VOIVOD

Thrash Metal / Progressive Metal / Technical Thrash Metal / Heavy Metal • Canada
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Voivod are a progressive thrash metal band from Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada, with a very distinct sound. Formed by Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, Michel "Away" Langevin and Jean-Yves "Blacky" Theriault, the fledging group soon found the perfect singer in Denis "Snake" Belanger. A blend of thrash with some progressive rock thrown in, and lyrics leaning heavily on sci-fi imagery. One of the first Canadian punk and thrash bands to enjoy success outside of Canada, they released four albums in the mid '80s before being signed to a major label. War And Pain in 1984, Rrroooaaarrr! in 1986, Killing Technology in 1987, and Dimension Hatross in 1988. Their blend of thrash and progressive rock caught the ear of MCA Records, who signed them and released their next album, Nothingface in 1989. The video of their Pink Floyd cover, Astronomy Domine, got tons of MTV airplay. They would headline read more...
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VOIVOD Discography

VOIVOD albums / top albums

VOIVOD War And Pain album cover 3.34 | 30 ratings
War And Pain
Thrash Metal 1984
VOIVOD Rrröööaaarrr album cover 3.26 | 24 ratings
Rrröööaaarrr
Thrash Metal 1986
VOIVOD Killing Technology album cover 4.18 | 42 ratings
Killing Technology
Technical Thrash Metal 1987
VOIVOD Dimension Hatröss album cover 4.34 | 50 ratings
Dimension Hatröss
Technical Thrash Metal 1988
VOIVOD Nothingface album cover 4.04 | 60 ratings
Nothingface
Progressive Metal 1989
VOIVOD Angel Rat album cover 3.79 | 37 ratings
Angel Rat
Progressive Metal 1991
VOIVOD The Outer Limits album cover 4.21 | 38 ratings
The Outer Limits
Progressive Metal 1993
VOIVOD Negatron album cover 3.11 | 20 ratings
Negatron
Thrash Metal 1995
VOIVOD Phobos album cover 3.40 | 19 ratings
Phobos
Thrash Metal 1997
VOIVOD Voivod album cover 3.00 | 15 ratings
Voivod
Heavy Metal 2003
VOIVOD Katorz album cover 3.71 | 15 ratings
Katorz
Heavy Metal 2006
VOIVOD Infini album cover 3.15 | 19 ratings
Infini
Thrash Metal 2009
VOIVOD Target Earth album cover 3.97 | 27 ratings
Target Earth
Progressive Metal 2013
VOIVOD The Wake album cover 4.32 | 17 ratings
The Wake
Progressive Metal 2018
VOIVOD Synchro Anarchy album cover 3.75 | 10 ratings
Synchro Anarchy
Technical Thrash Metal 2022

VOIVOD EPs & splits

VOIVOD Thrashing Rage album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Thrashing Rage
Thrash Metal 1986
VOIVOD Cockroaches album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Cockroaches
Technical Thrash Metal 1987
VOIVOD Live @ MusiquePlus album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live @ MusiquePlus
Progressive Metal 2000
VOIVOD We Are Connected / Language of the Dead album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
We Are Connected / Language of the Dead
Progressive Metal 2015
VOIVOD Post Society album cover 3.89 | 10 ratings
Post Society
Progressive Metal 2016
VOIVOD The End of Dormancy album cover 3.64 | 3 ratings
The End of Dormancy
Progressive Metal 2020

VOIVOD live albums

VOIVOD Lives album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Lives
Thrash Metal 2000
VOIVOD Warriors of Ice album cover 3.15 | 5 ratings
Warriors of Ice
Thrash Metal 2011
VOIVOD Live at Roadburn 2011 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Roadburn 2011
Thrash Metal 2012
VOIVOD Lost Machine - Live album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Lost Machine - Live
Progressive Metal 2020

VOIVOD demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VOIVOD Anachronism album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anachronism
Thrash Metal 1983
VOIVOD To the Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
To the Death
Thrash Metal 1984
VOIVOD Morgöth Invasion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Morgöth Invasion
Thrash Metal 1984
VOIVOD Zeche Bochum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zeche Bochum
Thrash Metal 1986
VOIVOD No Speed Limit Weekend album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
No Speed Limit Weekend
Thrash Metal 1986
VOIVOD Dimension Hatröss Demos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dimension Hatröss Demos
Thrash Metal 1987
VOIVOD Live à Bruxelles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live à Bruxelles
Thrash Metal 1987
VOIVOD Spectrum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spectrum
Thrash Metal 1987
VOIVOD The Sounds Machine EP 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sounds Machine EP 2
Thrash Metal 1988
VOIVOD Nothingface Demos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothingface Demos
Progressive Metal 1988
VOIVOD A Flawless Structure? album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
A Flawless Structure?
Thrash Metal 1988
VOIVOD From the Forthcoming Album Nothingface album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
From the Forthcoming Album Nothingface
Progressive Metal 1989
VOIVOD Live at the Paradise album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Paradise
Progressive Metal 1990
VOIVOD Angel Rat Sampler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angel Rat Sampler
Progressive Metal 1991
VOIVOD Angel Rat Demos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angel Rat Demos
Progressive Metal 1991
VOIVOD Fix My Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fix My Heart
Progressive Metal 1993
VOIVOD The Lost Machine album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Lost Machine
Progressive Metal 1993
VOIVOD The Nile Song album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Nile Song
Progressive Metal 1994
VOIVOD Negatron Demos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Negatron Demos
Thrash Metal 1994
VOIVOD Klubben Stockholm album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Klubben Stockholm
Thrash Metal 1999
VOIVOD 2001 Album Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
2001 Album Demo
Thrash Metal 2001
VOIVOD Katorz Demos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Katorz Demos
Heavy Metal 2004

VOIVOD re-issues & compilations

VOIVOD The Best of Voivod album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
The Best of Voivod
Thrash Metal 1992
VOIVOD Kronik album cover 2.31 | 5 ratings
Kronik
Thrash Metal 1998
VOIVOD To The Death 84 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
To The Death 84
Thrash Metal 2011

VOIVOD singles (4)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Nanoman
Thrash Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gasmask Revival
Heavy Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
We Carry On
Heavy Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mechanical Mind
Progressive Metal 2012

VOIVOD movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Voivod - D V O D 1
Thrash Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Tatsumaki: Voivod in Japan 2008
Thrash Metal 2009

VOIVOD Reviews

VOIVOD Negatron

Album · 1995 · Thrash Metal
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Unitron
With The Outer Limits, Voivod made an amazing meeting of space rock and alt metal that everything starting with Nothingface was leading up to. With Snake temporarily away from the band, and new guy Eric Forrest, the band does a near 180 in sound. Negatron is a blistering industrial thrashing beast of an album, and takes no prisoners.

While the mechanical ant on the cover is somehow even cheesier than the ones in the classic Sci-Fi film Them!, this album rains down as much sludgy groove as it can. Eric Forrest's red-faced screaming is so caustic and unapologetic, Insect says it all. He can do melody too though, in songs like Nanoman where he takes a Snake-esque approach to it. Musically it's along the lines of industrial bands like Fear Factory, Red Harvest, and Treponem Pal but with Voivod's unique touch.

Negatron often gets a bad rep, maybe because of how much whiplash it is after the previous three albums or maybe it's the new vocalist. Whatever the reason, Negatron is a great rage-filled monster mosher.

VOIVOD Synchro Anarchy

Album · 2022 · Technical Thrash Metal
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siLLy puPPy
When Canada’s most distinguished technical thrash metal band VOIVOD hit the scene all the way back in 1984 with its balls-to-the-wall debut “War And Pain” the metal world wasn’t quite prepared for its impact as if this strange musical outfit had drifted in on some asteroid that hit the planet and suddenly infected the eardrums of musical extremists. The band pretty much created its own branch of metal music from the getgo and only preceded to drift into more avant-garde and progressive territories as time went on. Luckily the world caught up to the idiosyncrasies laid down by these Quebecois thrashers who easily distinguished themselves from the other so-called big four bands Sacrifice, Razor and Annihilator.

Despite having found its own unique musical niche in the now expansive world of metal music, VOIVOD remains even to this current day an act that sounds like no other. While some bands like Dream Theater or Metallica for example have legions of imitators, VOIVOD for some reason has never spawned an army of clones or bands that were influenced by them. None have even come close to its bizarre otherworldly mix of jangled guitar chord rampages, time signature quirkiness and slinking musical processions that really do insinuate a parallel reality that sits outside of the perception of most human beings trapped in the 3D construct. Yet somehow VOIVOD has tapped into the large potentials just outside of the perception of many and made a multi-decade career out of it.

With the loss of Denis D’Amour aka Piggy in 2005 it was presumed that the founder of VOIVOD’s unique guitar angularities would take his secrets to the grave but lo and behold the world had not only accepted VOIVOD’s unique musical visions but worshipped them. In came Daniel Mongrain to take the role as guitar mangler and has so far channeled the spirit of Piggy as if Piggy actually simply took over his body and continues to steer his music in an almost eerie similarity. Here we are in 2022 and VOIVOD returns with its 15th studio album SYNCHRO ANARCHY and the band which now features the lineup of Michel “Away” Langevin (drums), Denis “Snake” Bélanger (vocals), Mongrain on guitars and Dominique “Rocky” Laroche (bass) remain in the same lineup as 2018’s amazing comeback “The Wake.”

Graced with the same style of Twilight Zone visual arts that the band has adopted since the more progressive albums such as “Killing Technology” began to test metal heads’ preconceptions all the way back in the 1980s, SYNCHRO ANARCHY continues the now tried and true comfort zone that VOIVOD has been gracefully following for quite some time now and while many are going ballistic over the fact that this band never deviates from the norm and release some kind of polka metal hybrid or something just so they can trash it and castigate them for not sticking to something they know best, the truth is VOIVOD is actually quite good at what they do and after all since there are really no contenders for this particular style of hardcore punk infused tech thrash metal skirting the world of prog rock and Motorhead-esque 80s metal, why stop now?

It’s true that metal has come a long way since VOIVOD’s musicians were the true masters of weird back in the late 1980s with a gazillion bands that are even weirder these days but just because VOIVOD no longer are the masters of weird by no means signifies that they are ready to be put to pasture any time soon. SYNCHRO ANARCHY may not reinvent the wheel or any other instrument of metal navigation but what it does accomplish is that it delivers a no nonsense ferocious attack of proggy tech thrash metal that only VOIVOD can dish out in abundance. The band wastes no time with the opening “Paranormalium” which delivers ample doses of jittery schizoid guitar riffs in classic atonality in conjunct with the oddball off-kilter counterpoints of the bass, drums and distinctly VOIVOD vocal style of Snake.

The album may not take VOIVOD to “The Outer Limits” as their style once did but at this point in their career these guys are legends and are quite remarkable in how they consistently deliver album after album of top notch VOIVOD-isms in top musical form. No, i’m not expecting VOIVOD to try to be the next Mr Bungle or psychedelic blackened death metal band. I expect VOIVOD to remain exactly what they are on their own terms and in that regard SYNCHRO ANARCHY is an excellent delivery of their classic sounds and stylistic quirks. Having said that i do find this album to be less compelling than “The Wake.” Compositionally speaking, SYNCHRO ANARCHY does seem to be content in simply retreading that which has been done without even the tiniest attempt to step things up or meander into other sectors of the VOIVOD universe. Nope. These guys have fully opted to deliver what most fans probably expect and that’s what they do on this release.

So when evaluating and reviewing a classic act like VOIVOD perhaps its better to take into consideration that the band is in a league of its own and avoid comparisons to other bands both stylistically and in a temporal context. VOIVOD has always exited in the vacuum of the space-time continuum utterly and blissfully unconcerned about what is happening around them and for that i truly applaud this band who shows no signs of insecurity as many an aging metal band has displayed over time. These guys know what they do best and they deliver that with a gusto unmatched by many of the old timers. In that regard VOIVOD can only be compared to itself and in terms of VOIVOD releases, SYNCHRO ANARCHY may not sit high on the band’s canon as best releases but ounce for ounce this one more than delivers the goods for a true VOIVOD fan with not a band track to be heard. To my ears this is yet another excellent slice of nerdy tech thrash metal that will get several return visits as time marches on.

VOIVOD Synchro Anarchy

Album · 2022 · Technical Thrash Metal
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lukretion
As I write this, there is a furious storm raging outside my window. The trees sway madly from side to side, splinters and small branches fly off in all directions, and all living things hide away in awe and terror, as the wind ravishes the land, howling in all its force. This ravaged scenario describes fairly accurately how my head also feels after listening to Synchro Anarchy, the 15th studio album by Canadian prog metal veterans Voivod. Out on February 11th via Century Media, the LP is a staggering, mind-blowing listening experience that left me speechless, stupefied and punch-drunk. As I am here scratching my head trying to make sense of what I just heard, only two things are clear to me. First, Voivod sound like no other band I ever listened to and stand tall in a league of their own. Second, Synchro Anarchy is a stupendous example of how to write music that is truly genre-defying and progressive.

Before I tell you further about this album, I have a confession to make. Despite being an avid prog rock/metal fan, for some reason Voivod have always flown below my radar until now. Of course, I had heard of them, but I never really took the time to sit down and listen to their music. When I saw Synchro Anarchy in the The Metal Oberver promo list, I decided that it was time for me to take a step into the unknown and find out what I actually thought of Voivod. Well, based on what I heard on Synchro Anarchy, I can only tell you that I have been a fool to ignore this awesome band for so long and that the next thing I’ll do when I finish this review, is go and check out their whole back catalogue!

If I were to describe Synchro Anarchy to someone who, like me, never approached the Quebecois spaceship before, I’d say that the album is a genre-bending amalgamation of proto-metal, thrash, jazz-infected prog, and space rock. A lot of it can very much feel like an acquired taste. The music is difficult and uncompromising, full of dissonance, shifting rhythms and variable tempos. It is rarely melodic, but when melodies do come to surface, their contrast with the challenging musical background is simply irresistible, producing the same spellbinding effect of the mirage of an oasis in the desert. Structurally, the songs twist and turn like live snakes, as far removed as possible from the canonical verse/chorus repetition. Snippets of phrases and melodies return circularly before disintegrating again into new black holes that take the music into completely different directions.

The musicianship is incredible. I was especially impressed by Chewy’s guitarwork, which is simply one of the most inventive I have heard in a long time on a metal album. My first thought was that this is how Robert Fripp (King Crimson) would have sounded if he was born 15 years later and decided to play thrash metal instead of progressive rock. The guitar riffs are angular and irregular. The use of unusual and dissonant chords is jarring, and so are the sudden explosions of jazz-infected leads and solos. Chewy’s performance is mind-blowing and is alone worth the price of the album. The rhythm section is no less spectacular. Drummer Away and bassist Rocky are a formidable pair that give the songs a solid rhythmic base that feels at the same time adventurous and tight, intricate and powerful. Snake’s singing is also impressive, in the same way as Lemmy’s (Motorhead) or Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals can be arresting. The beauty does not lie in the melodiousness or technicality of the performance, but rather in its unique character, halfway between ritualistic psalmody and punk singing. It transmits a sense of otherworldliness and transcendence that is a perfect complement for the alien musical background conjured up by the other three musicians.

There is a primal and vibrant energy running through the 9 tracks of the album, which gives away how much fun Voivod must have had writing and recording this LP. The fun is infectious for the audience too: the music is fresh and exciting, and it contains that elusive combination of raw power and dark energy that leaves you exhilarated, fervid and electrified as only quintessential metal albums can do. The flurry of bright, left-field ideas that traverse the album keep you constantly on your toes as you are never quite sure which direction each new song may take. The title-track “Synchro Anarchy” is a beautiful rollercoaster that keeps you glued to your headphones, as dissonant chords and odd times give way to a gorgeously accessible melodic chorus. “Planet Eaters” is a punkish beast that constantly challenges the listener with angular riffs, shifting tempos and sudden accelerations, before exploding in a beautiful jazzy solo. “Mind Clock” is a more atmospheric affair that turns things down a notch, offering some respite to the audience, before the frontal assault of “Sleeves Off”, another track that brings to the fore the punk verve of the record. Meanwhile, the album’s second half offers some darker cuts, like the Sabbathian “Holographic Thinking” or the doomy “Memory Failure” that closes the LP.

Graced by an immaculate sound production - warm, vibrant and with plenty of nuance -, Synchro Anarchy is a record not to miss. It’s a splendid Frankenstein that brings together genres as diverse as jazz, space rock and thrash in an exhilarating musical experience that truly incarnates the meaning of the word “progressive”. Stellar musicianship, intelligent songwriting, and irresistible energy – Synchro Anarchy has it all. The album’s mad sonic assault may not be to everyone’s taste, but those readers who do not mind being challenged and pushed beyond conventional music borders should look no further. This is the real deal. Go and buy it.

[Originally written for The Metal Observer]

VOIVOD Angel Rat

Album · 1991 · Progressive Metal
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SilentScream213
One of those albums where everything just feels off… except after repeated listens, I have determined this to be quite intentional, and done in the best way.

You see, Voivod get bored easily, and they had already been down many musical avenues, and pushed the limits of music (and their own abilities) multiple times. On Killing Technology, they showcased the extent of how fast, aggressive, and technical they could play. On the following Dimension Hatross and Nothingface, they were at the forefront of slightly avant-garde Progressive Metal, making albums quite bizarre in musical structure, showcasing complex songwriting ability. And now we have Angel Rat, which at first listen just sounds like them giving up on trying to prove anything anymore. Only faint glimpses of their progressive technicality remain on what is almost a poppy, Post-Punk inspired Alternative Metal album.

I was disappointed at first, as I think anyone would be. But something about the album kept me coming back, and I realized something. Voivod have transcended using technical speed or complex songwriting. They are taking the term “progressive” to a new frontier here, and focusing on creating very complex, ever changing MOODS. If you can imagine a mood having an odd time signature, this is absolutely it. Every song here, despite having relatively simple instrumentation and structure, jumps between some of the most schizophrenic, bipolar moods I’ve ever heard, all without janky start-stop instrumental tricks. The songs flow as smoothly as pop songs, and although the instrumentation can actually be quite intense and complex at times, you wouldn’t really know it without focused listening.

They place the most normal tracks at the beginning. As long as you weren’t listening to the lyrics (which are beyond strange) you could convince yourself that the first 5 tracks were all normal, though they just don’t sound right for some reason… And were those double bass Thrash beats playing under the chorus at the end of Clouds in My House? That’s right, this IS a metal album after all, and don’t forget it!

Track 6, Twin Dummy, is where you could no longer convince yourself this album is normal. The way Snake anxiously yells “The circus left without me!” and then sinisterly muses “And I’m alone with you now…” is unnerving to say the least, especially surrounded with off-kilter lyricism about carousels, dummies, and whatnot. From here on out it becomes more obvious that there is something wrong with this album.

The title track, Angel Rat, capitalizes this best. The opening line “The idiot walks along the canvas…” as Snake then paints a dark and unnerving picture much like the album cover. Gloomy, ominous chords and soft spoken vocals shake through this hideous landscape of darkness and hopelessness… and then a sugary sweet, smooth chorus kicks in about how nice flying away would be. At first this chorus kind of ruined the song for me, but after sitting with it, I totally get it. The figure in the song is an idiot precisely because they still have this innocent, childlike hope of flying away from this horrid picture. Yet they are painted into the canvas just as everything else is. They are stuck there for eternity. The question “rat or angel, does one really know?” is such an interesting comparison. They aren’t comparing good or evil. They’re comparing something significant, powerful, and bright, with a wholly insignificant pest (that cannot fly, mind you). The song is a masterpiece in cryptic writing and mood distortion, and the rest of the album walks the same line.

There are a couple other factors that make this album work so well. For one, I’ve always maintained that Snake’s yells are much better than his singing, and that was a big reason why Voivod’s duo of Prog albums weren’t as great for me. But here, Snake’s vocals are perfect. Not that he’s improved much, no… rather, his shaky, strained voice works wonders for the kind of atmosphere they’re going for here. He’s got an anxious tone to his voice that shines through even during the poppy choruses, and this makes them catchy but never anthemic. Even when he sings smoothly, like in Clouds in My House or Angel Rat, it just doesn’t sound right, and that is precisely why this album succeeds in such simple verse chorus format. The drumming is another fantastic element here. Usually it’s pretty simple, but never boring, and best of all, more than occasionally it just breaks out into full on double bass metal beats. However, the drumming is pushed low in the mix so that it never overpowers the music, and it really serves as another backbone of hidden elements you wouldn’t appreciate unless you listened intently for it. Layered guitar melodies, vocal harmonies and atmospheric soundscape textures work the same, hidden at first listen but uncovered after due attention.

This album is a massive grower and has so much to offer to those willing to delve into the depths of its dark, demented canvas. Voivod have successfully taken progressive music to a new level!

VOIVOD Killing Technology

Album · 1987 · Technical Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Killing Technology" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Canadian, Quebec based progressive thrash metal act Voivod. The album was released through Noise Records in April 1987. It´s the successor to "Rrröööaaarrr" from 1986. The original vinyl version of the album only features 7 tracks, while the cassette and the CD versions feature the two tracks from the 1987 "Too Scared to Scream"/"Cockroaches" single as bonus material.

"Killing Technology" marks a change in Voivod´s sound from the raw punked thrash/speed metal of the two predecessors to a techncial/progressive thrash metal sound. There is still the odd nod towards raw and unhinged sounding hardcore punk, but Voivod have generally opted for a more sophisticated playing and writing style on this album. Most tracks are long and structurally adventurous, and it´s interesting how much Denis "Piggy" D'Amour´s guitar riffs and writing ideas have evolved over such a short period of time, and how much the increased dissonance and unconventional chord progressions change Voivod´s sound.

Lead vocalist Denis "Snake" Bélanger still sounds right out of a hardcore punk group, singing raw shouting vocal lines, but even he has added an extra layer to his delivery, singing more varied and even at times hitting a semi-melodic note. His voice and vocal style will probably always be an aquired taste, but his rather distinct sounding style arguably brings an original touch to that part of Voivod music.

"Killing Technology" features sci-fi themes lyrics and imagery, and the alien nature of the music itself fits perfectly with the sci-fi themed lyrics. The often space like coldness of the music and the robotic sound effects on Bélanger´s voice on the title track even further enhances the feeling of being aboard an alien space ship travelling the universe. "Killing Technology" features well written and relatively varied tracks. To my ears the original vinyl tracks are the main attractions, while the two CD/cassette tape bonus tracks sound slightly out of place and actually disrupt the flow of the album. Tracks like the title track, "Forgotten in Space", and "This Is Not an Exercise" are killer material, featuring a great balance between the raw and thrashy and the sophisticated and proggy, but more immedate tracks like "Tornado" and "Ravenous Medicine" are no less intriguing.

"Killing Technology" features a raw yet detailed and powerful sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. So upon conclusion it´s through and through a high quality release by Voivod. To this day I´m still not sure how Voivod were able to create such a unique sound and even pull off selling a decent number of copies of this album. Even more admirable they were able to build a career writing and playing music that is as far from being mainstream as you can possibly get. A huge achievement in my book...A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

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