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.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
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.
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.
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
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.