VOIVOD — Target Earth

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VOIVOD - Target Earth cover
3.97 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2013

Filed under Progressive Metal


1. Target Earth (6:05)
2. Kluskap O'Kom (4:24)
3. Empathy for the Enemy (5:46)
4. Mechanical Mind (7:40)
5. Warchaic (7:01)
6. Resistance (6:45)
7. Kaleidos (6:28)
8. Corps Étranger (4:35)
9. Artefact (6:26)
10. Defiance (1:32)

Total Time 56:42


- Denis "Snake" Bélanger / Vocals
- Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain / Guitar
- Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault / Bass
- Michel "Away" Langevin / Drums

About this release

Label: Century Media / Iron Gang Factory
Release Date: January 22, 2013

Recorded in January at Pierre Rémillard's Wild Studio in St-Zénon, Quebec, Canada.
Mixed by Sanford Parker.

Thanks to Stooge for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Target Earth" is the 13th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive/thrash metal act Voivod. The album was released through Century Media Records/Iron Gang Factory in January 2013. Since the death of original guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour in August 2005, the band have released "Katorz (2006)" and "Infini (2009)", which were recorded with guitar tracks demoed by D'Amour before his untimely death. A rather unusual way of recording, that presented the band with a number of technical difficulties, which they overcame in order to honour their fallen brother. It´s up for discussion if the end results were artistically succesful, but they probably helped the band through their mourning process and they were certainly both interesting studio experiments. On "Target Earth" the band have added a new guitarist to the lineup in Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain. Mongrain is not completely new in the lineup though as he has toured with Voivod since 2008 and also recorded the "Warriors of Ice (2011)" live album with the band. He is also a member of technical death metal act Martyr. "Target Earth" also sees the return of original bassist Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault on a studio recording. He too has been part of the band since 2008 though.

So 3/4 of the original lineup is back together, but the big question is of course how Mongrain pulls it off playing on new original material, keeping in mind that D'Amour was always the main composer in the band (not to mention one of the most original and unique sounding guitarists in metal). Thankfully Mongrain delivers a performance that is both true to the Voivod sound but also adds a few personal touches along the way. His touch is espeically heard in the well played guitar solos, but there are other details in his playing that set him apart from D'Amour too. It´s still predominantly dissonant riffing that´s on the menu though, so don´t despair if you miss D'Amour. This still through and through sounds like Voivod. Of course that´s also obvious when Denis "Snake" Bélanger starts singing in his trademark raw punked singing style.

Stylistically the music on "Target Earth" sits somewhere between the progressive thrash of "Dimension Hatröss (1988)", the psychadelic tinged progressive metal of "Nothingface (1989)" and when it´s most melodic "Angel Rat (1991)" and "The Outer Limits (1993)". But the band still succeed in creating a sound that´s somewhat unique for "Target Earth". The band are as always very well playing and it´s an absolute joy to hear Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault´s distorted bass on a Voivod album again. The sound production is professional and powerful sounding. The material is generally entertaining and as usual sci-fi themed, which songtitles like "Target Earth", "Kluskap O´kom" and "Mechanical Mind" bear witness to.

After a couple of albums that didn´t exactly live up to the quality I expect from Voivod, it´s safe to say that "Target Earth" is a return to form. "Target Earth" is simply miles ahead of "Katorz (2006)" and "Infini (2009)" in terms of quality and memorability. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Kev Rowland
Voivod have always refused to do anything to fit into any particular genre, remember their version of “Astronomy Domine” or “21st Century Schizoid Man”? Not what someone may normally associate with a thrash band, but there’s the point. Under Piggy’s guidance Voivod were never just another thrash band. There are many who thought that the band would implode after Piggy’s passing, but here we are in 2013 and yet again the band are doing just what they do best, which is whatever they want. It is going to take a while to see if this band will ever gain the kudos of ‘Nothingface’ or ‘Dimension Hatröss’, but amazingly the latter of those two is now 25 years old!!

This is Voivod for now, and these crazy Canadians show no sign at all of slowing down. It is quirky at times, extremely staccato at others, yet always in your face and a real refusal to compromise. I have most of Voivod’s albums and take it from me this maintains all that they have stood for over the years, while giving us metalheads something else to savour. www.centurymedia.com

Time Signature

Genre: Voivod metal

The legendary Canadian metal act Voivod is, along with Watchtower, Realm and to some extent Antithesis, among the most innovative bands on the thrash scene, and, with their eclectic style which is situated somewhere in a borderland between thrash metal and progressive rock, Voivod have always made original music. The band has suffered the revolving door effect in their line-up, and in 2005 the band was struck by tragedy when their guitarist and main composer Denis "Piggy" D'Amour died from cancer. D'Amour was, with his inspiration from Rush, King Crimson and Pink Floyd, the band's main source when it came to the progressive and experimental side of their music, and their characteristic use of dissonant chords and unconventional song structures were largely courtesy of d'Amours deliberately chaotic approach to writing music.

Consequently, many fans feared that Voivod would never be the same again without him. And, no, it will probably never be quite the same, but on their Target Earth-album the Canadians show that Voivod still Voivod, and that they can still create unique progressive metal. Thus, the title track has an almost jazzy character at times (much the same way as the Pestilence's brilliant Spheres), while 'Kluskap O'Kom' has a slightly crusty sound combined with elements of speed-power metal. 'Empathy for the Enemy' features jazz-inspired progressive hard rock that sometimes crosses over into a King Crimson-inspired sound (along the lines of 'Lark's Tongue in Aspic'), while 'Mechanical Mind' is characterized by challenging, unconventional chords and offers on some pretty bridge passages. In Resistance' Voivod combine rhythms that are pretty much straightforward with more quirky chords and harmonies, and there is an interesting congruence-contrast relation between this and the following track 'Kaleidos' while 'Corps Etranger' combines the ethereal with the aggressive with a good deal of dissonance on top.

The production is tight and unpolished (but of course not lo-fi), and the dissonant elements and other oddities are allowed to shine through. The drums have a fat – nay, a phat – bottom, and the bass is distorted in the usual Voivod fashion. Dennis "Snake" Bélangers vocals have an almost grungy feel that gives the already experimental music an slight introspective touch, but he shows when he can easily provide more aggressive singing, if need be, as heard in parts of the quirky 'Warchaic'.

Voivod have always challenged their listeners, and they continue to do so do on this album. If you are not already a fan of progressive and quirky music, you might not be albe to handle this album, but fans of progressive and experimental music should definitely give Voivod's latest effort a spin, and fans of the band need not fear that Target Earth does not sound like Voivod - in fact, I think that d'Amour would be proud of the way the band carries on the Voivod spirit.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)

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