Voivod have been around since the early 80s but have always managed to stay in the underground, with only small flirtations in mass appeal in the late 80s and early 90s. This has allowed the band to take as many musical risks as they see fit in their recorded output and this album is no different.
The Wake is a concept based around the world coming to a cosmic consciousness through chaos and conflit: heavy, emotive stuff.
‘Obsolete Beings’ begins as a thrasher but as the song drives forward it is clear that Voivod is reaching into its prog bag early as it finishes and leads straight into ‘The End of Dormancy’ that begins with a marching riff before guitarist Chewy lets his hair down on some tremendous lead playing; all while Snake’s vocals intertwine throughout everything.
The band switches back to thrash on ‘Orb Confusion’, sounding like a younger version of themselves. ‘Iconspiracy’ features a quiet lead in with some of the best drum work from sticksman Away in a long time, almost getting into blast beat territory as the intensity builds towards a crescendo with another great guitar solo from Chewy. A standout track on an album full of standouts.
‘Spherical Perspective’ is the album’s proggiest moment, the vocals awash with reverb like a Mastodon B-side cover. The Wake ends with 12 minute monster ‘Sonic Mycelium’, taking in all the the many aspects of the album, and some earlier Voivod output, and melding it altogether into a giant cohesive track that feels as if the band has been building towards it for years.
Cinematic in scope and reach with each track separated by ambience, Snake’s lyrics aren’t too convoluted, making the story clear enough and allowing the listener’s mind to run with all kinds of imagery. In saying that, each track can be listened to by alone and still make lyrical and musical sense. This is the album the band needed to make, and it may garner them the sort of attention that has been lacking for them for some time.
- Obsolete Beings
- The End Of Dormancy
- Orb Confusion
- Spherical Perspective
- Event Horizon
- Always Moving
- Sonic Mycelium