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February 1 2005
Voivod - Infini
A great end to a great career
Two years after the release of the well received ‘Katorz’, long running Québec (Canada) based progressive/thrash/avant-garde act Voivod have returned with their twelfth full-length effort ‘Infini’, which is reportedly the final album from the band after a lengthy twenty five years together.
Utilising the same method that brought ‘Katorz’ to life, the band (who comprise of vocalist Denis ‘Snake’ Bélanger, ex-Metallica bassist Jason ‘Jasonic’ Newsted and drummer Michel ‘Away’ Langevin) once again wrote and recorded ‘Infini’ around the material guitarist Denis ‘Piggy’ D’Amour recorded prior to succumbing to colon cancer in 2005.
Bringing D’Amour’s vision to life on ‘Katorz’ certainly wasn’t an easy task the first time around for Voivod, and I had my concerns as to whether or not the material left over for ‘Infini’ would be as equally as strong to reproduce a second posthumous effort of D’Amour. But apart from a couple of tracks that don’t quite hit the mark, it’s clear that Voivod have managed to do justice to D’Amour’s legacy on ‘Infini’.
Voivod open up proceedings in a strong manner with the thrashy/rock ‘God Phones’, which is given a particularly menacing edge with Bélanger opting for a slight punk snarl in his vocals, while the driving ‘From the Cave’ boasts some great angular guitar work from D’Amour and fast paced drumming from Langevin.
Both ‘Destroy After Reading’ and ‘Earthache’ are just a couple of the album’s less stellar moments with their plodding pace (the repetitive chorus of ‘Blah Blah Blah is that all you say?’ on the latter sounds a little uninspiring), but things do improve with the jarring full guitar throttle of ‘Global Warning’ and the progressively tinged/semi-atmospheric ‘A Room With A V.U.’.
Despite their less than serious lyrical content, both ‘Treasure Chase’ and the retro sounding ‘Krap Radio’ are punk-like rocking efforts that stand out with hugely infectious choruses and catchy riffs, while the slower paced and haunting ‘In Orbit’ and the warped blues/psychedelic sounding ‘Pyramidome’ brings to mind the direction the band took on their classic ‘Nothingface’ album from 1989.
The up-tempo ‘Deathproof’ injects a bit more of a rock vibe around the tail end of the album, while the creeping darker vibe within ‘Morpheus’ and the complete thrash out of ‘Volcano’ cap the album off perfectly.
Despite the fact that both ‘Katorz’ and ‘Infini’ were constructed in the same manner, there’s a real sense of strength heard within the material on the band’s latest effort that was missing in part on ‘Katorz’.
If ‘Infini’ is indeed the final release from Voivod (Langevin has suggested recently that he would like the band to create some new music with the remainder of the band), then the band have certainly finished their lengthy career with an impressive and fitting epitaph.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Entertainment)
Added: September 4th 2009
Reviewer: Justin Donnelly
Related Link: Official Website
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