Best Voivod Albums

Voivod are a genre all unto themselves. Their combination of anomalous time signatures, Piggy’s odd chord phrasings and Snake’s unique delivery have never been replicated. Like many early thrash bands, the Canadian offshoot sprang to fame with the release of “Condemned to the Gallows” on Metal Massacre V.

With more than a dozen releases under their belt, they have never released the same record twice. From the Venom meets Motorhead punk influences of their early recordings to the Pink Floyd obsessed futuristic landmark albums that they morphed into, Voivod have clearly left their mark on the metal movement.

With the death of guitarist Piggy in 2005, it appeared the band was destined to meet their end, but that was not to be. They were able to release two posthumous albums with riffs found on Piggy’s computer that were unused, and have continued on with new guitarist Chewy. Here is our list of five albums that have cemented Voivod’s legacy. 

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Nothingface (1989)

Voivod - Nothingface
Voivod - Nothingface.

Fully embracing their progressive influences, Voivod’s fifth album is where they finally found their voice. Their most critically acclaimed record, Nothingface lives up to and exceeds all of its well deserved praise. Elements of progressive rock were increasingly seeping into their sound, but the growth that is shown on the title track, “X-Ray Mirror” and “Inner Combustion” is mind blowing.

Opener “The Unknown Knows” is the best song in their catalog. A quick tempo is at the forefront for the first 4 minutes until it climaxes into a jazz induced groove with chord progressions that only Piggy can reproduce. The cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine” is a perfect example of a band taking a song and turning it into one of their own. It fits so well among the other tracks it is one of the best covers ever recorded.

Recommended Track: "The Unknown Knows"

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Dimension Hatröss (1988)

Voivod - Dimension Hatröss
Voivod - Dimension Hatröss.

The growth Voivod display between their first three records and their fourth is one of the greatest in metal. Dimension Hatröss features vocalist Snake firmly establishing his singing technique that he will use throughout his career. He adopts more melody and perfects that snarl he is so accustomed to using. Drummer Away also puts in a mind-blowing performance that sees him utilizing unique fills, odd time signatures and incredible double bass.

The first four songs blend seamlessly and contain some of the best songwriting of their career. The chorus of “Choasmongers” is ridiculously captivating as it is surrounded by an intense musical frenzy before exploding into a thrash masterpiece. Opening track “Experiment” opens with a distinctive 7/8 time signature that shows the band’s development. First single “Tribal Convictions” showcases one of Piggy’s best riffs of his career and is the clear highlight.

Recommended Track: "Tribal Convictions"

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War and Pain (1984)

Voivod - War and Pain
Voivod - War and Pain.

Voivod’s debut album War and Pain was the perfect blend of Motorhead, Venom and punk. The frenzy the band creates is so intense and chaotic that it feels like it is all going to unravel. One of the most primitive of the early thrash bands, they are clearly still finding their path. They obviously wear their influences proudly but still wind up creating an inimitable style.

Voivod's eponymous track is still one of the most intense in their long history. Piggy’s first iconic riff blares out of the speakers with an incredible shout along chorus. The song has reached legendary status and is still pivotal in their live set today. “Blower” is two and half minutes of mayhem. Snake’s vocal attack is like nothing heard before or since. His unearthly moans are mixed with Paul Di’Anno like screams to create a perfect cacophony.

Recommended Track: "Voivod"

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Angel Rat (1991)

Voivod - Angel Rat
Voivod - Angel Rat.

Produced by legendary Rush producer Terry Brown, Angel Rat finds Voivod at their most polished. All elements of thrash have been put aside as the band was a well-oiled machine. First single “Clouds in My House” instantly shows the tighter, more focused approach. “The Prow” and “Best Regards” are an intoxicating one two punch and create some of Snake’s best hooks.

Snake gives the most consistent vocal performance of his career. Out of all of Voivod’s records, this is the one that takes the longest to sink in. The songwriting contains a lot of depth and is satiated with genius flashes. The songwriting is tighter and more to the point. The tempos aren’t as fast as their early days, but most of the songs move at a driving pace.

Recommended Track: "Best Regards"

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The Outer Limits (1993)

Voivod - The Outer Limits
Voivod - The Outer Limits.

Voivod’s seventh release The Outer Limits is the first time that a member change took place. Bassist Blacky left shortly after the Angel Rat sessions. It also would be the last album to feature vocalist Snake until his triumphant return in 2002. Musically the band still retains their focus, as the songwriting is more accessible. The Outer Limits is possibly Snake’s finest overall vocal performance, as the band lost their identity with his departure.

Opener “Fix My Heart” comes roaring out of the gates and is an underrated gem. An incredible riff is centered on one of Snake’s best vocal performances. Voivod once again take on Pink Floyd with the ambient “The Nile Song” and for a second time achieve great success. The 17-minute plus “Jack Luminous” is filled with so many twist and turns that it is a true tour-de-force. .

Recommended Track: "Fix My Heart"