July 9, 2009

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Voivoid, Infini
Relapse Records, June 23

Canadian metal crew Voivod belched into life in the ’80s as a darling of the tape-trader gods, speed-hauling along with the sound of bad Iron Maiden wannabes trying to shake every last spider out of the garage. Time passed, and even before the DEATH TO ALL POSERS crowd was dragged kicking and screaming into the adult world of work and catastrophic first-love, the band was evolving into the Motorhead/Helmet hybrid they now are — or should I say “were at the end,” being that guitarist Piggy D’Amour has been dead of colon cancer since 2005. With his dying breaths he wrote a few things that ended up on their 2006 LP Katorz, which, since I didn’t know these guys from jack as of too many moons ago, struck me as an amazingly straightforward set of post-punk death rock, let’s say Sick of it All on a half-dose of Ritalin. “God Phones,” the ramp-up track from Infini, has singer Snake Belanger adopting a grunge stance, almost, in a song that wouldn’t have been wildly misplaced as the B-side to Stone Temple Pilots’ “Sex Type Thing.” “From the Cave” evidences a couple of half-hearted listens to math-metal on the band’s part, a dissonant jazz chord taking a rueful beating. Overall, though, the band closes up shop in a state of arrested development, beholden to the regal stoner riffing of Motorhead, who owned the whole store just as thrash was taken away from the woebegone tape-trading geeks and commandeered by the Metal Maniacs all-ages lost souls who to this day still blather worthless allegories in vain attempts to distinguish one bunch of raggedy hicks from the next. BEric W. Saeger