Release Date: Jan 22, 2013
Record label: Century Media
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Speed/Thrash Metal
If there were any doubts among the faithful about legendary Quebec prog-metal dudes Voivod being able to recapture the magic of their classic era in the absence of deceased guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, they're shattered within moments of the title track, which opens this album with a classic, dissonant, riff-based adventure through the best of Nothingface, the heaviest of Angel Rat and the most melodic of Dimension Hatross. Which means: holy cow, it's amazing. As it should be, since this is their first album with original bassist Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault since Angel Rat, which came out back in 1991.
From Mastodon and Enslaved, to Botch, the Dillinger Escape Plan and beyond, Voïvod’s wild collision of jarring time-signatures and imaginative concepts have filtered through the consciousness of metal’s most celebrated artists. Undoubtedly one of the greatest progressive metal bands to ever exist—just engage the scope and dexterity of 1987’s Killing Technology, 1988’s Dimension Hatröss, and 1989’sNothingface—incredibly, Voïvod still remain criminally under-credited for having a hand in creating the template for what is deemed and accepted as “progressive metal” this century. These Canadian visionaries have always been ahead of their time, and Target Earth, the band’s 13th studio release, sees the time/space continuum further expand between Voïvod and everybody else.
Review Summary: Not only have Voivod managed to press on without one of their key songwriters, they've also released one of the best albums of their long career.For many, Piggy was Voivod. Although both he and Michel Langevin (Drums) had been with the band since its inception, it was Piggy’s guitar playing that had created their unique appeal. Of course, it would be wrong not to give credit to Snake’s distinctive vocal style and sci-fi lyrics as well, but it was mostly the riffs.
Truth be told, Target Earth was a make or break studio album for prog metal veterans Voivod. The band's last studio offering, 2009's INFINI, was assembled from the hard drive guitar parts of deceased guitarist (and chief songwriter) Denis "Piggy" D'Amour's. The live Warriors of Ice was the first to showcase new guitarist Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain; he did a fantastic job learning and playing Piggy's very difficult, angular parts.
Happy Anniversary, Voivod! The veteran heavy metallers, formed in Canada in 1983, unleashed their debut album War and Pain in 1984 to a divided audience. Nestled cosily between thrash and prog, they continued through the next three decades releasing eleven tightly-honed studio albums. Fleshing out their thrash sensibilities with hardcore punk, stoner rock and prog, they developed a distinctive niche, if little commercial success.