Voivod - Angel Rat (1991) - Close to perfection! - 96% (06/10/10)
They are not from this world any more! Voivod has transcended the waves of space and time and floats somewhere high above an ordinary human state of mind. I may warn you, because this album has nothing to do with the band's early thrash metal albums or the later extreme post industrial metal. This isn't even metal at all, it is pure and perfect progressive rock, somewhere between King Crimson's "In the court of the crimson king", Rush's "Moving pictures", Genesis' "Wind and wuthering", Pink Floyd's "Darkside of the moon" and the band's previous "Nothingface", just to give you an idea.
When I first bought and listened to the album, I thought that somebody had put the wrong CD in the slipcase. This doesn't sound like anything you have heard from Voivod before and later on. Even today, when the band still plays "Panorama" or "The prow" live on stage, it sounds much heavier and down to earth than on this album and doesn't have the same feeling at all. Voivod truly created something that they were never able to do again, they wrote this song in a very special mood. This album is softly floating and I wouldn't be surprised to know that those guys were completely on acid while they composed this album. Singer Snake completely flies away in the video clip for "Clouds in my house", high above the earth, sorrounded by starnge white paper floating around him like snow. This image represents perfectly the mood of this album.
Snake sounds softer and more emotional than ever before, the drumming is relaxed but still tight in the same way, the bass guitar creates really eerie or spacey vibes and the melodic guitar produces sounds that you have never heard before. Voivod even integrate some new instruments like the harmonica part on "The outcast", but those surprising elements are decently used and fit perfectly to the songs. Voivod do not abuse those new elements and that's why there are many little surprises to discover on this album.
It is difficult to mention highlights on this album which works as a whole masterpiece, but half of the songs of this album also work out of the conceptual basis and give me regular chills and goosebumps.
"Panorama" reminds somehow of the syle of the previous album and is the heaviest song on the album and very well chosen as a tight opener.
"Clouds in my house" is a perfect title as this song makes you dream and fly away and has brilliantly tender and dreamy finale.
During "The prow" you hear ocean waves and the song has a mystic atmosphere that surrounds it in a very eerie way and you can't get this song out of your head once you have listened to it.
The title song "Angel rat" is the most spacey song on the album, has a really eerie atmosphere and feels like a bizarre dream with its floating guitars, multiple dreamy choirs and voices and almost electronical or decent new or dark wave parts.
"The outcast" surprises with many interesting changes of style and the harmonica part in the beginning.
"Freedoom" begins as a very tender hippy ballad and is the most relaxed song Voivod have ever written.
I just mentioned six songs out of twelve which are six unique masterpieces to me. The other ones are almost as strong and the whole twelve songs form something really unique and perfect. Thrash or heavy metal fans may not get a good approach to this album which has been largely discussed, criticized and is until today very controversial. If you are a fan of progressive rock, you will adore this album though and maybe see it as the rebirth of a whole genre, it is the greatest progressive rock album since "Wind and wuthering" almost fifteen years before this one.
Every song creates a really bizarre, tender, spacy, floating, mysterious atmosphere and makes you dream and chill. This album is the most underrated album I know, it is one of my favourite albums of all time and really close to perfection!« Apocalyptica - 7th Symphony (2010) - A big loss of identity - 61% (06/10/10)Voivod - Nothingface (1989) - Very technical and diversified - 89% (06/10/10) »
Tags : voivod, angel rat, progressive, thrash, metal, rock, seventies, king crimson, pink floyd, smooth, dreamy, transcending, québec, jonquière