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VOIVOD - The Wake

Released September 21, 2018 (Century Media Records)

This is the 14th studio album from the pride of Quebec, Voivod. The Wake continues the transition of Voivod over the last few decades from a thrash-punk band into a more prog metal band.

From the first note, the sound is unmistakably Voivod, but the chaos of the 1980s has passed, and has been replaced by a more streamlined, clean sound. This reviewer misses the chaos. The first four Voivod albums in particular sounded like a band that was struggling to keep each track on the rails, like a speeding train with a drunk engineer. This album sounds like it is the same train, only the engineer is mildly buzzed on some weed and doesn't want anyone to know, so he's slowed down and is doing everything very deliberately.

Flashes of old Voivod can be found in some songs, such as "Obsolete Beings" and "Orb Confusion", but the bulk of the tracks stress the progressive side of the band more than the metal side. Typical and frequent Voivod tempo changes abound, but vocalist Snake is in more of a crooning mood than a shouting one. The 8 tracks average about 6 minutes each, with the final song, "Sonic Mycelium", clocking in at 12 minutes (Yes would approve).

Voivod are still in there, but the shell surrounding them has aged considerably, and they don't sound like they can or want to break out any time soon. For hardcore fans of Voivod and prog metal only.


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