Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Voivod > Synchro Anarchy > Reviews > Proghead1
Voivod - Synchro Anarchy

A sonic masterpiece. - 100%

Proghead1, June 8th, 2024
Written based on this version: 2022, CD, Century Media Records

Voivod are masters of mini avant-garde prog metal epics. A contradiction, I know, but how else does one describe a collection of sonic masterpieces each of which is packed with such a wide range of engrossing twists and turns? 'Synchro Anarchy' is full of exciting musical ideas, where the band masterfully marries melodious sounds with discordant, sometimes disorienting, ones.

Take the gnarly title cut, for example. Opening with precise, staccato guitar phrasing, it has a spiky, almost punk-like vibe that is punctuated by passages of psychedelia. Especially pleasing to these ears is the strange mid-piece guitar solo which perfectly fits the vibe of the song. Throughout its short running time, Langevin and Laroche prove themselves to be a tight rhythm section second to none, enabling Mongrain to provide a range of captivatingly imaginative guitar lines and phrasing all deftly executed. As for Belanger, he alters his vocal delivery in keeping with the shifting mood of the cut, including moments of harmonisation that contrast with the clipped, almost spoken-like vocal phrasing used elsewhere to satisfyingly dramatic effect.

Pleasingly, the quality of songs remains consistent throughout the course of the album's forty-eight minutes. Belanger's wit and expressionate vocal delivery are consistently underpinned by Laroche's solid, funky bass playing, Mongrain's articulate guitar lines and Langevin's masterful timekeeping. With 'Sleeves Off' the band generates a punk infused, syncopated tour-de-force, which includes a couple of delightfully bizarre guitar solos. 'Holographic Thinking' is another fine example of how effortlessly Voivod bring together seemingly disperate sounds and make a gloriously intricate, complex work of art.

There is just so much to enjoy on this album, it is difficult to pick out any one singular moment of sonic glory - difficult, but not impossible. 'Mind Clocks' is equal parts haunting, quirky and melodious - a challenging listen to be sure, but a truly satisfying journey through a range of moods.

Of particular note is Langevin's drumming which has never sounded so good as on this collection of songs. As he has stated in an interview around the time of the album's release, lockdown afforded him the time to really hone and nail the tones he felt each song demanded.

Some forty years into their strange musical journey to the outer limits of avant-guard heavy music, Voivod may well have released a sonic masterpiece that rivals anything they have released to date.