Archive for the 'Press' Category

Nov 18th 2013 Un Chewy dans l’armée du Voïvod – Dan Mongrain inédite

Arsenic Le fanzine métal du Québec

Par Martin Guindon

Dan, notre dernière entrevue remonte à l’époque de FEEDING THE ABCESS [déjà 7 ans!]. On peut dire qu’il a coulé pas mal d’eau sous le pont Laviolette depuis. On ne reprendra pas d’aussi loin, mais on va se concentrer sur l’époque Voïvod. Comment les gars t’ont-ils recruté? Comment as-tu intégré le groupe?

En fin de compte, j’ai connu Blacky [Jean-Yves Thériault, bassiste] en 2002. Maurice «Rocker» Richard, un promoteur de Montréal, voulait faire un show pour fêter les 20 ans du métal. Il nous a tous réunis et j’ai connu Blacky là. Il y avait Blacky, Flo Mounier [batteur, Cryptopsy], Pierre Rémillard [guitare, Obliveon], Pat Mireault [voix, Ghoulunatics], Marc Vaillancourt [voix, BARF/Les Ékorchés] et moi. On faisait des covers de thrash. On faisait deux tounes de Voïvod. J’ai connu Blacky à ce moment. Ça faisait longtemps qu’il n’avait pas joué de basse, je l’ai comme aidé à monter les tounes. Il a commencé à faire du son pour Martyr. J’ai croisé Michel [Away Langevin, batteur] et Snake [Denis Bélanger, voix] quelques fois. À un moment, on a eu la nouvelle que Piggy [Denis D'Amour, guitare] était malade. La fatalité a eu raison de lui. Ça nous a tous affectés. Je n’étais pas un proche de Piggy, mais j’étais un proche de sa musique. Depuis l’âge de 11 ans, mon band préféré c’est Voïvod. Tout ce que j’ai fait avec Martyr, c’est tout tiré de Voïvod directement, c’est une grosse influence dans mon style «compositionnel». C’est le band qui m’a convaincu d’acheter une guitare et de former un band. J’ai commencé à écouter du Voïvod avant de jouer de la guitare. À 11-12 ans, j’ai décidé d’acheter une guitare et de faire comme eux autres. Puis là, Piggy est décédé. Il y a eu un deuil à faire pour les musiciens, ils ont fait les albums avec les tracks que Piggy avait laissées. Je pense que c’était pas mal fini dans leur tête, ou bien ils réfléchissaient, ou ils ne savaient pas trop et avec raison. Puis on a fait les 25 ans du métal, avec le même promoteur, Maurice «Rocker» Richard, et on faisait cette fois-ci un hommage à Voïvod et Piggy en même temps. Moi, Blacky, Peter Jackson, anciennement de BARF, et Martin Fréchette, un chanteur de Lanaudière. J’avais monté le band et on avait monté un medley de 15 minutes de Voïvod. Snake, Away et la famille à Piggy étaient dans la salle. Ils nous ont vu jouer ça et ça respectait bien le son Voïvod et je pense que ç’a dû faire un déclic dans la tête de Snake et Away. À la suite de ça, j’avais aussi envoyé un e-mail à Away pour lui dire: «si jamais vous faites de quoi, un hommage, que vous remontez de quoi pour faire un événement spécial avec Voïvod, ce serait un honneur de jouer une toune avec vous autres». Je n’avais même pas dans l’idée que ça puisse donner autre chose. Ç’a fait boule de neige. À la fin de 2007 ou début 2008, Away continuait de recevoir des offres, ça n’arrêtait pas de rentrer, et là il y a eu cette offre de faire la 1re édition du Heavy MTL, où il y avait Iron Maiden et Mötley Crüe. Away a décidé d’appeler Blacky et de m’appeler pour reformer le groupe pour ce show-là. Ça ne devait être que pour un concert. Et à partir de là, le 2e show était Calgary, en 1re partie de Ozzy, puis après ça, on est allés à Tokyo [rires]. Ça n’a pas arrêté. C’était un rêve pour moi juste de faire un show ou une toune. Le monde a aimé ça, les gars ont voulu continuer à jouer. Dans le fond, la meilleure façon de rendre hommage à Piggy, c’est de continuer à jouer sa musique.

Puis là, vous avez fait plusieurs festivals, plusieurs shows…

Ah oui, on en a fait pendant quatre ans avant de commencer à composer ensemble. On a fait des tournées aux États-Unis et en Europe. On fait des gros festivals comme le Wacken [Open Air], le Hellfest, etc. On a joué dans une trentaine de pays. La réponse était écoeurante. On a fait tournée headliner en Europe ensuite. Il y avait du monde. J’ai toujours reçu des beaux messages et des beaux témoignages du monde qui connaissait Piggy, qui étaient fans de Voïvod et qui étaient contents de voir les gars sur scène. Ça nous a beaucoup encouragés pour continuer. Et à un moment donné, l’incontournable est arrivé d’essayer de composer des tounes ensemble…

Et c’est arrivé comment, justement? Comment avez-vous pris la décision de pousser la collaboration jusqu’à la création de nouveau matériel, jusqu’à la production d’un nouvel album de Voïvod?

Je pense que le déclic s’est fait quand on était en tournée avec Kreator aux États-Unis. Blacky et moi, on avait déjà composé des affaires ensemble pour un autre projet. Subtilement, j’ai fait jouer ça dans le «tour bus» en arrière. Away m’a regardé et m’a demandé: «c’est quoi ça?» [rires]. On s’en est parlé. On jouait tout le temps le même répertoire, avec plaisir, mais quand même. On s’est dit on l’essaie et si ça ne marche pas, ça ne marche pas, c’est tout. On l’aura essayé. Aucune loi ne nous empêche d’essayer. Puis, on s’est rendu compte que ça marchait bien. Au début, ç’a été difficile à starter, mais on a fait beaucoup d’improvisation ensemble. On se connaissait déjà beaucoup à cause de la tournée, musicalement et personnellement.

Mais vous avez créé comment? En jammant comme ça?

On a fait ça beaucoup. On a fait aussi chacun de notre bord des idées musicales et on s’envoyait des fichiers. Les riffs, c’est sûr qu’on en a composé par mal 50-50, Blacky et moi, au niveau des idées de riffs et idées de base de tounes, mais il y en a qui sortent carrément de jams. Ce qui est le fun avec Voïvod, c’est que tout le monde travaille sur la toune. C’est vraiment une sculpture collective, un trip collectif. Et ça, je n’avais pas vraiment connu ça avant. J’ai vraiment trippé là-dessus. Chacun amène sa touche et sa couleur. Pendant ce processus-là, j’ai compris que ce n’était pas juste Piggy, Voïvod. C’est sûr qu’il avait une identité très forte. Mais tous les membres du band ont une identité musicale très forte et c’est ce qui fait qu’il est multifacettes et profond musicalement.

As-tu dû te mettre dans un état d’esprit particulier? As-tu composé en Daniel Mongrain ou tu as voulu recréer les sonorités de Piggy?

Je n’ai jamais essayé d’imiter Piggy, parce que quand t’essayes d’imiter quelqu’un, c’est tout le temps de la copie. J’y ai été avec mes tripes, comme d’habitude. C’est venu naturellement. C’est le band que j’ai le plus écouté sur la planète. Ma job comme musicien pigiste quand je joue avec des artistes différents, c’est de m’imprégner d’un style. J’ai tout le temps eu une certaine facilité pour ça. Autant quand j’ai fait Gorguts, il a fallu je m’imprègne de leur musique qui est assez particulière. J’avais composé un bon tiers de l’album. Quand j’accompagne des artistes québécois dans le pop ou d’autres choses, c’est encore ça. Mais Voïvod, je suis imprégné du style depuis l’âge de 11 ans. C’est venu assez naturellement. Je ne me suis pas battu. En local, en jouant les riffs, il y a eu des fois de petits ajustements. Ah! le drum va faire ça, ok, je vais le changer un peu. C’était tout le temps modelé en groupe.

Est-ce qu’il y avait une orientation de départ? Je connais moi-même Voïvod depuis longtemps, et je trouve que les sonorités et musicalement, ça se rapproche beaucoup des quatre premiers albums…

En fait, on a le trois quarts de la formation de cette époque. Blacky a un son, une attitude à la basse électrique et à la composition. Tu reconnais sa signature. Ça faisait 17 ans qu’il n’était plus dans Voïvod. Il a vraiment sa personnalité sur ce disque-là. Le son de la basse et la façon dont il compose ses lignes. C’est toujours complémentaire à la guitare, ce n’est jamais copié-collé ou juste jouer la base du riff. C’est toujours en contrepoint, en complémentarité, un peu comme le bassiste dans Yes ou dans la musique plus contemporaine. Blacky a écouté beaucoup de contemporain, de classique et de la musique de film. Ça fait partie de son jeu. C’est un des éléments forts qui fait en sorte qu’on est retourné plus dans ce style-là. Je pense aussi que tout le monde filait pour faire de quoi d’un peu plus progressif, d’un peu plus intrigant au niveau musique que les deux derniers, qui étaient plus rock… et à cette époque, c’est ce qu’ils voulaient faire et c’est bien correct. C’est sûr que le line-up change naturellement la direction, ça s’est dirigé vers là tout simplement.

C’est un album très inspiré, on le sent à l’écoute… vous, sentiez-vous que vous touchiez à quelque chose plus ça avançait?

Oui, plus ça avançait et plus ça prenait forme, on se disait: «me semble que c’est bon, me semble qu’on trippe à faire ça». Tant mieux si ça se sent, parce que c’est vraiment ça qui s’est passé. On est bien fiers, bien contents de ça. Ç’aurait pu être une catastrophe, tsé. Ç’aurait pu… mais les fans l’ont très bien reçu, les critiques aussi. C’est vraiment un beau trip.

Vous avez enregistré ça au studio [Wild Studio, à Saint-Zénon] de Pierre Rémillard [Cryptopsy, Obliveon, Misery Index]?

Toutes les tracks ont été enregistrées là ou à peu près toutes. Il y en a eu un petit peu dans un studio de nos amis de Grimskunk à Montréal. Travailler avec Pierre, c’est toujours le fun, on le connaît bien. C’est un pro, on aime bien ça travailler avec lui, ça fait longtemps qu’on le connaît.

L’album est sorti sur Century Media, ce qui demeure un major dans le métal extrême… Je ne sais pas dans le contexte d’aujourd’hui, avec la musique numérique, etc. Est-ce que ça donne encore un gros plus de faire affaire avec un label comme ça?

Ah oui. Le réseau est large, la machine est bien graissée. Autant en Europe qu’en Amérique, c’est facile. La promotion, le support et c’est bon pour eux autres aussi d’avoir Voïvod. C’est quand même un groupe qui a marqué la musique métal progressive. On est bien content du travail qu’ils font pour nous. Il y avait quelques labels d’intéressés, et ç’a fini par être eux autres.

J’imagine que tu vis quelque chose d’assez exceptionnel avec Voïvod? Je regardais le DVD au Japon… tu n’aurais sans doute jamais pu vivre ça avec Martyr.

On espère tout le temps avec un band. On pousse, on pousse, on pousse. On y serait peut-être arrivé à un moment donné. Mais bon, finalement, la vie a fait en sorte que ce n’est pas ça qui se passe.

Avec Voïvod, il y a des portes qui s’ouvrent comme pour le Wacken Open Air par exemple…

Oui, c’était déjà ouvert à Voïvod et quand il y a eu le comeback entre guillemets, ces portes-là se sont toutes rouvertes assez facilement. Mais ç’aurait pu ne pas fonctionner, mais je pense qu’on donne un bon show. La preuve, c’est quand on retourne dans certains pays… la première année, c’était bien, mais on a vu une progression, les gens viennent de plus en plus nombreux, les salles sont plus grosses et il y a vraiment un engouement par rapport au retour du band. Ils savent que le show est bon. C’est aussi vraiment le fun de voyager partout sur la planète comme ça. Je ne pensais jamais vivre ça. J’y ai toujours rêvé, j’ai fait de la tournée aux États-Unis et au Canada. La première fois que j’ai pris l’avion pour aller… bin, au Japon, avant d’aller en Europe, je suis allé au Japon. Visiter des villes, rencontrer du monde, ça n’a pas de prix. C’est vraiment trippant.

Tous les membres de Voïvod ont un surnom. Toi, c’est Chewy?

J’étais un Star Wars geek quand j’étais jeune. Quand j’avais les cheveux jusqu’aux genoux, je ressemblais à Chewbacca et je criais fort, ç’a fini par coller. Ils ont essayé plein d’autres affaires, mais celui-là est resté.

Avec Voïvod, ça te limite pas mal dans tes autres implications, ou bien si tu réussis quand même à faire d’autres projets?

J’ai toujours eu un paquet de projets et ça ne m’a jamais limité. J’ai déjà eu 12 groupes en même temps et j’étais capable de fournir. Là, je choisis mes projets. Je suis un peu moins partout. Je continue de faire de la pige, parce que j’aime ça et ça me tient en shape pour d’autres styles de musique. J’enseigne au cégep à Joliette à temps plein depuis 7 ans. Ça va super bien. Je donne des cours de théorie, de combo, d’instruments…

Et Martyr, est-ce que c’est toujours présent dans ta vie?

Je te dirais que je suis passé à autre chose. Je ne me reverrais pas retourner au micro et recommencer à gueuler comme je faisais. C’est autre chose aujourd’hui. Et c’est bien correct.

Est-ce que tu travailles sur d’autres projets musicaux?

Oui, j’ai un hommage au progressif que je suis en train de remonter avec mes chums. Ça s’appelle Jurassic Rock. Ça va être du Genesis, du Kansas, du King Crimson, toutes sortes d’affaires de même. Tous des top musiciens, des chanteurs exceptionnels… c’est vraiment un trip de musiciens. J’ai un band de compo aussi avec Martin Carbonneau, qui était dans Martyr [guitariste]. On travaille là-dessus un peu à temps perdu. Sinon, je continue à jouer avec Dan Bigras une fois de temps en temps, Breen Leboeuf. À la pige aussi, des fois je fais des projets en studio. Il y a un gars qui m’a appelé pour un album progressif qui va bientôt sortir, qui va s’appeler Drumesis. C’est un batteur [rires]. J’ai tout le temps une couple de solos à faire sur des albums. Les gens m’appellent. Je continue de rouler ma bosse. Je n’accepte pas n’importe quoi ni dans n’importe quel contexte. Comme musicien pigiste, t’acceptes tout à moment donné, parce que tu veux gagner ta vie avec ça. Jusqu’à ce que j’enseigne au cégep, je faisais tout, tout le temps, et je gardais assez d’énergie pour mes propres projets. Disons que Martyr, ça m’a épuisé de pas mal tout faire tout seul et de ne pas avoir d’implication des autres membres ou du moins, d’une minorité, alors j’ai fini par tirer la plogue.

La question pas rapport, même si elle a un peu rapport en même temps. As-tu entendu le nouvel album de Gorguts?

Un petit peu. J’ai entendu des extraits. J’ai félicité Luc [Lemay], je lui envoyé un message pour lui dire «Bravo, je suis bien content pour toi, c’est ça que ça fait la persévérance. Je n’avais pas de doute. Luc est un passionné et il est avec d’autres passionnés, des gars bien créatifs, dont John qui est ici ce soir avec Origin, Colin… Quand Luc décide de faire de quoi, il ne le fait jamais à la moitié. Ça lui aurait pris 12 ou 13 ans, ce n’est pas important. Il le fait vraiment par passion. Félicitations à Luc.

Posted by admin / Press

Jul 18th 2013 Target Earth Music Video

Click here for Target Earth Official Video on YouTube

 

THE AUTHOR:
Nicola Piovesan (aka: chaosmonger) is an Italian filmmaker and multimedia artist living in Finland. He was born in April 1979 in Venice. He moved to Bologna in 1999 where he graduated in Cinema in 2004.  He begun to make his first videos in 2001 that have, for now, been screened in about 70 festivals worldwide, winning more than 30 awards. Since 2005 he has worked as a freelance collaborating with various production houses and private clients and continuing to produce independent short films, documentaries, music videos, and much more. In 2008 he started teaching Cinema in a high school in Como which lead him to move to Milan. In the fall of 2011 he left teaching and moved to Helsinki, Finland where he lives up to date continuing his work as a filmmaker and visual artist.
Website: www.chaosmonger.com
Vimeo channel: vimeo.com/chaosmonger/videos

THE VIDEO:
The author met Voivod after show in Helsinki, where he spoke with the drummer Michel. The two begun to exchange e-mails in which Nicola proposed to make an animated video for the band. Officially work started early March 2013 after the release of Nicola’s latest project, THE CORE, for the Italian band ON|OFF|MAN (http://youtu.be/ZUZhN9Nyp6Q), which both Michel and the other band members found interesting.
The idea for the video - that is for the title track Target Earth - is to recreate in 3D Motion Graphics the visions and artwork of Michel-Away. The whole universe of the video is robotic: the Earth itself is revised as a cyber planet. The main character, alone in an empty room, is handling a strange kind of computer, which appears to control the entire planet. But his alienated existence is surrounded by strange visions, surreal characters of his mind, as well as the members of Voivod inside a box playing the song.
Nicola is working on all aspects of the video,  creation of models, animation and finally the rendering.

The band would like to thanks personally NICOLA PIOVESAN (AKA: CHAOSMONGER) for his hard work on the video clip.
Please visit his website : www.chaosmonger.com

A donation would be very appreciated.

Why donate? Why not? He’s done a great job. If you loved the artwork, he’d be really happy if you’d contribute. Nicola made the video for free, just because he loves the band and for some visibility. However, even just to cover the electricity costs and the damaged equipment, all donations are very welcome. Moreover, those donating more than $ 30 will receive a high resolution custom image of the donator’s choice.

Posted by admin / Press

Mar 30th 2013 Interview with Chewy from Voivod by Angela “The Hunter”

Replacing a legendary guitar player like Piggy in the infamous VOIVOD would seem to be a daunting task. It is with astonishment how MARTYR’s Chewy has stepped into irreplaceable shoes and taken over the guitar duties. On the release of their latest album “Target Earth”, the first to feature Chewy, is a return to the glory days of the band when they blended Science Fiction and Thrash Metal with a poignant intelligence. It is with great pleasure that Angela “The Hunter” had the chance to talk to Chewy on his role within VOIVOD.

www.metal-temple.com

Thank you so much for doing the interview with me!

Yeah sure! My pleasure!

Ok, so you have the new album out, “Target Earth.” Tell us about the album?

Yeah, well we started writing the album after touring for a few years, and it went pretty natural. At first it was a little bit stressed, but after a few tries it worked. It was really teamwork, everyone got their ideas together in the jam space, you know? The improvising and recording the jams became the core of some of the songs. We did the arrangement altogether, it was a great creative journey, you know?

Where was it recorded?

It was recorded at the Wild Studio here in Quebec, up north. Well not really up north but north of Montreal, and it was in the woods, pretty far away from the city or anything. There was nothing there, so we had to buy some food and drink, and we were pretty far from civilization. But we were really focused on our work, and that was a great environment to record the album, and to work in.

Who produced it for you?

We produced it together really. I mean VOIVOD and Pierre Remillard, the owner of the studio, who worked on the engineering, and Blacky, who did the producing, and Stanford Parker mixed it.

How has the response been to the album?

Great! Actually it’s been fantastic! All the reviews are great, it’s all positive, the fans are happy, and we are really proud of it. It looks like a great year for VOIVOD! We are really psyched about 2013.

Is there an upcoming tour to support the album?

Of course we are going to do some touring this year, if everything goes well. We have some shows in April in South America, we have a couple of shows here, then I think we are going to head to Europe in either June or July. I’m not sure. We are going to try and play at places we have never been to, like China maybe. We’re also going back to Australia, New Zealand, Tokyo and Moscow, but we would like to play some places we’ve never played.

Are any bands confirmed for the tour?

Not yet. Nothing confirmed but we are working on it.

Now how long have you been in the band?

I’ve been in the band since 2008, so like 5 years?

So we are hearing rumors that this might be the last album with the VOIVOD character. Is that true?

I don’t know, I haven’t heard that. Maybe it’s just a rumor? (laughs) We actually haven’t discussed it yet (laughs)

Well where did the character’s name come from?

I think it comes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. The word VOIVOD is used in Europe, in some countries, I think like the Czech Republic and around that area, and it’s like a title. In some places, it means “prince” in others it’s like a high-ranking government official. So it does have a meaning, it’s not a word that we made up out of the blue. We took it from Bram Stoker’s Dracula because he was a VOIVOD.

Out of all the VOIVOD albums that you were either on, or own, do you have a favorite one, or one that really speaks to you?

Out of the discography? My favorite album, or the one that I listen to the most is “Killing Technology”, “Dimension Hatross”, and “Nothingface.” I like them all, actually. I have listened to them all many,many,many times on cassette since I was 11 years old. I wasn’t even playing guitar when I was introduced to them; VOIVOD was one of the bands that got me into playing. All of my cassettes are in really, really bad shape, and the CD’s as well.

Since your kind of new to the band, where do you see the band in 5 years?

Where do I see the band in 5 years? I see the band in 5 minutes. It’s a day-by-day thing, you know? I think the guys have learned a lot from all of the situations that we have been through, so it’s more healthy to think like that. Of course we’d still like to be writing and touring, and we’d like to be doing it as long as we can, as long as the fun is still there. As long as we are getting along together, and if things are going pretty good then I think just thinking about the present would be best. Hopefully we’ll be here for a couple more years and will be having a blast and touring the world.

Well and we hope for the same! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy listening to the album.
Oh thank you, that is very kind of you. We hope to make it to our 35 Anniversary!

What would you say has been the most memorable moment that you have had on the road so far?

Oh wow, there has been a lot actually. My second or third show with VOIVOD was in Tokyo, and I had never been in Japan, or even in Europe. I had toured the states with other bands, but going to other countries was like going to another planet for me. I was so excited to be there, and it was so surreal. (It’s like) When we went on our first European tour together, you know, I love to travel but I had never had the chance. I just can’t believe that I am traveling and playing with my favorite band. It doesn’t make sense to me (laughs) I pinch myself every day thinking about that. But as far as a moment, playing Moscow and playing in Tokyo, maybe, I don’t know. It’s hard to remember a specific moment where I can say, “Yes, this is my moment”. When we played here in Quebec City in front of 80,000 people near our hometown it was amazing. But I think every little moment makes life interesting, and enjoyable, those are the things that I think about and that are important to me.

Do you have a particular band that was the most fun, or interesting to tour with?

Oh there’s a lot. I really like VIRUS from Norway; I think they are VOIVOD fans as well. I really like their music, but I am pretty open-minded when it comes to touring with bands. I like to go to a show, and see a variety of different kinds of music. When I go to shows where there is only death metal, or back metal, they all sound the same. So I think it’s good to always have a different kind of music, or a different kind of aesthetic. There are a LOT of bands out there (laughs)

Ok well I have one last question for you.

Sure!

Where can fans go to find out everything they want to know about VOIVOD?

There is a new website called VOIVOD.com I guess. It’s linked to the Iron Gang website, which is the merch and the special stuff. Um, there’s a VOIVODfan.com which is a fan site with a lot of old demos, posters, and also VOIVOD.net which is also another great fan site. So it’s all linked to the main page, so there is a lot of information about VOIVOD on those pages. There is also our Facebook page.

Alright cool! Well those are all the questions I have for you today Chewy. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me a call. Everyone at Metal Temple wishes you the best of luck on the road ahead.

Oh thank you so much. It has been a pleasure talking to you

Posted by admin / Press

Feb 20th 2013 Target Earth review on Metal-Fi.com by Alex

Progressive thrash. Dissonance. Minor chords. Odd signatures. Distorted bass. Canadian. Voivod. Any questions?

Metal-fi.com

Truth be told, I was extremely late to the Voivod party. While Voivod was conquering outer space with their quirky sense of rhythm and structure, I was but a wee lad still addicted to Bay Area thrash. And by the time I developed an ear for anything even remotely labeled as progressive, Denis “Piggy” D’Armour, the band’s lead guitarist and heart and soul, had already tragically lost his fight with colon cancer. After Piggy’s death in 2005, I had written off Voivod as dead. Well, I was thankfully wrong, since here we are, 8 years later, with a reinvigorated line-up and their sixteenth full length release, Target Earth.

Just to be absolutely crystal clear, it’s not possible to replace a singular talent like Piggy. But after a few minutes into this record, it’s quite obvious that new lead guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain has done his homework, as he really captures the essence of Piggy-era Voivod: Mind-boggling riffs and odd time signatures are found in every nook and cranny of this album, almost ad nauseam. Couple that with the return of Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault’s iconic bass playing, and Target Earth might just be their best work since 1993′s Outer Limits.

I can’t really imagine a better way to start this record off than with opener “Target Earth.” After a few seconds of establishing an alien dial-up connection, Blacky lays down a massive bass chug that just oozes classic Voivod. Denis “Snake” Bélanger’s trademark hardcore punk vocals soon follow and sound marvelous. In fact within the first few minutes, I am confident that most long time fans will be sold hook, line and sinker on this record’s pedigree. Of course, you still won’t be prepared for Chewy’s incredibly off beat solo at around the 3:45 mark that just launches this song into outer orbit. Do not miss. “Kluskap O’Korn” begins with what sounds like an older gentlemen having a seizure, before Michel “Away” Langevin makes his presence known with some groovy drum work. The track has a spastic pace to it as Blacky and Chewy constantly fight for your eardrum’s attention, either through an out right breakdown or some kind of fill between Snake’s frantic singing.

This whole album is filled with one highlight after another. The third track, “Empathy for the Enemy,” has Voivod going Japanese (“I really think so”) for the first few minutes as a shamisen provides the introductory melody before they re-enter Canadian space. Snake’s vocals have a more subdued tone and for the first time thus far, the riffs are more straightforward allowing you to just rock out. Don’t fret, because the next track, “Mechanical Mind,” is a seven and a half minute all out spacey romp with Chewy providing some mind blowing riffage mid-way through. “Warchaic” is in the same vein as “Target Earth” and “Resistence” for at least its first half, is all out punk. The album really never loses steam as “Kaleidos,” the very French “Corps Etranger,” and “Artefact,” all provide various twists and turns on this strange roller coaster ride, never ever leaving you bored. If there is one gripe I have, its that the last track, “Defiance,” is a short minute and half medley that really feels like an incomplete song. I am not sure why they had to end this album this way, but hey, that’s Voivod.

Target Earth was mixed by Sanford Parker and mastered by Colin Jordan of the Boiler Room. This mix is classic Voivod through and through. Blacky’s bass really shines from start to finish in spite of Jordan’s quest for loudness. Parker did a superb job of maintaining the balancing act between the technical guitar wizardry and Snake’s inspired vocal performance. After listening and reviewing several Jordan masters, I have come to the following conclusion: the man clearly knows what he is doing, but I suspect is playing the “good soldier” – appeasing bands by mastering loud so they can stay “competitive” within their respective label roster. As a result, there is no clipping to speak of despite the brickwall, each track has been compressed to the very limit before distortion ensues. The biggest victim of course is Away’s drums which are just lifeless and feel somewhat artificial. In the end, I believe the band wanted to capture that old school punk rawness found on many of the classic albums, but with a modern twist. On at least that front, they succeeded, but at a cost.

Voivod once again reaffirms their position as progressive thrash titans, as Target Earth is a fantastic addition to an already impressive body of work. Act now and pick up the limited edition box set which looks fantastic – I know I did! Highly recommended.

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Feb 12th 2013 Metal Wani review “Target Earth” by Sairaj Kamath

Sorry Grim Reaper, but your dastardly plan to destroy Voivod has failed. Even years after the unfortunate passing of the great Denis D’Amour, Voivod has risen above the whispers of uncertainty and doubt to release some fantastic proggy-thrash metal goodness to soundtrack their post-apocalyptic science fiction world depicted in Target Earth. Technically their first original work after the laudable cut-and-paste job of Infini, this album also marks the debut of guitarist Daniel Mongrain and bassist Jean-Yves Theríault, who gel fantastically with the band to make Voivod sound as great or greater than they’ve ever been.

metalwani.com

The opening title track tries a little too hard here with it’s constant tempo and time signature shifts, even with it’s classic Voivod sound. But don’t worry, because the second track “Kluskap Okom” powers through with some charging vocals, bass, drums and some awesomely trippy riffage. Funnily enough, It’s intro sounds like a marching tribe of pigs.

From there, Target Earth takes us on a wild ride into the violent world of sci-fi autocracy. The best thing is that there is a strong vibe of Dimension Hatröss and Nothingface, Voivod’s two penultimate classics, coming off the music here. But at the same time the band doesn’t hold back on the reins, one example being the great number of intros laden with rich keyboard and sound effects that start off many of the songs here like “Mechanical Mind” and “Warchaic”. The spacey melodic vocals of Denis Belanger, the battering drums of Michel Langevin, the bone-rattling bass of Jean-Yves Theríault and the fantastically “jazz-oid” riffs & dissonant chords of Daniel Mongrain all culminate in the most liberal and relentless progressive-thrash metal attack that Voivod has ever hit us with. Mongrain in particular has proved himself a worthy replacement for Denis D’Amour.
Finally, the album ends on a high note with “Artefact” and “Defiance”. The former track has a blood-pumping intro of bass and drums which progresses into an addictive thrash-metal rhythm, and is poised to be a fan favorite. “Defiance” is much too short for this reviewer’s liking, but nevertheless it’s a great way to end an amazing album. All in all, Target Earth is a golden feather in Voivod’s cap and a breath of fresh air from the straightforward thrash or progressive metal which you would normally find. This just goes to show all those metal fans who thought Infini might be Voivod’s last: you really can’t keep a great band down.

Recommended Tracks: “Kluskap Okom”, “Resistance”, “Artefact”

Rating: 8.5/10


Reviewed By,
Sairaj Kamath

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Feb 4th 2013 Target Earth par Kristof G.

bangbangblog.com

Enfin, un vrai de vrai album de nos plus célèbres prog-métalleux, après les albums posthumes qui suivirent le décès d’un des plus singuliers guitaristes que le métal ait connu, Denis « Piggy » D’Amour (1959-2005). Car, bien que Katorz (2006) et Infini (2009) rockaient tout de même assez bien, reste que ces albums ont été assemblés à partir de maquettes dépoussiérées de riffs de Piggy. Target Earth est donc le tout premier album studio du groupe avec Daniel «Chewy» Mongrain, qu’on peut aussi entendre sur l’album en concert Warriors of Ice (2011). Depuis déjà 5 ans, le leader de Martyr (présentement en pause) rend formidablement hommage à Piggy – l’une de ses principales influences ̶ en tant que guitariste de Voïvod.

On retrouve également et avec plaisir la grosse basse aussi fuzzée que vrombissante du bassiste original Jean-Yves «Blacky» Thériault (son premier depuis Angel Rat, paru en 1991). Depuis maintenant un petit moment, le présent alignement a atteint un niveau de cohésion réellement impressionnant, rappelant la formation d’antan, tant au niveau de l’énergie que des mélodies. Évidemment, on expérimente encore ici et là - voir l’inclusion de chants de gorge sur «Kluskap O’kom» et d’étranges bruits de foule sur «Resistance». Et la chanson titre, qui ouvre le disque, rappelle même par moment ce que font nos chéris de chez Mastodon, harmonies vocales mystérieuses à l’appui. Sérieux.

De son côté, Mongrain a su rester fidèle au patrimoine et au son souvent dissonant et si particulier de son modèle, tout en apportant heureusement sa touche personnelle. Ce gars-là sait dangereusement ce qu’il fait avec une six-cordes. Peu de gens auraient pu remplir le vide intersidéral laissé par le disparu guitariste. La recrue a surpassé les attentes et continue de livrer la marchandise au centuple. Comme son prédécesseur, Mongrain est un métallurgiste d’exception, puisant à même les plus grands du progressif : la pièce «Artefact» sonne comme du King Crimson futuriste.

Bref, on a droit ici à un album de (parfois prog) métal qui rock en sale. Oui messieurs-dames. Ce 13e album prouve qu’après 3 décennies d’épreuves (dont quelques tragédies), ce n’est clairement pas fini; la bande à Denis « Snake » Bélanger et Michel « Away » Langevin comme du bon vin, mûrit.

4.1 O.V.N.I.s gris métalliques sur 5

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Feb 4th 2013 Target Earth Review by Eduardo Rivadavia, Blabbermouth

Four years have passed since VOIVOD’s last album, “Infini”, and seven since the tragic demise of guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, but the Canadian progressive metal institution clearly has no plans of calling it a career.

blabbermouth.net

No strangers to adversity, of course, the band has endured numerous lineup changes over the years (though, admittedly, none as traumatizing as Piggy’s demise), so while it clearly took them a little longer to regroup and move ahead via 2013’s eagerly anticipated “Target Earth”, one can say, in retrospect, that another VOIVOD album was as inevitable as an inbound, civilization-wiping mega-asteroid.

That’s right. You heard it here first: killer asteroids. Now where were we? Oh yes?

For this, VOIVOD’s thirteenth studio album, ever present drummer Michel “Away” Langevin and long reinstated vocalist Denis “Snake” Belanger managed the coup of dragging founding bassist, Jean-Yves “Blacky” Theriault out of retirement (replacing the headline grabbing, but creatively ineffectual Jason Newsted), making it three-out-of-four original VOIVOD-ers - the better to facilitate new guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain’s unenviable task of filling Piggy’s space boots. To his credit, Mongrain blends right in, and so too does “Target Earth” blend in with numerous portions of VOIVOD’s itinerant musical past, arguably making it the band’s first truly “regressive” - not “progressive” - album, and, as such, likely good news for the band’s oldest fans.

Well, not the oldest, since virtually none of its songs recall even traces of the wanton savagery that defined VOIVOD’s first three, avant-thrash efforts (maybe the biting riffs of “Corps Etranger”, the tribal drums of “Warchaic”); but rather their subsequent ‘golden period,’ beginning with 1988’s “Dimension Hatross”, culminating with the universally acclaimed “Nothingface” and universally debated “Angel Rat” (a brilliant, if divisive, musical adventure), and fading with ’93’s fatigued, uneven “The Outer Limits”.

As a result, the more linear portions of the title track and “Resistance” might momentarily recall “Angel Rat”, but the vast majority of these cuts - including world-beating standouts “Empathy for the Enemy” and “Mechanical Mind” - drink directly from the stimulating “Nothingface” wellspring: weaving deeper textures and unexpected riff and tempo changes into their notably expanded lengths (yes, most songs here notably average six or seven minutes).

As always, this particular course of songwriting action won’t please all VOIVOD fans - how could it? - but for an album facing such high stakes in the wake of the band’s often turbulent and more recently tragic history, the only verdict one can render weighs heavily in the Canuck quartet’s favor. With so many decades-old metal bands beating dead horses out there, instead of retiring with dignity, it’s truly refreshing to see VOIVOD forging onwards with dignity and creativity largely intact, whether progressing or regressing in progressive fashion.

- Eduardo Rivadavia

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Jan 28th 2013 Interview – Voivod by Pete Woods

Just an hour and a bit before this interview was due to take place I could have literally killed technology as I had what can only be described as a bastard power cut. Surrounded by candles with analogue phone but questions on the useless PC I shouted at the electricity people who managed unbelievably to sort things out just before drummer and founder member of Voivod Michel Langevin aka Away rang. With the group’s excellent thirteenth studio album ‘Target Earth’ poised to hit there was plenty to talk about but de-thawing it seemed like the weather was a perfect icebreaker to open up the questioning.

Ave Noctum

AN: Good evening and congratulations on the new album. Before we start and being English we have to mention the weather as we have the somewhat rare phenomenon of snow grinding our country to a halt. I am assuming you are speaking to me from Canada and I guess you are a bit more used to dealing with all this than we are?

Away: Haha yeah actually we are snowed in and it’s pretty cold. It’s going to be like it all week but it’s my 50th winter so. Here we are lumberjacks so we can still make it through things.

AN: Much more importantly some sources are stating that Voivod have just turned 30 is this correct? Did you have an actual date marking this momentous event and did you celebrate it in any way, a special show or anything and apart from obviously a new album have you any other plans to perhaps release anything else to mark the occasion.

Away: Yes we are from Northern Quebec, that’s where we grew up, about 200 miles from Montreal and on New Year’s Eve there was a show celebrating the 175th anniversary of where we are from and they asked us to play one song, as there are many artists from Northern Quebec playing, so we took the opportunity to celebrate our 30th anniversary at midnight, so it was a great occasion. I remember that Snake auditioned for the band I believe it was the 7th or 8th of January 83 so this month is our 30th anniversary.

Target Earth is our celebration, we only released a single last year for the October Euro tour Mechanical Mind 7” but we decided on the album for the anniversary.

AN: Of course you have really been the one constant in the group throughout those years. Did you ever envisage the longevity of the band and did you ever consider that Voivod was going to be such an important band and pretty much a household name for anyone into extreme metal?

Away: Not exactly but when I was old enough to hitchhike and go and see shows I had to go to Quebec City and Montreal, it was a long trek and I remember going to see Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the early 80s and thinking this is going to be hard for us to sing in English and get the words right but when we formed the band we were really dedicated and didn’t play covers for too long. We played Motorhead, Raven, Tank a bit of punk and were very much into Venom, hardcore, Discharge and Conflict so we also had progressive rock and Kraftwerk in our blood us well. It is very popular in Quebec and bands like Van Der Graaf Generator are very influential. It was never obvious for us but when War And Pain came out it gave us some hope but we knew we had to move to Montreal so we went there in 85. We quit school and moved and lived in one apartment infested with cockroaches and I didn’t think about the future that much.

When we signed with Noise and released Rrröööaaarrr it became this frenetic adventure where we put all the time with the trash metal scene, Destruction, Kreator, Celtic Frost etc; these were crazy years. We also released an album a year and only like at the end of the 80s after working pretty hard and finally getting some airplay for Nothingface that I started to think that things could get bigger. A couple of events along the way though really made me think it could be over like our accident in Germany 98 and the passing of Piggy in 2005 but I am very surprised and its quite an accomplishment we have a new album out it’s our anniversary now.

AN: Obviously a huge amount has changed since you first delivered debut album ‘War And Pain’ in 1984. What would you say are the biggest changes that have affected you as a recording artist between then and new album Target Earth all those years later?

Away: Oh it’s the acceleration in technology, all aspects of it actually. We saw computer technology taking over full on from having to do things, manipulations to pro-tools and for me visually having to go from brush, air brush to photoshop so that’s intertwined and the digital technology versus analogue is the main thing for me on all aspects.

AN: The music industry is obviously in a real state of flux at the moment with all the problems of internet leakage of material and the traditional record store disappearing from the high street (HMV just going into administration). Would you say it is a lot more difficult surviving than it was around the time you were releasing the likes of say Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross?

Away: Yes and it goes with the same complex situation that comes with technology, you can apply it to CD’s or MP3’s there are a couple of downfalls, we have to suffer the illegal downloads and all that. We were all tape traders ourselves but the internet is such an incredibly quick way of promoting yourself. When we started we had to record the 1984 demo which was recently re-released by Alternative Tentacles and we had to send the cassette to the address on the back of the vinyl that we had and wait for an answer for a week. We did another mail order for the Iron Gang sampler we had set up and it was all done by mail. It’s a major, major change through the years and that’s what I mean when I say we were kind of lucky to watch it go from the early 80s to now in terms of home recording which really helped us in the case of finishing up Katorz and Infini for Jason, Snake and I. I think it would have been impossible to finish these two albums if Piggy didn’t record them on pro-tools on a laptop at home.

AN: Obviously the death of Piggy must have been a terrible thing to deal with. Was carrying on with the band something that you questioned at the time or was it imperative for you to do so and get his contributions put out on record?

Away: Well after we did Katorz in early 2006 Jason, Snake and I were emotionally drained from recording without Piggy and at this point we didn’t think it would be anything related to Voivod anymore. We just took a couple of years off. Jason, Snake and I knew that we wanted to finish Infini one day but even that was unsure. After a couple of years, it was summer of 2008 that we were asked many, many times by a festival here in Montreal called Heavy Montreal to reform for that festival and it was only meant to be one show. In 2007 when we were on hiatus Snake and I went to see Chewy and Blacky jamming together at a show. They were jamming a medley of Voivod with members of Cryptopsy I think and Snake and I were blown away, they had a really good chemistry and they were really fun to watch. So when we finally agreed to reform in 2008 for that one show we phoned them immediately but we were a bit scared and nervous that it would be sacrilege to many people and all that but the reaction of the crowd was amazing! The word spread and Chewy was accepted immediately and we were asked to play other festivals. The Heavy Montreal one was with Motley Crue and Iron Maiden and then we were asked to play another one in Canada in Calgary with Judas Priest and Ozzy and then Testament invited us to go to Tokyo for two nights, we ended up filming the concert and releasing a DVD and it just kept going. We started playing all the festivals in Europe, we were invited by Kreator to tour the USA and Down invited us for Canada and little by little we were enjoying very positive energy. With one line up on the road then Jason, Snake and I decided to finish Infini in 2009 and we added songs from that on the road with the other line up and then Snake asked me if we could play some of the Eric Forrest years so we added some songs from Phobos. By the time we started writing the album in 2010 all of the eras were in our blood. Of course most of the stuff we played, the early 80s trash metal material like the Blackie years really rubbed off on us when we started writing the album.

AN: I suppose and let’s move onto the new album fully now this question is again relevant as far as that is concerned as it was the first album with entirely fresh material without his contribution on. Did this make the recording of Target Earth a bit different for you?

Away: Well the last couple of albums we did with Jason were very hard to record for us as we had to add our respective tracks to his guitar tracks and it was not even done on a click track or anything. We had demos that were recorded in 2004. The new album was much easier because it was a band going into the studio and I had no insecurity. As soon as I heard the material which Blackie and Chewy demoed in early 2010 was how it started. There had been a demo for guitar and bass it was the songs Kaleidos and Artefact and Snake and I were blown away it was really reminiscent of Dimension Hatröss and we wanted to be part of it.

AN: A lot of people are already commenting on that and the fact that the new album sounds so quintessentially old style Voivod. Was it a group contribution as far as the writing of the album was concerned?

Away: Most of the arrangements are done by Blackie and Chewy and they both also have individual songs that mutated into Voivod material. We did a lot of improvisation sessions that we recorded and part of songs were poached from these but again they were arranged by Chewie and Blackie. Eventually I realised that the material was very intricate and I asked for a couple of trash metal songs with a Motorhead beat and we ended up writing Kluskap O’Korn and Corps Etranger our very first French song.

Target-Earth-FrontAN: I have to say that before you get to the music itself the cover art is excellent and really got my imagination at work being a bit of a dystopian sci-fi geek. What came first the song ideas or the artwork and where do you get inspiration from for it. I have to say first thoughts are we are going to be invaded and by the looks of what’s coming are completely screwed?

Away: Hahah, actually we had a discussion with the band and decided we wanted something that was more galactic and space looking. Then when we demoed the songs that I mentioned and noted that all the Voivod eras were presented musically, it made me feel that I could use colours from many front covers I did, that’s why it’s so colourful. I also wanted to do a series that would look good on vinyl. So I started working on that in Paint 2012 and the students and then everyone took to the streets here and there were at times 200 and 300,000 people passing in front of my house and there were mass riots with the anarchist groups right downtown from where I live. There were helicopters above my building all the time and it was the craziest summer so slowly with the cover coming together it was literally influenced by what was going on around my house. The three spheres were kind of like the three helicopters hovering around my house.

AN: I read that thematically the album deals a fair bit with conspiracy theories and control of information. Can you expand upon this a bit please?

Away: Well it has a lot of the recurring Voivod themes from through the years in terms of high-tech weaponry, mind manipulation, pollution, so technological disasters. Literally for the title track Target Earth its hackers taking control of armed satellites to blackmail countries. Continuing what has happened in the last couple of years there is the occupy movement, financial crash, Fukushima and Arab Spring before it was things like the Challenger explosion and nuclear war but our main worries are the same I guess.

AN: One thing that is bound to have people scratching their heads a bit is the title Klaskap O’Korn. Basically you what? Looking at the lyrics it suggests it could be about some sort of mythical figure from ancient times?

Away: It’s a first nation tale that Snake picked up from the Micmac mythology. It’s a creature who comes down from the sky to destroy the dinosaurs so that humanity can survive.

AN: That particular song with its strange chanting intro and the couple that followed with ethnic sounding beginnings kind of struck as a bit on the tribal side? Is this the effect you were looking for?

Away: I did the interludes and the intros and outros with Blacky, I like to use electronic equipment and he’s a huge fan of field recordings so we sort of mixed both for the album. We wanted it sound like a long journey, a bit like Dimension Hatröss.

AN: There are a lot of strong songs on the album, what was it that made you decide on Mechanical Mind as the single and the first taste to unveil on your listeners?

Away: We thought it was very representative of all musical aspects of the album. We could have used a shorter song and a more punchy one but thought that since the album is very progressive we might as well not hide from it and reveal a really progressive track first.

AN: If I had a gun to my head I think I would go for Resistance as a favourite, it’s got a real rollocking groove and it simply powers on throwing loads of good leads and memorable melody into the mix. It also takes me back to a song like Tornado a little. A lot of people seem to be commenting that this album is a return to Voivod of old, would you agree?

Away: Yeah well you know with Blacky’s blower bass sound and the song writing it’s definitely reminiscent of Dimension Hatröss and Nothingface with a little bit of The Outer Limits but Resistance also reminds me a bit of the Jason Newsted years in a way. There’s a bit of everything, definitely a return to the prog, trash and metal! 2012_Voivod_Logo_Crest

AN: The one thing that I just couldn’t gel with was that last number ‘Defiance’ it just gets going and frustratingly stops. What’s that all about, is it perhaps to be continued?

Away: Ha yeah actually! It’s meant to be the first song on the next album. It’s a lot like what Venom did with Black Metal and At War With Satan.

AN: Obviously the album has only been out a few days so guess you have more critic than fan reaction (although we can be both). How’s that been for you so far?

Away: Oh it’s been absolutely positive. I have yet to see a negative one yet. We try not to overthink too much when we write the material other than to keep it fresh and a fine balance. We do want to continue the Voivod legacy and keep the spirit of Piggy intact but wanted to write the music we wanted to play at this specific moment. It’s always a relief when it’s so well received.

AN: The London gig was great and it was really noted how much you all actually seemed to be enjoying yourselves. How was the tour, for you, what were the particular highlights?

Away: Well yeah, the highlight for me was the UK leg with Doom as I am a big fan. Then playing opening for Arch Enemy was amazing we had a great response and they are really class. We ended the tour in Russia and played Moscow for the first time, people were chanting Voivod for 20 minutes before we hit the stage so this was a highlight too.

AN: Voivod have always had an incredibly unique and immediately identifying sound. I very fleetingly mentioned Killing Joke on some of the riffs and The Young Gods on one song in reviewing the band (no doubt by language more than anything) but you are a band that leads to imitation rather than the other way. It makes me wonder what other music you listen to personally and rate?

Away: I’m quite a retro person, I listen to a lot of Kraut rock and a lot of progressive rock like Van Der Graaf Generator who are my favourite band. I listen to a lot of gothic material from the alternative period of the 80s like Bauhaus, Killing Joke and I have never stopped listening to hardcore, mainly anarchist and crust punk bands like Amebix. In terms of new material I like to listen to new prog like Anekdoten even if it is not brand new, anything is newer than Voivod haha. Blacky plays a lot of Baroness and Mastodon and I really think they are fantastic too.

AN: Any other projects on the go for any of you at the moment or are all controls full throttle Voivod!

Away: I used to do various side projects but when we reformed in 2008 it really took a back seat. Especially with the 30th anniversary we have a lot of touring coming up in South and North America, Europe and hopefully Asia. We will be going all over the place and in between tours we want to write new material. For the past 5 years we have been trying to get busier but we also have our own businesses. I do a lot of artwork and for books about heavy metal, Chewy is a guitar teacher at university

AN: As far as England is concerned a lot of people would like to see you added to Bloodstock Festival too.

Away: I would love to as well, with the new album we are applying to play at every festival so we will see what happens!

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Jan 28th 2013 Heavy Blog Is Heavy-Target Earth-Review by Juular

heavy blog is heavy

For a long time fans of Voivod have been weary of what would happen when the band inevitably ran out of material left over from former guitarist, Dennis D’Amour (Piggy). Which is completely understandable, as Piggy was seemingly the key writing component of the band for the the first two decades of their formation. So, when it was made known that the band’s latest record, Target Earth, would be the first album to feature contributions from Daniel Mongrain (Chewy), the man who took over lead guitar duties for the band’s tours once Piggy passed away, weariness turned into apprehension. It’s been made abundantly clear that when a pivotal member of a band is replaced, well the results can be less than desirable.

But really, were these fears ever all that justified? Mongrain has shown himself to be more than a fitting replacement for the late Piggy, as he has been pulling off the man’s guitar sections on tour for about five years now. Admittedly, playing what Piggy wrote is a lot different than emulating Piggy with new songs. However, Mongrain more than proves himself on Target Earth. If someone were somehow unaware of Piggy’s death over seven years ago, and started listening to Target Earth, they wouldn’t even know he was gone. Sure Mongrain’s guitar player is a bit more technical and smooth, but that just adds to the beauty of Target Earth, and while his playing is different enough to appreciate, he still pulls off all the trademarks of Piggy’s playing, and has effectively assimilated himself into the band, and into the band’s sound.

The title track starts the record off with Voivod’s unmistakable wobbly, distorted bass. It’s immediately overtaken by the angular riffing of Mongrain, who immaculately imitates the late Piggy, but brings enough of his own style to the fray. It’s a nice six minute track that ebbs and flows between old school trash, and bits of progressive weirdness that Voivod are known for. And luckily, that’s about how the entire record plays out. Each member of the band is given a chance to shine, a killer bassline gives way to a section predominantly focused on vocals, which in turn ends with shredding from Mongrain, or is wrapped up by the killer bursts of speed and attitude that exudes from the drum kit whenever Away sits behind it. It’s a formula that the band have been using for thirty years, and it still works.

The band makes good use of chaos on this record, as you never quite know where they are going from one song to next, or even from one instant to the next within a given song. Instances of straight up thrash abruptly give way to bass driven areas of funky metal goodness, while the distinct vocals of Snake bellow forth in their ever esoteric manner. The vocals are all kept in a similar inflection from one song to the next, each with what appears to be a heavy amount of distortion or post-production work, but not that of a top 40 pop artist. The vocal effects just enhance the griminess of Snakes vocals, making them all the more intense.

But one of the true highlights of this album, and every great Voivod album, is the absolutely thunderous lower end. With the return of original bassist Blacky, Voivod’s bass-lines have reached new heights (or lows, rather). Most of the songs pummel the listener with crazy, disjointed angular riffing from Mongrain, but really the best moments come from Blacky, whose dazzling feats on bass almost punch you in the gut as they usher forth from his fingertips.

Honestly, there’s not a lot to say about this record that hasn’t been said about nearly every Voivod record to date. Snake’s vocals are gritty, weird, and over the top. Mongrain’s riffs are crazy and memorable, switching off between distorted angular riffing, and a nice focus on odd time signatures. Blacky’s bass is mountainous and rolls through the listener’s ear canals like an avalanche. While Away’s drums are a steady, yet subtle, burst of attitude and anger. This record is just another stellar piece in the ever growing Voivod catalog, and it is one of the best records they’ve released in a long time. The elements are all familiar, but the way they are executed brings this band up to new levels of craftsmanship.

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Jan 27th 2013 Voivod : inoxydable!

par Alain Brunet

Non seulement l’esprit originel de Voivod est-il miraculeusement préservé dans ce Target Earth, non seulement cette mixtion métal prog-thrash-speed retrouve-t-elle ses propriétés originelles, non seulement ses interprètes y font preuve d’un jeu impeccable, mais encore trouvent-ils le moyen d’y saupoudrer des épices récemment cultivées - jeu de gorge inuit, fragments de voix traitées, avancées harmoniques, etc.

lapresse.ca

Qui plus est, il y a lieu de se réjouir du retour du bassiste Jean-Yves «Blacky» Thériault et du jeu plus que défendable du guitariste Daniel «Chewy» Mongrain, remplaçant du regretté Denis «Piggy» D’amour que chapeaute le chanteur Denis «Snake» Bélanger - il a réintégré la formation en 2005. Le batteur Michel «Away» Langevin peut être fier d’avoir tenu le phare!

En fait, on ne pouvait souhaiter meilleure reconstruction, le métal de Voivod n’a certes pas rouillé comme certains pourraient le laisser entendre. Bien sûr, nos vétérans québécois ne s’annoncent pas les grands réformateurs qu’ils furent jadis mais… leur musique d’aujourd’hui n’en est pas moins allumée et impose le respect. Inoxydable? Osons croire que oui.

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