Feb 12th 2013 08:20 am 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.
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”
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