VOIVOD — Nothingface (review)

VOIVOD — Nothingface album cover Album · 1989 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
SilentScream213
As someone who much prefers Voivod’s true Thrash days, this is a hard album for me to rate. What Voivod were doing in their career with this and their previous album was pretty much unprecedented. No one had really combined Tech Thrash Prog Metal with weirdo avant-garde intricacies yet. Hell, there were barely any normal Prog Metal bands at the time. Voivod were already living in the 2000’s by the time they recorded Nothingface.

And yes, it is as interesting as it’s made out to be. Everything about it is odd in a very well done and endearing way. Never too odd to make it unapproachable (it was actually by far their catchiest album upon release) but always packing enough surprises to keep in interesting. The songs stand out with memorable riffs and some surprisingly catchy hooks, but they are all so odd that you never really get them memorized. There’s always something new to catch.

The weaknesses here are that there are a lot of start-stop tactics that just fracture the listening experience. They seem to change tempos and rhythms with the purpose of jolting you. Since they go for a much more melodic sound here, it’s really not enjoyable to be jolted and thrown when getting into some of the fantastic melodies and rhythms they lay down. Missing Sequences is a prime example of this; most of the song features speedy drumming and some of their best lead guitarwork to date, with some fantastic harmonized riffs. And then there are segments where everything just stops, ripping you from the trance they had crafted. Maybe to some this is an extra interest factor, but it takes away a lot for me.

Snake is also much better at doing harsh yells than singing. Another point their true Thrash days have over this.
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UMUR wrote:
2 months ago
The coldness and odd futuristic nature of the rhythms, riffs, and atmosphere are some of the great charms of the album IMO :-)
Tupan wrote:
2 months ago
I dunno... I love the prog side of Voivod, but I think Nothingface is a bit cold. I'll try it again, though.
Vim Fuego wrote:
2 months ago
I love war and Pain, and didn't think much of this one.
UMUR wrote:
2 months ago
This is an odd album, and I´m sure those who prefer Voivod´s more thrash metal oriented releases are split in two album liking it/hating it. Personally I love Nothingface for it´s completely unique sound and I praise Voivod for releasing such a daring and adventurous release at that point in their career. It´s their best album IMO.

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