"No one would ever have predicted back in 1984 that the band who stormed onto the scene with "War and Pain" would end up five years later dropping the twisted cybermetal of "Nothingface". Charting their musical progression through the median three albums, it seems obvious in retrospect, but despite the fully realized work that is "Dimension Hatross" it's "Nothingface" that is Voivod's true masterpiece."The Unknown Knows" and "Nothingface" jump out of the starting gates with a heavier direction than much of the album will maintain. Doubtless Voivod were breaking in fans of "Dimension Hatross" gently, as both songs follow in that general path. However, the third track, a cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine", fully introduces the zoned out, trance-like dirge that will permeate the rest of the album. Frankly, this is one of the best cover versions I've ever heard, despite being ultra-faithful to the original (a process I usually detest). The drums in particular are absolutely fantastic - we're not talking double kick drum rolls or any other form of technical virtuosity, but the soft/loud buildups and the way Michel Langevin works around the melody is awe inspiring and makes this an utter pleasure to listen to.Of the remaining funereal "ballads", "Missing Sequences" and "Into My Hypercube" are both astounding, whereas standout rockers include "Pre-Ignition" and "X-Ray Mirror". The lyrics all consist of paranoid, futuristic Kafka-meets-Orwell parables about loss of identity and invasion of privacy. For the most part they're fairly impenetrable, but the band have helpfully (?) provided abstract, impressionistic computer art for each song. Although Voivod have a series of great albums that boast different approaches and succeed in conflicting manners, "Nothingface" is both the best and most accessible album they've released to date."
This just unbelievably rawks
S. McCandlish | United States | 04/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd consider this one of the ultimate modern metal albums, period. Voivod's sound refined to its pinnacle. No one quite sounded like them, at all, to start with but this album really clinches them as a unique force in the heavier realms of popular music. It's like taking the intelligence and precision of Rush and injecting that into the aggro-fueled storm and drive of Stormtroopers of Death, and cloaking the result under the dark, brooding wings of Black Sabbath or Ministry, with a hint of the chaotic experimentalism of John Cage, Throbbing Gristle or Einstuerzende Neubauten thrown in for good measure. Frankly, I think their later work has mostly been a mistaken, meandering departure from the path they were blazing with this album. Hopefully they'll get back on track (though the one-track promo I've heard off their forthcoming self-titled new album doesn't leave me much hope - they've swapped out one of the most amazing drummers in the world for a former Metallica member, and drifted into the same "we're trying to sound more accessible and melodic" pasture that they were grazing in when they did "Angel Rat". Forget that stuff. Nothingface is THE Voivod album any metalhead MUST own.)"
11 out of a 10!!!!
J. Kowalczyk | NYC | 05/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OMG this album is out of print!??! I have it on tape and need it on CD, i guess i will have to record it and master it myself. YES thats how good this album really is! Time changes that make your hair stand. Riffs that you can jam to for years to come. I have had this tape since 1989 and it is NEVER far from a tape deck of mine. If anyone finds this CD GET IT! and SHARE IT! voivod needs to remaster and re-release! PLEASE !!"
The most progressive band in all of metal
Mattowarrior | Madison, WI United States | 01/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now here's a band we should see at prog power, but might not; Voivod. Voivod is more progressive than Dream Theater, Symphony X, and all the Queensryche/Helloween clones that occupy the "prog metal" scene all together. Why you ask? Because for metal, they are TRULY progressive in all senses of the word. Taking their queues from King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush, Van Der Graaf Generator and mixing it with thrash punk metal, Voivod are a unique entity that takes their influences and sounds like something COMPLETELY NEW. One cannot hear a band these days that sounds alot like voivod, but elements of their genius can be faintly heard from bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah and even Opeth. Not that those bands are completely influenced by them, but many of the same musical concepts are used in those groups compositions. Voivod have a very unique musical basis, using odd chord progressions and timings to create a "spacey" effect that fits in with the sci fi concept that appears on all of their albums. This 1988 release, "Nothingface", stands as possibly their best album, it has the most balance between the earlier, more dissonant releases like "Dimension Hatross (probably a close second with this one) and later more atmospheric works like "Angel Rat". I dare say "Piggy" is one of the most underrated guitarists in metal, he doesn't have the chops of say; John Petrucci, but his creativity probably exceeds that of many higher rated guitarists (kind of like the fact that Frank Zappa is not as highly rated in guitar magazines as Eric Clapton). This is a worthy addition to any prog metallers collection."