After many years of reconsiderations and questions whether Voivod should release an album without Piggy‘s ideas, their thirteenth album ”Target Earth” comes out and will definitely be acknowledged for much stuff apart from the great compositions it contains. Guitarist Daniel ”Chewy” Mongrain, formerly the leader of the great technical death metallers Martyr has been helping the band in the gigs since 2009 and I really can’t think of anyone else who could fit so much with the band and not only keep Piggy’s ideas to their former structures but also taking them and evolving them in what became the most Voivod-ish album since 1989.
”Target Earth” could easily be the title of the band’s first album back in 1984, as Voivod were never of this earth in terms of ideas, playing and progress through the years. On this album which last approximately 57 minutes, you’ll find the mid to late ’80s Voivod we all have loved in a great mixture of ideas hailing from the three classic albums they did in a row (”Killing Technology” in 1987, ”Dimension Hatross” in 1988 and ”Nothingface” in 1989). The bizarre structures and the cyborgish vocals of Snake (Dennis Belanger) who sings better and more complex than the last 25 years will convince you quick enough for the album’s quality and quantity.
The title track puts you on the Voivod spaceship and it seems you’re travelling to the distant space once again, observing and waiting for things to happen, while everything else around you face you as the ultimate being of the darkened infinite of the outworld skies. Tracks like ”Kluskap O’Kom” make you smile instantly as Voivod hadn’t bring back this side of them for many years. ”Mechanical Mind” which is the first track we listened from the album shows the endless progress on their music and Chewy proves to be a great composer with some ideas for which even Piggy would be rather proud in creating. Bull’s eye for Dan this time.
This album also marks the return of the emblematic bassist Jean-Yves Teriault, mostly known as Blacky to us. Blacky shines on the album as his basslines are rather audible and they fill the strange and complex guitar rhythms with full success. 22 years away from the studio were much for Voivod without Blacky and he can surely claim a big part on the album’s sound and success. Away (Michel Langevin) did his miracle once again with the great colourfull cover and the logo change which fits superbly. As for his drumming, I’ve always claimed he’s one of the very few drummers who play with the brain rather than hands and feet.
The quartet is in great shape and if you listen to ”Kaleidos” you’ll see how it’s like bringing the past close to the present and the future, that’s maybe why they were playing live before the album was released. We didn’t expect anything less from Voivod this time, as the line-up has been tied with countless gigs, Chewy was a great addition which was proven by the compositions and the final outcome is the band’s best album since 1996’s ”Phobos”. And the best thing is that there is a sense they will do even better on the next album. Voivod fans will adore it, time for the unfamiliar ones with the band to start digging the album and the past ones.
P.S. : The limited edition of the album will contain the full ”Live At Roadburn 2011” captured on cd.
|01. Target Earth
02. Kluskap O’Kom
03. Empathy Of The Enemy
04. Mechanical Mind
08. Corps Etranger
|Chewy – Guitars
Snake – Vocals
Away – Drums, Interludes
Blacky – Bass, Interludes