Voivod
Rrröööaaarrr/Killing Technology/Dimension Hatröss (Reissues)

 

My first Noise/BMG reissue review series will focus on the Voivod reissues. This will be followed up with Celtic Frost and Kreator reissues Each paragraph will focus on each individual reissued album from the band. For purposes of such reviews it will be more of a personal recollection, on my part, with some observations about the reissue. I’ll get this out of the way. My only gripe with these Voivod reissues are no song lyrics are included. This makes zero sense. The booklet is so huge they should have included them, inexcusable. However with the inclusion of a DVD for each reissue of these Voivod albums these are the best and most comprehensive reissues this year and are absolutely beautifully and respectfully done.

Rrröööaaarrr was released in 1986 and has the heaviest drum sound the band ever achieved. the band going for a more true thrash metal sound as opposed to their classic 1984 debut War and Pain which was more punk influenced. Rrröööaaarrr classic songs like “Korgüll the Exterminator”, “Thrashing Rage”, “Slaughter in a Grave” and “To the Death!” still resonate today with futuristic themes and a thrash sound the band punished the listener too. Piggy was one of the greats and his guitar tones and solos were continuing to develop with wild original intensity. One of the things sorely missing was Blacky’s bass guitar tone. His amp had been stolen and I believe he used Celtic Frost’s amp head to record the bass tracks. Not having his original sound The distorted bass guitar heavy tone evident on the debut was missing on this. I had this version on cassette and vinyl when it came out. And later on cd. I played this album so much on tape my cassette tape fell apart. I would constantly play in my boom box and Walkman and introduced my friends to Voivod. They never got them. Thought they’re sound was too weird. I thought my friends were too weird to not like Voivod. The reissue is unleashed in a 2 cd and DVD package. The masterful restoration of the album from its original tapes makes the sound louder, clearer but still retaining the dirty sound of Rrröööaaarrr. The band recorded a video for “Ripping Headaches” and I would catch it on some strange tv channel I had to move rabbit ears to get a distorted picture. But I loved every minute of it. Disc 2 are live concerts from that time period. The sound also is remastered and the sound is great. But disc 3 has live concerts on the DVD. The shows are ripped from VHS tapes and the sound and viewing quality is kind of dicey. But it’s how I used to watch shows back in the day on bootlegged video. Therefore I’m more forgiving. The thick digipack restores all artwork and the booklet is stocked with valuable info from the band as well as Piggy’s recollections when he was alive. Tons of pics and flyers.

1987 saw Voivod experiment even more with a futuristic thrash space metal sound which followed perfectly with their themes and artwork. I had Killing Technology on vinyl and non-stop playing. This became my fave Voivod album. With the title track, “Tornado”, “Overreaction” and “Order of the Blackguards”. Piggy continued to establish the most unique guitar tone and for crissakes he was a genius. He built his own guitars. Therefore no one could replicate his tone. Blacky got his bass tone back with a rumbling distorted beautiful tone. Snake’s vocals continued to get better and no one sounded like him. Away’s drumming was harder, better and more creative. The band recorded a video for “Ravenous Medicine” and it was cheesy and cool. When the first cd came out the label released it with 2 songs that were recorded but left off the original 7 song album. “Too Scared to Scream” and “Cockroaches”. My quandary still to this day is I never liked these songs. Sure it was recorded with the same awesome Killing Technology sound, but the songs don’t flow. They’re a bit boring and do not go well with the theme of the original album. They’re included here, and while I like them a bit better through the years they just don’t connect with me even close to 30 yrs later. The Disc 1 remaster brings out that killer bass tone and everything is louder, clearer but heavier. Disc 2 are live shows and sound great with the spit shine polish. Disc 3 has multiple live shows on the DVD. The quality is similar to on Rrröööaaarrr again ripped from VHS tapes but the sound and viewing quality is an improvement over Rrröööaaarrr. All artwork, flyers and picks have masterfully been restored. Lots of info stocked in this 90 pound booklet in the beautiful digipack.

1988 brought along Dimension Hatröss. This was more progressive in nature with some almost polyrhythms on certain tracks. Off kilter thrash metal beats that warped my mind. Therefore this is my favorite all time Voivod album. If I never heard those 2 cutting room floor songs on Killing Technology years ago then that 7 song album is my #1. On Dimension Hatröss the opener “Experiment” and other tunes like “Technocratic Manipulators” and “Brain Scan” were even more experimental and extraordinary than anything else that did prior. The band shot awesome videos for “Tribal Convictions” and “Psychic Vacuum” and I was happy to see Headbangers Ball push the rotation of them. Dimension Hatröss has my fave Voivod guitar tone and I warped the vinyl. I worked out every day in my parents basement lifting as much weight as I could and this was my go to album in ‘88. Not uncommon to play it 3x in a row daily. The remaster contains the bonus instrumental song “Batman” from the original cd on here. Curious enough when I got my first CD player this along with CandlemassNightfall and Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness were my first cd purchases in ’89. The digipack has restored all artwork with another monster booklet of flyers, interviews and pics. Disc 1 has a gorgeous remaster. Loud is how this was meant to be heard. Snake experimented more with hos vocals and the bass and guitar playing are second to non. Disc 2 has the live audio from shows and sound great. The DVD has much better quality sound and viewing wise. The concerts are awesome.

These are the definitive Voivod versions you want. Stunning and from one of my all- time fave bands and three of the best metal albums from the 80’s without question But or Die!

 

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 1st, 2017

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