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Voivod - The Outer Limits CD (album) cover

THE OUTER LIMITS

Voivod

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 127 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tapfret
4 stars Following the lackluster descent to Angel Rat from the twin crowns of Dimension Hatross and Nothingface, there was, in this writers opinion, nowhere to go but up. The sci-fi-prog-punk-space-metal band from Quebec had seemingly gone to great lengths to "normalize". There was now a shift to recapture there stellar form. Still without a full-time bassist, and now without all-world producer Terry Brown, they seemed to have their work cutout for themselves.

The first time I picked up this album at the record store shortly after its release, I was dubious. I had been so disappointed with Angel Rat I didn't see how the band would redeem themselves. The first impression was amusement at the 50's era b-movie poster cover art and logo, then intrigue when I noticed the sticker on the outside wrapper that said "3d glasses inside". Ok, this fish noticed the bait, could they set the hook? That's when I turned the CD over. I read to my buddy standing next to me.
"Hey, Jeff?"
"Yeah?"
"Jack Luminous, 17 minutes..."
Hook set. I mean really, to the 23 year-old self-assured seasoned progger a 17 minute song was a slam dunk, right? Well, whatever the case, the joy was back with Voivod. The Joyvod if you please. It was like seeing an ex out in public and seeing how amazing they are doing and suddenly wanting her again. And I got her home and undressed her and it was amazing...I mean...uh...I got the CD home and unwrapped it. The package was as advertised. Cardboard 3d glasses and a 3d drawing for each song. Drummer Micheal Langevin, as routine provides the art. And the music...well...

That's where you start to realize why you broke up with your ex in the first place. The opener, Fix My Heart, had a moment in the intro with a soaring, reverbed out guitar part that set the familiar Voivod space-metal tone. But the substance of the song was very reminiscent of Angel Rat, if a bit more driving.
[Blank stares] "Ugh, I need a beer!"
"I'll come with you"
"Damn, it was too much to ask for them to redeem themselves."
"I guess, so."
"I brought this movie called 'Profondo Rosso', I hear its pretty cool."[Track 2 - 'Moonbeam Rider' starts playing]
"Yeah, lets watch it...actually this sounds ok, lets give the rest of the album a shot"
The album then begins to take a much more progressive, contrasting feel that was lacking on Angel Rat. And Denis d'Amour's reinserts his sinister high register unorthodoxy, albeit still not dissonant as was his earlier trademark. But certainly haunting. Particularly on the quite parts of Le Pont Noir. His verse parts took on a renewed heavy drive, not to the extent of the bands genesis, but in start opposition to the ultra-restrained tone of the previous album.

Voivod appeared to be back, their ubiquitous sci-fi themes in tow. Complete with stories of space travel, alien society saboteurs, media hypnotism, and unseen stalkers. The big hook that was the 17 minute long Jack Luminous was a good piece sound wise, but as it turns out only had the story as the unifying theme. The song actually felt like four different songs with no recall or codas to tie it together. The real gems of the album were the haunting Le Pont Noir and the driving, sinister Lost Machine. Additionally, for the second time in their career they through in a Pink Floyd cover, Nile Song. And once again, not one of my favorite as an original, so I can take it or leave it.

The Outer Limits was a huge improvement over the disappointing Angel Rat, but nowhere near the epic masterpieces that Dimension Hatross and Nothingface were. This is an essential album to my collection, your results may very. I will ere on the 4 star side given the hideous next 15 years or so for the band.

Tapfret | 4/5 |

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