VOIVOD – Target Earth’

voivodVOIVOD – ‘Target Earth’
Target Earth is not only the thirteenth studio album by French-Canadian Metal outfit Voivod but a watershed in their career – their first release since the death of founding member Denis “Piggy” D’Amour and the return of original Bass Player Jean “Blacky” Theriault (replacing Ex-Metallica player Jason Newstead).  The self-titled opener leaves you in no doubt that Voivod are not here to make up the numbers – a clichéd intro soon relents giving way to a grinding Thrash epic that sounds like the bastard child of late-eighties Celtic Frost and Killing Joke.  The melodies are strong with new guitarist Danny “Chewy” Mongrain and sticksman Michael “Away” Langovin putting in a particularly stellar shift just in time for the band to celebrate their 30th anniversary.  Proving age is just a number Voivod speed through the shouty ‘Kulskap O’Korn’ and the more thoughtful ‘Empathy for the Enemy’ with Denis “Snake” Belanger’s haunted vocal coming to the fore as the album continues to increase the temperature, bringing a creepy sense of unease and restlessness.  ‘Warchaic’ is the undoubted stand out track of the album dropping complex, heavy riffs with the intricate breaks and tempo changes you might expect from a more youthful outfit, not one that is entering it’s fourth decade.  ‘Resistance’, ‘Kaleidos’ and ‘Corps Etranger’ continue the assault before ‘Artefact’ and the lumbering ‘Defiance’ close the show; the whole opus is quintessential Voivod sci-fi metal, with strange studio trickery spicing up some excellent musicianship.  The only downside to the experience is that Drummer ‘Away’ has once again contributed the artwork – though his drumming is superb, the same can’t be said for his artistry; a seriously dodgy cover leaving a lot to be desired!  If you know Voivod you’ll buy Target Earth for the music, not the art.  If you’re new to their particular blend of old-school thrash then take a chance – you won’t be dissapointed! (8).
STRINGFELLOWE HAWKE

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