VOIVOD - The Wake
October 1, 2018, 16 days ago
Before we talk Voivod’s latest interstellar voyage through space and time, let’s sadly acknowledge that it has now somehow unbelievably been thirteen years since Voivod architect of aggression, Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, passed over to the infinite otherside. Metal - our frigid, barren landscape - has been a lesser place without him, it’s clear. Look up to the sky while any Voivod album plays and revel in Piggy’s cosmic-bending creations. They’re other-worldly.
So, with Piggy’s impressive feats forever etched into metal’s collective consciousness, we listen to The Wake, Voivod’s latest full-length. This seems like an obvious and redundant statement, but as soon as The Wake begins it’s clear that this is Voivod, and classic-era Voivod at that, as no one else can produce such unique characteristics. All of the band’s trademarks, including that ultra-Voivodian cover art, are immediately apparent, and what a comforting feeling that is. The second element that’s here, always, is the angularity that has accompanied Voivod its whole career, though it peaked between Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. Which, I suppose, gives you a very real sense of The Wake’s inspiration and modus operandi.
What also strikes the listener is that The Wake is different from its predecessor, Target Earth. Where Target Earth is made up of a good deal of material that’s quite immediate (the influence of Blacky’s contribution?), the immediacy is replaced on The Wake by post-societies and forever mountains, both of which hold their own mysteries to unravel.
But don’t take that last comment as any sort of complaint. Voivod is still writing vital, illuminating songs that are joyous to discover and behold and the band feels as energetic and inspired as it ever has. There isn’t any rust or slowing down here, the stamina and creativity impressive in the face of Voivod’s almost 35 years of existence.
In the end, The Wake is such a celebration of what makes Voivod so entirely Voivod. We just can’t imagine how this album could have been written by anyone else. The Wake is Voivod, and Voivod is The Wake. Interconnected and interstellar.