Still Life? Images and Words? Remedy Lane? no it’s Nothingface. Anyway that’s my belief and I’m sticking to it. This album however is not thrash metal. I maintain this is prog metal. My idea of prog thrash is Coroner. Also I can here a slight Robert Fripp influence in Piggy’s guitar but it’s not overwhelming. This is quite simply the most important album for rock guitar since Larks Tounges in Aspic. So what does it sound like?. Robotic, sometimes dischordant but always beautifully structured within the song. The guitar is also very high in riffing which i love and the rhythm section is both competent and original and powerful and there’s no cookie monster vocals from snake and I better stop because I think I need to clean myself.Best Album of the 80’s. End.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
The band’s fifth CD,and probably one of their best.Top rate progressive thrash(is there actually SUCH a genre?)Okay,how about maybe ‘technical thrash’?That may be more like it.I haven’t heard this disc in ages.It’s GREAT!Best two tracks are “The Unknown Knows” and their Pink Floyd cover “Astronomy Domine”.Unreal!Also about every other tune here rips,like “X-Ray Mirror”,”Inner Combustion”,”Pre-Ignition” and the wailing “Into My Hypercube”.Good thing this is on CD,otherwise,I would’ve worn out like maybe two vinyl copies by now.Line-up:Denis Belanger-vocals,Denis D’Amour-guitar,Michel Langevin-drums and Jean-Yves Theriault-bass.I saw Voivod on this very tour with Soundgarden.One of the BEST club gigs I have ever encountered.Highly recommended.Might appeal to fans of Soundgarden,Coroner,Death Angel,Celtic Frost and Venom.
No one would ever have predicted back in 1984 that the band who stormed onto the scene with “War and Pain” would end up five years later dropping the twisted cybermetal of “Nothingface”. Charting their musical progression through the median three albums, it seems obvious in retrospect, but despite the fully realized work that is “Dimension Hatross” it’s “Nothingface” that is Voivod’s true masterpiece.”The Unknown Knows” and “Nothingface” jump out of the starting gates with a heavier direction than much of the album will maintain. Doubtless Voivod were breaking in fans of “Dimension Hatross” gently, as both songs follow in that general path. However, the third track, a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”, fully introduces the zoned out, trance-like dirge that will permeate the rest of the album. Frankly, this is one of the best cover versions I’ve ever heard, despite being ultra-faithful to the original (a process I usually detest). The drums in particular are absolutely fantastic – we’re not talking double kick drum rolls or any other form of technical virtuosity, but the soft/loud buildups and the way Michel Langevin works around the melody is awe inspiring and makes this an utter pleasure to listen to.Of the remaining funereal “ballads”, “Missing Sequences” and “Into My Hypercube” are both astounding, whereas standout rockers include “Pre-Ignition” and “X-Ray Mirror”. The lyrics all consist of paranoid, futuristic Kafka-meets-Orwell parables about loss of identity and invasion of privacy. For the most part they’re fairly impenetrable, but the band have helpfully (?) provided abstract, impressionistic computer art for each song. Although Voivod have a series of great albums that boast different approaches and succeed in conflicting manners, “Nothingface” is both the best and most accessible album they’ve released to date.
The year is 1989 and practically every Thrash Metal band is trying to release another ‘heavy & aggressive’ album to cash in on it while Canada’s Voivod releases Nothingface. The album contains an excellent cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine” and the video gets considerable rotation from MTV to introduce the new sound and direction of Voivod. This was the first album I bought of theirs and to this day I consider it a timeless classic regardless of any genre. What sets Nothingface away from any other release out there is that it is the very first record (along with Fates Warning’s Perfect Symmetry) to truly bring the Rush influence into Progressive Metal in a way that was fresh. As Voivod’s main goal was to be different than other bands, with each following release, they incorporated odd time signatures, key and tempo changes and futuristic lyrics in their songs. And, without doubt, Nothingface is their finest moment. It has already taken its place as a historic recording in the evolution of Progressive Metal.
The (timeless) music presented on this album sees the Canadian band largely exploring other areas and experimenting with a unique style of writing and performing. No longer a Thrash Metal act, guitarist Denis D’Amour and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault lay off a virtuosic overkill of riffs that are seamlessly blended and carried to a new musical platform. Denis Belanger’s vocal melodicism is heavily stressed and perhaps his finest job to date. However, the drumming on the album has got to be the most brilliant aspect of the musicianship. His odd-metered approach gives the music a level of depth and credibility. Michel Langevin’s performance on this disc (as well as other Voivod releases) is nothing short of amazing. He has a tasty style which is heightened to levels of excellence by his complex and multi-facetted polyrhythm work. The perfect harmony between the bass and drums proves to be one of the tightest and most impressive rhythm sections ever! The bass is a wall of relentless throbbing but it is cleverly kept in the context of the song. Most of the bass and guitar lines are played in opposition to one another and they are surrounded by a sonic intensity that is virtually impossible to verbalise. It really is so difficult to believe that this album was recorded in 1989 — it was way ahead of its time in every respect from musicianship to lyrics to production.
Throughout the whole 43-minute disc, time signatures continue to shift, blur, change and re-invent themselves. With Voivod eventually letting their Prog Rock influences (Pink Floyd, Rush and King Crimson) seep in, the result is a powerful record with incredible aesthetics. D’Amour’s razor-sharp guitar riffs are creepily worked into the mix giving each song a unique vibe. Belanger delivers deeply thought-provoking lyrics which seem to have improved greatly compared to their pre-1987 releases. The lyrical content, albeit a bit hard to grasp immediately, is as profound as the listener wants it to be. The subject matter seems to deal with how technology takes over the world and how the individual suffers the risk of losing his identity because of the constant changes happening. The Floyd cover “Astronomy Domine” established Voivod as an ever-changing Progressive Metal band whose work has been vastly underrated among the Metal community. Not be overlooked is producer Terry Brown of Rush and Fates Warning fame. Without his added touch, this album would never be as impressive as it is.
***** – FIVE STARS
WOW. This completely blew me away….
I’m an 80’s Metal freak, and have heard almost everything in Metal from Thrash / Death / Speed / Old-School. Nothing has touched me quite like this before though. It’s genius….
It’s sounds like Fusion Metal, but it’s not. I don’t know what it is, but I love it. It’s got so much sound, and the emotions here are unlike any I’ve heard displayed by a Metal band. It’s different that’s for sure. It’s certainly one of the most original releases I’ve ever heard, and I’m sure it wont be my only Voivod purchace….
It’s funky, it’s heavy, and it’s very catchy / fun for the listener. No question a MASTERPIECE. If nothing else, you’ll be very impressed in my opinion. This band was so far ahead of their time it’s sickening….