Album Review: Voivod - The Wake
Album: The Wake
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
Please don't hate me, but I only just discovered Voivod after listening to metal for almost 20 years. But oh my, I am absolutely enthralled and kicking myself that I didn't start sooner. It's clear that Voivod have a lot going on in their music both lyrically and sonically, and when you've got fourteen studio albums to sift through, you know you're in for a journey.
The Wake tells the story of the demise of the human race at the hands of a terrible force unleashed from under the seas, with vocalist Snake’s lyrics providing a vast palate for your imagination to run wild. What makes The Wake a masterpiece in my opinion is the beautiful cinematic display of music throughout the album. Each song creates a scene which fades in and out of each act to move the story forward. It's clearly a concept album.
“Obsolete Beings” opens up the album with he swirling galloping drums and bass accompanied by thick and chunky guitars. The wonderful guitar tempo changes at the 2:35 mark and it's just something else. as are the solos performed by Chewy. A great way to begin.
“The End of Dormancy” sounds more like if Rush and Mastodon made sweet proggy love and birthed this brilliant track. The bass tone is menacing as it affixes to the drums creating dramatic tension. This song showcases the brilliant mix on the album. All instruments are clear and present. The more I get into this track the more I start being reminded of Mastodon's 2009 masterpiece Crack The Skye especially from the 4 minute mark, perhaps because of the instrumental arrangement and the change in vocal stylings which almost sounds like Brent Hinds himself.
The final song “Sonic Mycelium” encapsulates everything phenomenal about Voivod and their musical attributes that sum up The Wake within a single song. This brings joy to the listener and there's a certain elegance which shines through from the chords from previous track “Always Moving” giving way to a majestic string ensemble. I've got a feeling this album will be on repeat for most of the remainder of the year, and boy am I glad that I discovered the genius of Voivod.
The Wake by Voivod is pretty much musical perfection as far as I'm concerned. On this particular album, the band has created a cinematic progressive metal masterpiece which yields a twisting tale of mankind’s demise. Not since Dream Theater's 1999 cinematic magnum-opus Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory have I been this drawn in by a progressive metal concept album and to a certain extent the previously mentioned Mastodon album Crack The Skye. This is art and an incredible album that's so progressive, so memorable, and each song has personality. Definitely worthy of your time.
9 out of 10.
The Wake is out now via Century Media Records.