Voivod - The Wake review



Reviewer:
8.0

72 users:
7.93
Band: Voivod
Album: The Wake
Release date: September 2018


01. Obsolete Beings
02. The End Of Dormancy
03. Orb Confusion
04. Iconspiracy
05. Spherical Perspective
06. Event Horizon
07. Always Moving
08. Sonic Mycelium


These days there are only a small handful of older metal bands, say those who have been in the game for well over 20 years, for whom I can still see myself getting reasonably excited about new releases from. You'd better believe Voivod are one of them.

We should all know the story by now. Following the death of founding member and creative mastermind Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, the sci fi thrashers in Voivod decided to press onward rather than split up, a decision that (surprisingly or not) has actually yielded quite impressive results. 2018's The Wake sees the band more or less continuing upon an enjoyable path already established with their previous Target Earth: one that pays homage to the more "classic" Voivod sound of the Dimension Hatröss and Nothingface days while also updating it with more contemporary production techniques and perhaps a bit of a more proggy sound. Fans of Voivod's earlier material would be hard pressed to not find something likeable here, as all the trademark approaches of the band are as on point on The Wake as they ever were: Snake's wailing vocals, Away's excellent drumming, and bouncy, catchy riffs carved out by newcomers Chewy and Rocky, worthy successors to their guitar and bass predecessors in the band.

What perhaps makes The Wake most enjoyable, however, is its wonderful transitioning between the thrashier and the more mellow aspects of Voivod's sound. The band had already done a pretty great job with this on Target Earth, but here the technique feels even more refined and well delivered. Opening track "Obsolete Beings" demonstrates perfectly, being more upbeat and bang-able for the bulk of its duration before descending into that more laid back, spacey feel around the 4 minute mark, a shift that feels completely natural. Sometimes the opposite occurs as well, as on "Spherical Perspective," a track that seems to get more intense and aggressive as it progresses. Truly, Voivod's talent for mood and tempo manipulation is on display here in full force.

The Wake is an album that should definitely put to rest any doubts about Voivod's ability to continue on with quality music post Piggy, if there still were any. Taking this album together with Target Earth, between the two Voivod have not only demonstrated their ability to recapture their roots, but also their ability to almost transcend and reinterpret them as well. This is an album that at times feels like it could have been released in the mid -to-late 80s that were the band's heyday, but that also feels as though it was specifically made for 2018 at well. While the Voivod formula is probably unlikely to deviate or be reinvented very much from here, The Wake simply proves the band's ability to nail what they do best yet again, and certainly makes me excited for whatever subsequent material they may have in store.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 03.10.2018 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 98 users
04.10.2018 - 15:57
Ciuffe
Good review
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04.10.2018 - 21:32
Batlord666
I've been listening to this one a lot the last couple weeks. It's an incredibly dense and complex album that really does not open itself up willingly - it starts off fast and catchy, and then goes where ever it wants from there. The more I listened, the more bits of each song hooked into my head. Where I previously could only instantly recall the immediate, punchy, thrashy riffs, soon I was humming bits from all over. It's a grower for sure, and an absolutely fantastic album that I would highly recommend.
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04.10.2018 - 21:55
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Batlord666 on 04.10.2018 at 21:32

I've been listening to this one a lot the last couple weeks. It's an incredibly dense and complex album that really does not open itself up willingly - it starts off fast and catchy, and then goes where ever it wants from there. The more I listened, the more bits of each song hooked into my head. Where I previously could only instantly recall the immediate, punchy, thrashy riffs, soon I was humming bits from all over. It's a grower for sure, and an absolutely fantastic album that I would highly recommend.

Yep, it has some pretty great replay value, indeed
----
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves waited for rain
While the black clouds gathered far distant, over Himavant
The jungle crouched, humped in silence
Then spoke the thunder
DA
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05.10.2018 - 05:10
VIG
Viggg
Yeah, it's a grower is what I would say about this album. Honestly I haven't listened to much recent Voivod records but I was very surprised that this is as good as it is. Are the other 2000s/2010s albums similar in terms of quality?

Also, at first I heard the vocals and immediately thought they sounded weird, off, or just over produced in a way, but they clicked soon enough, now I'm thinking they sound awesome.
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05.10.2018 - 16:17
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by VIG on 05.10.2018 at 05:10

Are the other 2000s/2010s albums similar in terms of quality?

While none of them are absolutely terrible, it's really with Target Earth that the band got back on track and started kicking serious ass again, I think. The only other album from that period I'd really recommend is the self titled one from 03
----
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves waited for rain
While the black clouds gathered far distant, over Himavant
The jungle crouched, humped in silence
Then spoke the thunder
DA
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06.10.2018 - 02:04
jupitreas
hi-fi / lo-life
I don't entirely agree with the review (although props on a well-written one) since IMO this album is on an entirely different level than Target Earth. On the previous LP, I think they just set out to prove that with the new lineup, they can still be Voivod, with all the intricacies and eclecticism that this entails. Now, with The Wake, they have already established that they are still relevant, and they go ahead and experiment/deviate/reinvent once again, as is the mercurial tradition of this band. The Wake is quite avant-garde in its own way and there are some things here that we've never heard before. This is what makes this a fantastic Voivod album, one of the best in their career.

BTW, they absolutely slay live and I encourage anyone reading this to see them when they're playing in your area.
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13.10.2018 - 19:15
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by jupitreas on 06.10.2018 at 02:04

I don't entirely agree with the review (although props on a well-written one) since IMO this album is on an entirely different level than Target Earth. On the previous LP, I think they just set out to prove that with the new lineup, they can still be Voivod, with all the intricacies and eclecticism that this entails. Now, with The Wake, they have already established that they are still relevant, and they go ahead and experiment/deviate/reinvent once again, as is the mercurial tradition of this band. The Wake is quite avant-garde in its own way and there are some things here that we've never heard before. This is what makes this a fantastic Voivod album, one of the best in their career.

BTW, they absolutely slay live and I encourage anyone reading this to see them when they're playing in your area.

Fair point. I'll have to relisten to this a few more times before the year's end as I'm currently on other stuff at the moment, but I definitely wouldn't say it's a copy of Target Earth, for sure. Similar, but unique enough to make its own impression and carve out its own identity as well.

Also you're absolutely right, I've seen Voivod live 3 times and they've been phenomenal on each occasion. The best was in 2015 when they were opening for Napalm Death, they easily stole the show on that one. Many people there left after their set
----
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves waited for rain
While the black clouds gathered far distant, over Himavant
The jungle crouched, humped in silence
Then spoke the thunder
DA
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