Poor Voivod. When everyone’s favorite innovative science fiction conceptualist band from Quebec were signed to MCA in 1988, that should have been a foot in the door toward the platinum sales and widespread promotion they so greatly deserved. But what happens to so many great groups unfortunately happened to Voivod, they were overshadowed by vastly inferior “artists”. In the late 1980s, people were more interested with fluff like Poison and Warrant. And conversely in the early 1990s, if you weren’t from Seattle (or at least sounded like you were from there), people wanted nothing to do with you. So all of this should have prevented Voivod from putting out great music? HECK NO!!!1993’s The Outer Limits shows Voivod going toward a more accesible direction. The riffs aren’t as heavy as previous albums. The tempo changes aren’t as wild or plentiful. And the production sounds fuller and glossier, losing that edgy, low-budget feel that many metal and punk fans feel is essential for preserving a band’s “integrity”.”Fix My Heart” is nothing but unpretentious hard rock at its best. “Moonbeam Rider”, “The Lost Machine”, and “We Are Not Alone” are great sci-fi rockers as only Voivod can do. The band does an excellent job covering Pink Floyd’s “The Nile Song”. I prefer their 1989 cover of “Astronomy Domine”, but this is still nothing to be ashamed of by any means. “Time Warp”, my favorite song on the album, doesn’t sound like it would be too out of place for Rush during their Permanent Waves/Moving Pictures era. As great as these songs are, and the others I haven’t mentioned, none of them can compare to the 17 and 1/2 minute “Jack Luminous”. The lyrics deal with the good guy titular alien who visits Earth to prevent a takeover from President X-D, an evil alien dictator who uses media manipulation to aid in his conquests. What should be hokey, pretentious, and boring actually turns out to compelling and fun.But before closing out I must say that things might just be looking up for these fellers. While I don’t care much for nu-metal, System of a Down and Mudvayne cite Voivod as an influence. SoaD and Mudvayne being two of the best bands of a genre so cluttered with whiny negativity. Jason Newsted gave up a lucrative career with Metallica to join this band, which really made me respect him a lot more. And the group had a 2003 slot on the Ozzfest tour, giving them an opportunity to pick up a few extra fans. Seeing how Limp Bisquick and Korn really aren’t selling that much anymore, maybe the musical revolution I’ve been waiting for for years is finally here. Man I hope so.