This is arguably the most difficult album of Voivod’s career, being the first they’ve recorded with no input from late guitarist Piggy. As such it could have sunk them, because he was so crucial to their sound.
However, Daniel ‘Chewy’ Mongrain, Piggy’s replacement, has come close to working wonders. While he pays due homage to his predecessor’s style, he’s added his own pugnacious and concussively virtuoso colouring. The result is not a reinvention of Voivod, but a reimagining.
The science-fiction lyrical themes are as enthralling as ever, while the musical approach runs the gamut from avant-garde thrash fury to intricate, complex progression. From the opening fractured rhythms of the title track through to the sparse grandeur of Mechanical Mind and the blaring finale of Artefact and Defiance, this is a riveting album. Voivod have again recorded something that will appeal to those with an open mind.