Classic Rock Bottom

Who? Voivod

When? 1991

Album title? Angel Rat

Is this post early? Yes review? Yes.

After the success of 1989's excellent Nothingface, progressive metal experimentalists Voivod were poised for their big breakthrough with their follow-up, Angel Rat. It didn't happen. For reasons unknown, the album quickly sank from sight upon its release in the fall of 1991, which is surprising, since it's nearly as good as its predecessor. Founding member and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault left the group after Angel Rat's recording was completed and was not officially replaced until bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest would take over for both Theriault and singer Denis Belanger in time for 1995's Negatron. The band's ongoing science fiction imagery is still conveyed in both the music and lyrics, which sound like a cross between early Pink Floyd (circa Meddle) and Rush (circa Caress of Steel) with an added heavy metal edge. Angel Rat also proves to be one of Voivod's most consistent releases, without a weak track in sight. Included are such spacy highlights as "Panorama," "Clouds in My House," "Golem," and the moody psychedelia of the title track. Produced by former Rush knob-twiddler Terry Brown, Angel Rat definitely deserved more attention and commercial success.

Angel Rat

1. Shortwave Intro
2. Panorama
3. Clouds In My House
4. The Prow
5. Best Regards
6. Twin Dummy
7. Angel Rat
8. Golem
9. The Outcast
10. Nuage Fractal
11. Freedoom
12. None Of The Above

Availability: Around $11 used, $15 new.

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Man, that album cover is hard to look at. Whoever came up with that color scheme was stoned and working under a black light. Makes me wonder if there was a limited edition printed on black velvet, hmm… in that context it would be cool!

Production sounds very Maiden-esque. But let’s not get lost in comparing this band to Iron Maiden it’s just the mix, not the songs or certainly not the vocals. Speaking of which, those vocals are … what’s the word I’m looking for…. Umm…. bad? Yes, but not quite right… Un-Metal? That’s it! The reviewer can’t find any reasons why this “sank from sight upon its release”. Even more puzzling is that this is a Terry Brown product. I wonder what they were going for here, there’s some progressive in the latter half of the album beginning with ‘Best Regards’ but its only 3:51 long. Golem actually did work as a progressive track, still at 4:46 its reaching and it felt like it faded out before it was over – shame on you Terry Brown! Nuage Fractal grabs my attention next and this one feels pretty cool at moments. It’s hard to get too progressive if they’re not playing it out!

The “heavy metal” parts are hard to hear, and I don’t get the comparison to Floyd and Rush lyrics… This is truly a puzzling comparison.

Give me the second half of this album beginning with the title track over the first 6. Still, there’s nothing terrible here, it just doesn’t come across as billed. I’ll take Golem as the RED track.

Welcome back sir!

Just based on the band name, I was thinking death metal.  Luckily, this ain't that.  But it was pretty good.  

I really enjoyed it musically.  The guitar playing was very good and I also enjoyed the song writing.   It held my interest all the way through the album.  

But I didn't get Pink Floyd crossed with Rush out of it at all.  As a matter of fact, what I did get out of it was Ghost.  Maybe not so much musically, but that vocalist reminds me of the guy from Ghost.  Unfortunately, that's not a good thing.  He's the weakest part of the band for me.  Same here.  The vocalist was not good.

Still, very decent listen!

You mean the vocalist of the band that has put out the BEST ALBUM OF 2018?



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