Thursday, November 1, 2012

Initial Impressions: Voivod: Katorz

I have been on a bit of a Voivod kick again lately which lead to the purchase of three of their newer albums. This was probably stirred by news of the band's upcoming album, but I do not really know for sure.

Katorz is Voivod's eleventh full-length album and was released in 2006.  To say that the band had changed somewhat since their heyday in the 1980's to this album is a bit of an understatement.  I was previously mostly familiar with the band's first five albums, although I had heard the sci-fi progressiveness of Negatron as well.  This was really one of my first forays into their later material and what I heard was kind of surprising to me.  I did not expect the same sound that the band perfected in their earlier material, but this was quite a bit different than I expected.

There is definitely still a weird science fiction vibe carrying through most of the material on this album.  The riffs in particular sound almost mechanical, which is something that Voivod had been doing for years.  For the most part though this a much more stripped-down version of Voivod.  Gone are most of the progressive metal meanderings and in their place are some just straightforward rock/metal/punk songs.  The riffs are heavy and feature a lot of groove and the vocals have a dirty rock sound to them.

This is kind of a grower, but I found myself enjoying it more and more with each listen.  The first song definitely captures attention early on and the rest of the songs really do nothing to lose it.  Do not go into this expecting Nothingface or Dimension Hatross and this will be an enjoyable album.

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