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The first album of Voivod is surely one of the best debut albums that I know. Even though the sound and the song writing of the album are far away from being perfect, the band has already its own unique sound and sounds very energetic, straight, rough, heavy and hungry for more to come. The title of this album could not have been chosen better. They already offer some of their first unforgettable classics in here.
The title track and opener "Voivod" introduces us already in the world of Voivod. Strange sounds of rattling chains and a person who walks through the snow in slow motion open the song before a fast mixture of punk and thrash metal blows you away. Somehow influenced by different bands such as Slayer, Venom, Motörhead and local punk bands, Voivod already create their own style within this very first song. The chorus is simple but easy to remind of and sing along with and to this day, Voivod always play this song live and after more than twenty five years, this little masterpiece has not lost its energy and aggression and works perfectly.
You get drowned in an atmosphere of a strange and devastated future world, heavily influenced by the cold and frostbitten winters in Quebec and the political frost of the cold war during the early eighties. "Warriors of ice" is an allusion to this and a very personal band hymn. The song starts with a tight drumming before riffs are shredding in a heavy but still melodic way. Snake didn't really know how to sing and express his emotions and did a lot of his work by his straight intuition as he tells on the special edition of the album. By listening to his feelings, he did a very authentic and emotional job and is as important to the early sound of Voivod as the galloping bumblebee bass guitar, the tight and precise drumming and the melodic riff shredding guitar.
Another of my favourite songs of the album is the bonus track "Condemned to the gallows" which appeared on the 20th anniversary box set and originally on the "Metal massacre 5" compilation. It has a very slow and still heavy intro which you haven't heard a lot of times at that time and in that genre, before a very dark chant comes in and leads us not only into the world of thrash but also death and American power metal which shows already the diversity and talent of the band to change its style by staying unique and honouring its roots and idols. The guitar solo is one of the best ones on the whole album and on the mentioned compilation and shows us already the extraordinary talent of guitar player Piggy.
Every song on this album contributes to a unique and very interesting sound and a very dark and desperate atmosphere. The band already shows his huge talent on this first album. From the short and intense "Blower" to the more developed, epic and very atmospheric band hit "Nuclear war", this band offers a lot of diversity without losing its straightness. Sure, there are a few little fillers towards the end of the album and the musicians are not yet that diversified and open-minded as they were on the future records, but this debut album already announced what the band was able to achieve later on. And though the style of this album is very straight and there are not as many things to discover as on the future albums of the band, this one really grows more and more on you.
Seriously, this is one of the best debut albums in metal history and in the same time the birth of a unique band in regard to which we haven't seen anything comparable in 40 years of metal history.