"Rrröööaaarrr" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian metal act Voivod (and one of the releases in metal featuring the most cool album title ever). The album was released through Noise Records in March 1986. Voivod originally formed in 1981 and released two demos before being signed by Metal Blade Records for the release of their debut full-length studio album "War and Pain (1984)".
"War and Pain (1984)" featured a filthy and noisy heavy/speed metal style and a chaotic and lo-fi sound quality, and in many ways that sound is continued on "Rrröööaaarrr". "Rrröööaaarrr" is however slightly more sophisticated than it´s predecessor both when it comes to the songwriting, the performances, and especially when it comes to the sound production. The latter is still very raw and quite noisy too, but it´s sharper, and more detailed and powerful than the sound on "War and Pain (1984)".
While the basic heavy/speed metal sound of the debut is pretty much intact, there is audible development of the band´s sound to be heard on "Rrröööaaarrr". The tracks are actually slightly less catchy and occasionally even a bit harder edged than the music on "War and Pain (1984)". "To the Death!" is for example the most thrash oriented track in the band´s discography, but with the improved production values, "Rrröööaaarrr" is still more easily accessible than it´s predecessor. It´s not an easily accessible album by any means though. The tracks take a while to tell apart, and Snake´s voice and raw punked singing style is probably an aquired taste too. There aren´t that many catchy choruses and hooks in the music either, and the greatest assets here are the raw energy and badass attitude which oozes from the raw rhythmic assault, the above mentioned vocals, the hard edged rock´n´roll on steroid guitar riffing, and the rumbling distorted bass attack.
The sci-fi themed lyrics and imagery which would become a more fully developed feature of the band´s sound on the subsequent releases is also present here, but many of the tracks are more focused on other subjects like violence, praise of heavy metal lifestyle, and horror. In addition to the above mentioned "To the Death!" other highlights include "Korgüll the Exterminator", "Thrashing Rage", and the "subtly titled" "Fuck Off & Die", but it´s generally not an album where the tracks stick out much and the style and quality of the material is pretty equal throughout. Even to the point where it´s slightly one-dimensional.
So upon conclusion "Rrröööaaarrr" is a pretty strong sophomore release by Voivod. The songwriting could have been a bit more varied but the raw musical performances and powerful sound production pull in a positive direction, and to my ears it´s a definite step up from "War and Pain (1984)". A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.