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Best Thrash Album of 87 - 95%

StainedClass95, July 5th, 2014

What was the greatest thrash album released in 1987? Many would point to Among the Living, Persecution Mania, Terrible Certainty, or even Schizophrenia. I would respectfully disagree and point to a different album. That different album would be Killing Technology, Voivod's best album. This took what was good from their previous albums and some of the newer stuff they were cooking up and created a masterpiece. This has some of it all: great riffs, unique and expressive vocals, noteworthy atmosphere, and great songwriting.

Many reviewers have commented on the riffing, and it is excellent. When they need to be fast, they drive very well, and when they need to create a mood, they can go places most bands would need a textbook for. Interestingly enough, it's less the technical acumen of the playing and more the quirkiness. I imagine a reasonable thrash player from this time could cover a Voivod song after a little practice, but they probably couldn't write a similar song without copying. This album and the playing on it is more to the progressive side of tech thrash. It's an excellent breath of fresh air, as it really is unlike almost any other thrash band, Vektor was influenced by them and their are a few sonic similarities.

Moving on to the vocals, he has a rather punky voice. If you could remove the nasal from Mustaine, I think you would get pretty close to this. He also shares what I would consider Mustaine's only vocal strength: conviction. He sounds like he believes and feels everything he is singing about. Even when he sounds cold, it feels more like a sense of irony than detachment. This doesn't make him a great or even good vocalist, but I feel he fits the music, and I really haven't heard many who sound like him.

This is also one of the first very Sci-Fi metal albums. Many bands had of course used this for lyrical fodder, but I haven't heard any older bands utilize it to the same extent Voivod did. They wrote lengthy, yet very catchy and enjoyable songs about aspects related to outer space with covers that look like something from the Ed, Edd and Eddy cartoon's alien comics.. They also took a relative weakness of their previous albums, production, and turned it into an excellent dystopian atmosphere. Much of what makes this transition so excellent is their ability to take their previous aggression and merge it with their new prog sensibilities and weave songs of a higher quality.

This is as good as Voivod ever got. Hartross was excellent as well, but the quirkiness was starting to descend into stoned weirdness and a kind of neutered weakness by Nothingface. The previous albums were simply too generic, as they sound more like some garage band than what produced this. I wouldn't recommend this to everybody, but if you're fine with longer songs, you should love this. The bonus tracks from the Cockroaches EP aren't essential, but they are on a par in quality, so I would recommend them none the less.