vibe is prevalent in the interpretation of Robin Trower s Day of the Eagle , a tune Stevens says Dug Pinnick takes to church with a Sly Stone spin. Jimi wasn t the only influence that crept up on Stevens. He revisited a cast of legendary characters, from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, and Yes, to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Bo Diddley, and Jeff Beck. Yet, despite the presence and interplay of diverse and distinct musical elements, Stevens never surrenders his own creative identity. I spent a long time before making this record watching old archival footage and retrospectives on bands like Pink Floyd and Yes, just soaking up what made them tick, Stevens says. But this record is not a retro gimmick at all. It s still very much a Steve Stevens record. Steve Stevens, the wizard of guitar effects and longtime musical partner of fist-pumpin , punk-pop bad boy Billy Idol, is one of the most refreshingly creative guitarists in all of rockdom.Prepare to have your mind blown, again, when the atomic playboy drops his first solo record in nearly eight years, Memory Crash — an electro-centric sonic tour de force that makes a serious musical impact. No gimmicks. No over-the-top production. No compromising. It s just Steve Stevens, his guitar, and his beloved effects all the ingredients that have made him a global star. Stevens says. At the end of the day, this instrument, the guitar, has been with me since I was a kid, and it still fascinates me. I still have a love affair with the guitar.

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  • A strange ecclectic album from canadian metal legends Voiviod. Think Pink Floyd meets a little metal here. This album was largely ignored/unknown as the band’s label support came out from under them (they only managed to play a few tour dates in canada to support this record).Lots of compression on the production side gives this album lofty feel and not as much of a metal edge as say Nothingface (and the earlier albums). You can feel yourself glide along the water on “The Prow”.. what a great tune. Piggy’s ethereal guitar work and Away’s MONSTER skin pounding dominate this album. The drum work is not just impressive it has purpose. Away builds varying rythyms during a couple of tunes.. startling. This album maintains a very specific feel to all the songs (the keyboard parts really add to the atmosphere). The only tune out of place is “None of the Above”…the lyrical content just doesnt fit with the rest of this stellar album. Away’s artwork on the CD/liner is brilliant as usual and really lends to the theme of the whole album. This is barely not a 5 star CD.. unique, inspired.. even after all these years.

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • While not as progged-out as _Nothingface_ or the follow-up _The Outer Limits_, one has to think that if Voivod is one of metal’s great undiscovered pleasures then this is their most underrated moment. This album is a masterpiece of colorful neo-psychadelic textures and magnificent musical economy. Songs like the majestic and cosmic “Clouds In My House”, the space-age “Nuage Fractal” and especially the stunning title track show Voivod approaching Rush through Pink Floyd’s eyes. Piggy’s (guitarist Denis D’Amour) riffing is simply masterful on this album and wholly original, retaining elements of Alex Lifeson, the glissando guitar of Steve Hillage and the jagged chording of Robert Fripp. Not to be outdone, drummer Michael Langevin kicks up a storm on “Best Regards” while Snake (lead vocalist Denis Belanger) turns in a suprisingly melodic and restrained performance, while leading a lyrical shift away from the typical “Adventures of the Voivod” style of writing; Hard-driving bassist Jean-Yves Theriault – despite leaving the band almost immediately after the album’s release and only getting a studio musician credit – still makes his presence felt on “The Golem.” Although the complexity of the songwriting has been toned down just a bit here there are still surprising twists and turns in each of the songs, perhaps most exhibited by the psychadelic interlude in “Twin Dummy”. Possibly stung by the poor commercial reception for this album, only the hard-driving “The Prow” still remains a live staple for the band today. Not enough bands make such thoughtful, textured music like this anymore. All in all, an excellent and unfortunately out-of-print album that is well worth hunting down.

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Voivod’s ANGEL RAT is a 1991 album that was sadly overlooked at the time of its release…It was produced by Terry Brown, who has worked w/ Rush. The album bridges the gap in between the thrash metal Voivod of the eighties & the “mature” sound that the band carried into the nineties & beyond.

    At the time of its release, ANGEL RAT saw the band carrying on as a three-piece machine, w/ Denis “Snake” Belanger/Vox, Denis “Piggy” D’Amour (R.I.P.)/Guitar/Keyboards, and Michel “Away” Langevin/Drums. Although Voivod was without the services of Jean-Yves “Blacky” Theriault (Bass), the album still maintains a full sound throughout.

    ANGEL RAT continues the band’s musical direction that was put forth on NOTHINGFACE (1989). Musically, this album is somewhere in between metal & prog. rock. Standout tracks include “Clouds In My House,” “Golem,” & “None Of The Above.” Lyrically, this album dabbles in the Sci/Fi genre w/ abstract words painted over esoteric layered guitars.

    Check this album out!! Get lost inside it!! It can be purchased for a few bucks (used), so it’s worth the trip!!

    Also, check out Voivod’s “Nothingface” & “Outer Limits,” which are both musically & lyrically similar in style.

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • if you have never heard voivod,and your tastes run towards the power metal/progressive metal subgenres,this album will most surely satisfy.
    if you are already a voivod fan,but dissed this when it first came out because they “sold-out”,well you need to re-evaluate.
    this album is,in a word,incredible

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Every bit as good as “Nothingface” and “Dimension Hatross”, “Angel Rat” got lost in the shuffle for no good reason. While they’d always straddled the border between thrash metal and progressive rock, this was the album where they veered furthest into the prog region. Many of their fans weren’t ready for this direction at the time (myself included). But hindsight has vindicated this album, artistically if not commercially. It is the band’s loss and your gain that this album can usually be found in the cutout bin. Timeless.

    Posted on December 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now