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Voivod is a band that knew exactly what they were doing from the very beginning, and when I mean beginning I mean War and Pain. When I bought this album, I had only a slight idea of how talented and innovative they are and how fluid their songs progress, which they took with them on later albums despite having changed styles a bit. On with the review...
***Disclaimer*** People in search of perfect production should be fucking off right now because this album doesn't have it, Seriouisly what did you expect for a Punk-Thrash album with a lot of Discharge influence, in 1984? This is raw, energetic, unbridled, UNBRIDLED metal
The intro of the album sets a perfect atmostphere. Tension building dissonant chords and chains pounding into the ground, the storm is brewing...
The song exlpodes into a sound as dirty and raw as Discharge and Motorhead and as rockin' as Raven (and Motorhead) but with chord progressions you have never heard in your life.
They don't call the vocalist Snake or no reason, his rapid-fire delivery of broken english is perfect on this album. Granted he does not sing, but he is a frontman who would defintely take great pleasure in kicking the crap out of the audience.
Again with "Warriors of Ice", what a title. the sci-fi influence is a trademark. The song leads into a gallop chorus that will surely make your head bang!!
Another great part of the album is Piggy's ability to handle himself being the only guitarist. Mini-solos left and right, its almost like he ad-libbed half the album. Blacky steps up as well on bass to cover for a one-guitar sound.
"Suck your Bone"....Fuck fuck your Soul!! Where do they come up with the greatness?. The middle part to this song has one of the best solo sections ever written, SO FUCKNIG HEAVY. The great song writing still prevails with key changes and riffing. This song also has the greatest lyric ever: "Go shit!I'm not a fish!" What the fuck does that mean?!!! haha
"Iron Gang" - Probably the fastest on the album, defintely a thrash anthem for anyone. The chorus takes a while to build up to..."Never turn back take care of you, Lets fight!!!" It just makes you want to go kick someones ass who doesnt like this album.
"War and Pain"opens with an eery, doom riff and takes the pace down a bit. Voivod riffs are hypnotic and trance-like,very much like good black metal.
"Blower" another thrasher killer track. It bulldozes right through your face and doesnt stop until the middle part, where snake starts talking like Dave Mustaine. Tracks like this make Kill em All look like a bunch of flowers.
"Live for Violence" - Probably one of my favorite tracks, the verse riff is trancing and dissonant, but they do it so well! the Vocal delivery is perfect for this song. And there is a really great lead in the song as well.
"Black City" A very underrated dark song, not as in your face as the others. Like I said Voivod delivers not music but a killer atmosphere which is too eveident on this track. Very eery and chaotic.
"Nuclear War" - A long song which can be divided into 2 sections, the intro marching part and the punk-thrash part. The marching part kicks and builds the song well, with dissident but bluesy riffing. Its very doomy again, but the 2nd part is more upbeat and energetic and doesnt hestitate to rock hard.
I have left out a lot in this review, but...what I have not mentioned can only be discovered and appreciated by listening. War and Pain is a combination of punk, rock and metal, with that extra sprinkle of Voivod's innovative genius to create a sound like no other. Think of it as a Sci-fi version of Motorhead+Discharge.