Is there any band on the planet as consistently unconventional and consistently surprising as Canada’s favourite sons, Voivod? Of course there isn’t, which is why the metal world holds them so dear and has fully supported their embarkation to the next sphere of existence.
We certainly would have forgiven Voivod if they’d called it a day after the untimely passing of Denis “Piggy” D’Amour back in 2005, but to see them pick themselves up, dust themselves down, recruit the formidable talent of Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain and go about writing and recording new material warms the cockles of a good metaller’s heart! After all, there’s nothing worse than witnessing a band going through the motions, desperately trying to capture the magic of the past but with their integral ‘cog’ notably missing (no names mentioned, you can draw your own conclusions). Fortunately, that’s never been the case with Voivod, and Piggy’s legacy seems to have been cemented and forever respected with each passing year of Voivod’s continued existence.
Which brings us neatly to The Wake, a progressive metal masterclass from a band who still couldn’t sound like anyone else even if they wanted to! Otherworldly and always on the precipice of discovering new sounds plucked from the farthest reaches of the cosmos, Voivod have proven once again that they are both fearless and peerless.
If anything, it’s fans of Dimension Hatröss and The Outer Limits who will be most pleased with this release with the majority of the album perfectly balancing the frantic sci-fi thrash of the former with the progressive accessibility of the latter. As expected, what emerges from these most dangerous of minds is abstract art set to thrilling avant-garde / progressive metal. There’s precious little thrash left in their sound but you won’t miss it. Instead, you’ll be far too busy scratching your head in bewilderment at the noise emanating from your speakers.
Thank fuck there are bands out there still making music of this quality.
Voivod: revelatory….as always! 9/10