Oh boy, here we go again. Voivod‘s thirteenth studio release, Target Earth, isn’t due out for release until next Tuesday (January 22), but luckily for fans of the band you can now stream the album in its entirety at Loudwire. I’ve only been able to get in two listens so far, but I’m really liking what I’m hearing. If my schedule clears up I hope to be able to review it within the next week or so. It’s a mixture of old school thrash metal, with a nice dose of progressive weirdness that perfectly accentuates the band’s style and sound. If you’ve heard Voivod in the past, you know what to expect, to a certain extent. It’s a really high quality release. Go listen. Now.
There are several important things to take in about Target Earth; first of all it’s the band’s thirteenth album which is a pretty huge milestone in most regards, but it’s also being released on what marks the thirtieth year that the band has been together, which is just absolutely incredible. That’s ten more years than I’ve been alive. Which is a small thing, I know I’m not the center of the universe or anything, but three decades is a long time, and while I obviously wasn’t around to focus and admire the band when they were first getting started (or indeed the majority of their career) it’s still awesome to know that these dudes have been hard at work creating music for such a long time. It’s little things like this that really makes me love metal music, and the people who create it for all of us to enjoy.
Lastly, this album is the first release to have absolutely no contribution from the band’s former guitarist, the late Denis D’Amour. For those who do not know, Piggy (D’Amour’s alias) was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and eventually succumbed to the disease in August of that year. The band continued to utilize his guitar recordings for their 2006 and 2009 releases, Katorz and Infini respectively. Taking up the guitar reigns on this album is Daniel Mongrain, a very talented guitarist who has worked with the likes of Gorguts and Cryptopsy, as well as being Voivod’s touring guitarist since 2008. So while it’s worth mentioning, it’s not really something to worry about. Mongrain definitely holds his own in the band, and his contribution to the band’s sound, while not radically different from Piggy’s, works splendidly with the band, and provides just enough of a new personality for the band, without detracting too far from the sound people know and love. So props to Daniel!