without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
My initial thoughts when I first listened to the album was exactly like I've been told before. Mixed feelings. Because certainly, some details pulls us back to Nothingface/Dimension Hatröss, some others picks up the thrash era feeling, with fast paces and harsh vocals, also some of them are drive us to Angel Rat/The Outer Limits and includes new elements. I agree with the statement that the album got heavier and faster in some spots. However, we still can twig that most of the composition points back to 91-97, and yes, you can include Negatron here.
The consistency and steadiness of the songs are remarkably higher. Listening closely, we're able to notice that the progressive properties of the songs individually flows easier and shows some homogeneity. The recording and production seems to be better than Katorz and Infini, maybe because those albums counted on phostumous works from the heretofore composition brain of the band, Denis Piggy (R.I.P. 2005). Even though this is the first Voivod play without Piggy's fingers, it sounds even better than I expected. In fact, maybe prematurely, I'd say that Target Earth is the best one of the last 3 past releases.
The bass guitar seems to be more audible, and the way that the higher pitched notes are brought up in this work is also something that helped the bass guitar to step up and stand out a bit more than the previous works. Its tone looks smooth, but it shows all the time that it can be agressive when the moment fits. Also, it is notably better performed than Infini. Old era thrash oriented double bass are spotted in some songs, those were the the references to the old era that I found more perceptible, along with a little bit higher pitched voices. By the way, on Target Earth, the other Denis - the Snake one - reminds me of Chuck Billy's tones several times during some songs, mainly in the choruses, as we can notice on Resistance or on the song that carries the album title. Yet sometimes its possible to notice some similaties with Jason McMaster's vocals. This is something new in Voivod, I don't remember relating Snake's vocals to any other singer before (Ok, well, on Infini we can perceive some similarities with Lemmy / Kurt Cobain style of singing, its not identical, but recalls them).
The stand out tracks are Mechanical Mind (if you listen closely, there are lots of parts that make reference to Close to the Edge - Yes) and Corps Étranger. A very complete and progressive song, endowed with the fastest paces in the album. Of course I can't fail to mention Empathy for the Enemy and Kluskap O'Kon, song that makes us wonder wether the title is so weird because of the intro or the other way around.
Overall, Target Earth has achieved what it has intended to: not failing without Piggy, and bringing a bunch of songs filled with essence and creativity. The spirit of Voivod remains alive and active, and probably will live on for some more years. It makes me happy that even with all those passed years and now with Piggy's efective absense, Voivod managed to release a trendless, non-comercial, devoid of modern influences and a creative full length album, yet sheltered from the umpteen new *-core stuff that we have been putting up with since the loathsome spawn of the new metal/metalcore/screamo trend.
- David Lago