VOIVOD — Dimension Hatröss

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VOIVOD - Dimension Hatröss cover
4.34 | 52 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 1988


1. Experiment (6:11)
2. Tribal Convictions (4:51)
3. Chaosmöngers (4:41)
4. Technocratic Manipulators (4:36)
5. Macrosolutions to Megaproblems (5:34)
6. Brain Scan (5:09)
7. Psychic Vacuum (3:50)
8. Cosmic Drama (4:55)
9. Batman (1:47)

Total Time: 41:39


- Denis Bélanger (Snake) / Vocals
- Denis D-Amour (Piggy) / Guitar, Keyboards
- Jean-Yves Thériault (Blacky) / Bass
- Michel Langevin (Away) / Drums

About this release

Released by Noise Records on June 29th 1988.

Thanks to The Angry Scotsman, Unitron, adg211288 for the updates


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Voivod's always been in their own metallic science-fiction world, ignoring trends that come and go for the most part. Even with a dud here and there, I know I'm always going to get an album that sounds like Voivod and only that.

I've never been able to pick between Killing Technology and Dimension Hatröss as my favorite album, the former nails a cold and caustic sci-fi thrash world, while Hatröss is Voivod's take on more melodic thrash where hooks rule.

Songs like Chaosmöngers and the sweet titled Macrosolutions to Megaproblems have some of thrash's most infectious choruses, and Chaosmöngers will often randomly start playing in my head, as a testament to its catchiness. Despite his unique nasally snarl, Snake can sing great melodies, but with his own twist to compliment Piggy's dissonant thrash riffs and solos.

After eight songs of sci-fi thrash, the album closes out with a cover of the 60's Batman theme song. It's a lot of fun, something that all the best thrash bands remember to have. After this album, the band would go in a direction closer to just spacey heavy metal before bringing thrash back in the mid 90's.
Complex time sigs, science fiction concept and crunching metal riffs - Voi Vod!.

Voi Vod have a style, a sound, a concept all of their own and albums such as this cemented their reputation as progenitors of technical metal. From the outset this album signifies a new approach in metal. The metal distortion of Piggy's raw crunching guitar is still as prevalent as their War and Pain years, that I used to thrash in the 80s, but this is a more mature sound with plenty for the non metal fan. The complexity of time sig changes is astonishing, and Piggy is a revelation on the vocals. Snake sounds great on vocals without all that roaring that he used to do. Experiment begins this and demonstrates Voi Vod are turning a corner as one of the more innovative metal bands of the late 80s.

Tribal Convictions has to be one of the best Voi Vod tracks with menacing intro, syncopated rhythms in the vein of Sepultura, and back breaking blasts of metal distortion. The slow sustained chords are typical of early Voi Vod but the dissonant guitar riffs are certainly out of the box. There are science fiction nuances in the effects and overall structure. It becomes a maelstrom of speed metal at one point and ends with an ominous performance from Snake.

Technocratic Manipulators begins with machinated guitar riffs, and a fast tempo that threatens to remain consistent until it breaks into shattered fragments with a time shift on the line "Is it the same message, For the preconceived children? Let me know, before I go", followed by awesome riffing and lead breaks. Snake sings, "Death of their liberty, Feeds the supremacy." Then we return back to the fast riff and it ends suddenly after a flurry of sporadic riffing.

Macrosolutions to Megaproblems has a jazzy little intro and then a driving riff. It completely changes after a minute and a half into one of Piggy's best riffs. The choppy defragmented time sig is difficult to pin down and it keeps the interest. The lead break is killer on this track and there is even a punk inspired vocal section. Finally the sig shifts again at the end, "you'd better shake up your mind," Snake warns, and then an elongated factory sound rumbles to the next track.

Brain Scan is one of the highlights of the album that features another dynamic riff, low chanting monotone vocals, and some excellent effects. At 1:30 it launches into a quirky riff that chops and changes in complex patterns. The time sig changes constantly and it ends with high speed double kick drumming and finally returns to the main riff.

Psychic Vacuum crunches out very dark riffs and Piggy sounds great on this. The metal is loud and brutal, and is perhaps more straightforward in structure.

Cosmic Drama chugs along with a galloping riff that keeps breaking time sig making the ear strain to latch onto a beat. This features robotic vocals in places and some activist lyrics; "too many reasons, too much oppression, there is no freedom, no satisfaction, I want some action."

Batman is a cool variation on the original with heavy loud guitars and Snake screaming "Batman!" and seems an odd but fitting way to close the album, one of Voi Vod's best without a doubt.
Dimension Hatross is a jaw-dropping classic of technical thrash metal which opened the eyes of many to the levels of complexity that the metal scene could aspire to. Certainly, it adds to Voivod's thrash-derived sound a level of influence from complex jazz-fusion which preceded similar experiments by the likes of Atheist and Cynic in the death metal field. But on top of that, it also proved that you could have complex time signatures and song structures and high levels of instrumental virtuosity without sacrificing a single slice of the aggression or ferocity that extreme metal is best at. A true milestone.
Conor Fynes
'Dimension Hatross' - Voivod (8/10)

Before even touching upon the music of this Canadian band's classic fourth album, I should say that over time, Voivod have become one of my favourite metal bands of all time. With one of the most inventive and unique approaches in thrash metal, the work of the band's classic lineup (being everything up to 'The Outer Limits') has not disappointed me, and 'Dimension Hatross' is no exception. Widely considered to be the band's greatest album by their more thrash-leaning fans, there is not yet the sort of perfection that would be heard on the fifth record 'Nothingface', but the charm and quirky excellence here still ranks this among the band's greatest achievements.

One of the greatest things about Voivod is that they have never been content to stick with the same sound throughout their career. Falling in between the raw speed metal of the band's earlier material (via 'War And Pain') and the proggier, Floydian leanings of albums like 'Angel Rat' and 'The Outer Limits', 'Dimension Hatross' is a very strong transition record for this band. Voivod remains an overtly thrashy act here, but by this point, progression was seeping through the cracks of their style. Even from the irregular time of the album's opening riff on 'Prolog/Experiment', Voivod places themselves within the realm of the 'thinking man's metal'. As with much of Voivod's material, their biggest distinction here is the dissonant and left-of-center style of their guitarist, Denis 'Piggy' L'Amour. While the typical formula for thrash guitarists to prove themselves is through rapidfire soling and speed, Piggy puts his very original spin on playing the guitar into each song, often using chords that don't at first sound right to the human ear, but don't take long to become equally as catchy and fun as anything more conventional.

Although the sound and songwriting isn't quite as outstanding here as it is on my personal favourite 'Nothingface', the album has a surprising longevity for a thrash metal album, with appreciation only growing from listen to listen. The only song here that feels unnecessary or out-of-place is- as anyone who has heard the album may tend to agree- the final track, which is a cover of the Batman theme song. Although undeniably fun and indicative of Voivod's tongue-in-cheek nature, it does feel as if it takes away from the otherwise highly intelligent nature of 'Dimension Hatross'. Personal highlights from the album would include the spacey 'Brain Scan' and 'Chaosmongers', but perhaps most of all, the incredible song 'Tribal Convictions', which has one of the most exciting introductions to a metal track I have ever heard. As one may guess from the song titles alone, the lyrical themes here generally revolve around spacey, science-fiction themes. Although he may be light on technical skill as a vocalist, Denis 'Snake' Belanger manages to take these abstract topics and make them incredibly fun and enjoyable, although they can tend to amount to technobabble at times.

'Dimension Hatross' comes very close to being a masterpiece for me, although it is evident that there would still be room for improvement, most notably in the way the band's sound is mixed and produced. Although it would be improved upon and perfected with the follow-up 'Nothingface', 'Dimension Hatross' is a classic, and rightfully so.
Voivod’s fourth album Dimension Hatross is an extravagantly dense and difficult album. Even though I knew Voivod for quite a while, it still took me a dozen listens to get into it. Dimension Hatross purifies the neurotic metal of Killing Technology with improved production values and impeccable song writing.

Every aspect of this album perfects the experiments of Killing Technology, the production is better and the compositions have opened up to let in more variation and that typical uncanny spacey sound. Each band member has grown a lot and performs with stunning confidence and inspiration. The tribal drumming of ‘Away’ is made more prominent and has become a feature that can not be missed on Tribal Convictions. The unique guitar playing of ‘Piggy’ has come to full blossoming and covers a wide range of dissonant riffing, challenging time signatures, spacey leads and wild solos. ‘Blacky’s bass playing is simply gorgeous and much better audible (take the solo sections of Chaosmongers as an example). Last but not least, ‘Snake’ has extended his biting gruff vocals with more melody and a very original rhythmic delivery.

References to other bands? It's hard to pinpoint. There sure are traces of early Floyd psycedellica here and the Crimsonesque riffing of their fellow countrymen of Rush must have been a huge influence as well. Experiment for instance takes the adventurous prog outings of Rush into entirely new galaxies.Especially the opening riff has a very Hemispheres look and feel. It’s like Cygnus X1, expanded with dissonance, darkness and a raging punk fury. The energy on this album is what makes me prefer it to the cooler and more detached sound of Nothingface.

Dimension Hatross is one of the most amazing, original and important metal albums out there. It’s not the easiest ride but sure one of the most dazzling trips out there in deep alien space. 5 undisputed dimensions.

Members reviews

On their fourth full length, Voivod’s unique sci-fi concept continues. Now fully adoping the odd chord voicings and unusual arrangements that were beginning to reveal themselves on “Killing Technology”, this could be viewed as their definitive musical statement. Thinking of progressive metal in the 80s conjures up images of Queensryche and Fates Warning or maybe Dream Theater’s debut but these guys were different, very different...

The whole experience is full of fantastical otherworldly textures with Piggy’s unusual approach to metal and Snake’s vocal style guiding the way. Very unpredictable song structures and numerous time signature shifts abound, helping to keep the album engaging through many listens. Even then there’s so much still underneath, in this deceptively brief album. “Tribal Convictions”, “Brain Scan” and “Psychic Vacuum” give perhaps the best examples of this twisted thrash, with sprinkles of punk and the ever present influence of Rush, Floyd and King Crimson, but there’s scarcely a weak moment.

A silly but nice rendition of the 60s Batman tv theme rounds things off on a suitably quirky note!
This album is situated in between the thrash metal era and the progressive metal and even progressive rock era of the band. And though there are some really great songs on this album, there is a certain straightness, a clear line, a certain kick of creativity, strength and genius missing.

Don't get me wrong, there are still very good songs on this album like the diversified and addicting "Macroslutions To Megaproblems", the drum orientated heavy "Tribal Convictions" which connects future and past of the band or the chaotic "Chaosmöngers" which surprises with the guitar's stuttering single strums. Especially the middle part of the album is very interesting and without a doubt well done before the last few songs don't get up to this level. But still, there is a brilliant song, a real hit or highlight missing which almost every other release of the band has, a song that goes simply out of the rest of the album and touches you.

The problem of this album is maybe that it is placed between a perfect thrash and a perfect progressive album and that this one is somehow a transitional album which doesn't have the genius of the other two albums. It is a very good release, but it is not brilliant and a part of the somehow dumb and less innovating "Rrröööaaarrr" the weakest release of the band in the eighties. It is still better than 90 percent of the metal releases in the same year or decade, but in comparison to Voivod itself, it is just an average album after all.
I'm a big fan of bands like Voivod that have a traceable trajectory of musical development from album to album. Dimension Hatross is the pivotal album in the Voivod catalog that marks the transition essentially from tech thrash into prog metal territory. The speed and intensity of killing technology has morphed into machine like technicality, increased melodic focus and catchier more intelligent song writing.

And wow! What song writing! So rarely does a riff or part of a song come along that is so good that it makes me wonder how the band wrote it and how I can write something like it. After about the 4th listen i realized that pretty much every song on this album has a moment like this, the solo in 'chaosmongers', the 'chorus' in 'macrosolutions to mega problems', the brooding minor harmonised guitar build up in 'pyschic vacuum' - it's all realised potential and artistic vision (except maybe the pretty awful batman themesong cover at the end haha).

The one thing I love above all else about this band is that they're just so unique and identifiable. However this is also one of the things that makes them a bit difficult to listen to, you don't really get many reference points for comparison to aid in digestion. It took me quite a few listens to get this album and I'm already a big fan of killing technology and nothingface so a decent investment of time is needed to fully appreciate - but it's well worth it if you know what you're getting into.

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