I’ve been a big fan of Voivod since “Killing Technology” (I still think 1988’s “Nothingface” is one of the best metal albums of all time), and was eagerly anticipating this album. I wasn’t sure what to expect–would this continue Voivod’s return to thrash a la “Phobos” & “Negatron” but with Snake on vocals instead of the death metal growlings of former singer/bassist Eric Forest (which never fit the band well IMHO), would it mark a return to their earlier concept album format, or something entirely new? After one listen, I had my answer–it seemed to be a return to the more commercialized sound of 1993’s “The Outer Limits” but with even more formulaic hard rock touches. Although I like that album, I always thought it was a step backwards for Voivod in some ways, and at least “The Outer Limits” had the 18 minute prog rock homage “Jack Luminuous” to keept things interesting.This album didn’t really do much to keep my attention, so after being a bit disappointed I didn’t listen to it again for a few months, and recently came back to it. I was hoping for the same experience I had with “Angel Rat,” where I initially didn’t care for it but came to appreciate it after repeated listening. This album is starting to grow on me now, but in a way that previous Voivod albums haven’t–the catchy melodies are more memorable than any progressive musical ideas. There are still obvious elements of Voivod’s progressive sci-fi roots (both musically and lyrically), but this certainly isn’t a breakthrough album in their discography. But I remain hopeful that with Snake back where he belongs that the future will lead to even better things from Voivod.