without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Six years had past after Voivod came out with 'Phobos'. Along with 'Negatron', mid-to-late nineties were a somewhat depraved time for Voivod, and lacking the distinctive voice of their frontman Denis Belanger, it almost felt like a different band altogether. Although the bass was now being handled by someone new, this was essentially a return to the way that Voivod once was, for the most part. Although the songwriting here lacks the same adventurous spirit and classic quality about it as did Voivod's early material, there is still a good batch of tracks here that should pleasantly satisfy the band's fanbase, provided they don't expect something as exciting as their earlier material.
Voivod's self-titled somewhat reminds me of Metallica's 'Black Album' in the sense that their core sound is still there, but alot of what made them originally so damned intense has been sheathed away. Mostly, the unexpected time signature changes and dissonant riffs have been done away with, and while Voivod's unique sound is still here, it feels like Voivod-lite. There is still spaciness, but it is generally a tame feeling, and most noticeable here are the surprisingly conventional riffs. Piggy is one of the greatest guitarists in metal for me, but hearing him here, his genius is much less evident, maybe sparing a few quirky riffs and a distinctive guitar tone that is used throughout. The songwriting here is pretty good, and it is very clear that it is Voivod the listener is dealing with, even barring the unique way that the band performs. Although this is still on an entirely different plane than 'Negatron' or 'Phobos', I very much believe that 'Voivod' could have been much better than it is. Even with the conventional riffs, things are highly enjoyable, but the monotony wears thin within a few tracks. This is because Voivod have made the sometimes fatal pairing of keeping their sound and direction generally the same throughout the entire thing, and being over an hour long in length, even a diehard Voivod fan will be likely to think that the thing could do with a little trimming.
Had I listened to this at the time it came out in 2003, I would have been pleasantly surprised to hear the Voivod I love making a return to form. In the overall scheme of their career though, it feels like the self-titled album can only pale when compared to the truly innovative stuff that the band did in the 80's and early 90's. 'Voivod' is still a good album, but doesn't hold the same place in my heart as do the classics.