Voivod Lost Machine Live

Century Media Records

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Voivod

As a young teen I was always captivated by bands like Captain Beefheart, Magazine, Hawkwind, Zappa etc... bands that were different and often somewhat strange when compared to their more run of the mill (and often boring) contemporaries. I also loved thrash/speed metal so it was only natural that I would become a Voivod head, and I did, big time.

I think I first saw Voivod live in the arse-end of 1986, when they toured with Possessed and Deathrow, promoting their second album, ‘Rrröööaaarrr’... yeah you don’t get many lineups like that anymore. I may have seen them earlier but can’t recall. Over the next 34 years I probably notched up about 15 to 20 Voivod gigs and am still fucked off that I didn’t see them in Little Devil a few years ago. Anyway, fucked-offness aside, Voivod have always been a great live band, with the possible exception of a few lame years in the mid to late 90s - I remember a particularly tame gig in Rotterdam, actually. Got drunk instead... well would have anyway but hey ho. In my (not so) humble opinion the Canadian space rockers are one of the few heavier bands around who I personally would label as truly original... instantly recognisable, markedly different, infintely interesting and, of course, galactically traveling... and still traveling the rifts in the space-time continuum after forty-odd cosmic years. Thank the old, cold ones for that!

So, as a lifelong fan a new Voivod live album is always a treat and this is their fourth! You can ignore their first, ‘Voivod Lives’ (see earlier comment on lame years), although it is worth listening to hear Piggy play live (the other three live albums are all with Mongrain on guitar). Of the other two live albums, ‘Warriors of Ice’ and ‘Live at Roadburn’, I prefer the former. However, the fourth, ‘Lost Machine’ actually may just edge it for me, even though we have no Denis D’Anour (Piggy, replaced by Dan ‘Chewy’ Mongrain ages ago) and no Jean-Yves Thériault (Blacky, recently replaced on bass by Dominic "Rocky" Laroche). I really like the choice of tracks, thirteen in all and a pretty representative slice of Voivod history... some weird, some wonderful, some wicked, some like you’re being violently tossed off by a six-armed, patchouli-wearing space succubus, dressed in a latex catsuit, after having chomped a cocktail of acid and E, washed down with a few shots of the green fairy... ermmmm, anyway, more on my smutty fantasies some other time, space fans!

I’m not gonna go into a detailed review of every track, it’s all been said before, but crank up the volume and listen to the first track, ‘Post Society’... it’s spacey intro with a heart-monitor-nod to 1987’s ‘Killing Technology’ (one of my favourite metal albums of all time) - ‘we are connected’ - quickly makes way for a chunky, semi-distorted bass riff (I love the way a bass guitar sounds like a bass guitar should) which is then joined by classic Voivod guitar riffing and the ever-present, tortured vox of Snake! Excuse my French but it’s just fucking brilliant... the riffs, the change-ups, the freakishness. There isn’t a band on earth like Voivod and bands that attempt to sound like them always fall short, hopelessly. A few tracks are particularly noteworthy... ‘Into My Hypercube’ (from 1989’s ‘Nothingface’, my second fave Voivod album), ‘Obsolete Beings’ (from 2018’s ‘The Wake’ (see my review)), ‘The Prow’ (from 1991’s ‘Angel Rat’ - God I love that album), ‘The Lost Machine’ (from 1993’s ‘The Outer Limits’ - brilliant too)... actually, they’re all just great coz it’s the mighty Voivod! Buy it, download it, rip it, do whatever you like, as long as you listen to it... you will soon find yourself floating through an asteroid storm somewhere in a galaxy far, far away.The production is pretty damn good for a live album too... it’s clear, it’s dirty, it’s heavy and it’s fucking Vvvvvooooooooiiiiiiiivoddddddd. Enjoy! (A.J.)

PS, dear Voivod, sort it fucking out, why isn’t ‘Nothingface’ on Spotify??

85/100

Tracklist:
01. Post Society
02. Psychic Vacuum
03. Obsolete Beings
04. The Prow
05. Iconspiracy 05:21
06. Into My Hypercube
07. The End of Dormancy
08. Overreaction
09. Always Moving
10. Fall
11. The Lost Machine 05:51
12. Astronomy Domine (Pink Floyd cover)
13. Voivod