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How does one end up with the nickname 'Away'? - 50%

Muloc7253, July 20th, 2007

Voivod have always seemed to have a screw loose when it comes to songwriting ((that's not meant as an insult, I'm talking about how the band tend to intentionally inject some avant garde weirdness into their music) and that's definately clear with this recording. On this one, Voivod drop the punkish, aggressive sci-fi speed/thrash in favour of a more alternative sound, taking a lot of influence from commercial punk and new-wave. Considering this was 1991, this was probably an influence on other bands intrigued by metal's extreme, over-the-top tendencies but also by mainstream music's accesibility, along with Faith No More and Metallica's Black Album.

Well, there is still some old metallic Voivod in here, the opening riff sounding much more Motorhead than Radiohead. However, the majority of this does indeed contain some alternative riffs and leanings. Not to say that it's a bad album, just that it isn't the skull-throttling insanity of War & Pain and Killing Technology. The usual Voivod weirdness is still present too, in the sometimes disharmonic riffs and off-sounding note arrangements, and of course Snake's unique vocal approach for which he is well known. But of course, if you're not much of a fan of new wave and alternative (as i'm not) this can bring the album down in parts, I mean Twin Dummy could easily be a Beach Boys cover.

Highlights? Panorama is a good opening track and Clouds In My House is quite a nice, laid-back dirge with it's dreamlike riff in the chorus. Then The Prow, which is the catchiest and certainly the most enjoyable. There aren't really any bad tracks or any sections that really grate at me, it's just that it doesn't pull any Tribal Convictions or Psychic Vacuum out to crush my skull and force me to surrender to the gods of thrash. Angel Rat is quite a nice ballad, with some enjoyable leadwork too. I also like how the last track is titled None Of The Above, even if the song itself is fairly average.

Oh yeah, and ya gotta love that cover art! Seriously, that is fucking boss, one of the best covers of the 90s.