Friday, May 16, 2008

Great moments in art history: Voivod


There's a few things out there that sound good on paper, but in reality are pretty gay and people who like them should be treated as criminals. Things like snowboarding, video games in general, the Sopranos, Buddhism and Voivod.

There's not many bands out there I hate as much as I hate Voivod. I know there's a whole bunch of people out there who love them and will be quick to tell me what an ignorant fool I am for hating these Canucks, but I despise their music. Maybe I don't get it, but I hate their whole discography. From the early thrashier shit to the 90's stuff to the new shit. I hate it all. Just give me some serious fucking metal without all the techno-esoterical shit, you know? But there's more to my hatred... I think the reason I hate them so much is 'cuz they should have ruled. Voivod should be the raddest band ever! I mean all the elements of a shredding band were there! A cool name, good band member names, awesome image, and they were on a cool label. Even all that sci-fi robotic bullshit they were into, that now seems so fucking retarded, was cool back in the day. But the one thing that Voivod had going for them that, in my opinion, gave the obligation to rock hard was their artwork. Man, their logo was bad-ass and their records were chuck-full of awesome artwork. (I know that anything after 1989 sucks Canadian-hockey-loving-balls, but the early art was amazing and that's what this post is about)

These guys looked the part. What a waste of good bullet belts.

Sadly, however, Away, Piggy, Snake, Puppy, Teletubby and Sleepy formed a band that just sucked and found enough imbeciles with serious intelligence and taste deficiency to have a following that keeps them going to this day. I'd rather own one embroidered Voivod patch than their entire discography on limited edition 24k gold CDs.
Imagine if all Voivod fans would have saved the money they have spent on sub-par technical shit metal and put it in a jumbo-jar instead. Imagine how much money would be in that jumbo-jar? Millions of dollars, I'm sure. Millions of dollars we could have used to help the victims of today's world tragedies: the earthquake in China, the Cyclone in Burma, the food crisis in Africa or the Cavalera Conspiracy.

Anyway, let's take a closer look at some sweet, sweet art...



Even in the early days Away's art was pretty metal. The type is rad and the tank has fucken spikes on the tracks. I'm a bit disappointed that the perspective is pretty good in the tank and the logo. I'd love to have seen a really crooked way off perspective, which would have been WAY more metal.




Again, hand-written metal type is back and becomes a staple of Voivod's visual repertoire. IMO, this is the raddest piece of art Voivod produced. The logo is incredible and that techno-skull is as bad as the baddest riff Jeff Hanneman ever wrote.


Here's a further exploration of the techno-skull ("The Voivod"). This ranks #3 in the all-time best back-patch of all times list, after the Motörhead England skull and Venom's Black Metal.




Finally, the techno-skull comes into maturity. This is the best of all Voivod logos. It's got spikes and spaceship/building looking shit. It's just metal. This is the type of record I'd frame and when people asked me why I did that, I'd tell them "cuz the Gods of Metal have given us a gift. A gift of amazing Metal Art and I want to thank them, and honor them, by framing it" And then they'd ask me how I can listen to the record if it's framed, to which I'd reply "The Gods of Metal hate Canada, so the record is not worth listening to."



I know what you are thinking: "I could have done this!" And you are right. My landlord's kid could have done a better logo and he's autistic. You gotta admit, tho, it's a pretty metal logo. Look at those spikes! Sure, the "D" is more like a sleeping "P", but I'm sure Away wasn't going for legibility. They are French-Canadian, dude, they don't even speak American. The perspective and foreshortening on The Voivod are prime. It looks and feels cubist, which we all know is just a label for talentless artists to hide under. Dude, look at that machine gun, the gas mask, the bullet arm-band, the Oderus Urungus-like shoulder pads... this is a Metal Masterpiece, if I ever saw one.

Cubist art was an obvious influence on Away's art



I'm not sure why, but as a teen I thought RRROOOAAARRR was the best name for a record ever. Of course, I also wore a golden razor blade earring, so what did I know. Well, this cover is a natural progression from the previous one. Away sticks to the always reliable red/white/black color combo and may the Virgin Mary bless him for that (Do Canadians believe in the Virgin? Savages). It feels like the camera panned out from the War and Pain cover and revealed more of The Voivod. Plenty of spikes, once again. The Road Warriors pads make an encore and we appreciate them, once again. Also making a welcome re-appearance are the spike tracks on the tank. Nobody wants to fuck with a pissed off looking hunchback metal robotic tank thing with a knife. There's also a little Ed Roth thing going on here.





I'm not sure why The Voivod turned into an old tape recorder/ghost grinder, but this cover is the beginning of the end. All the perspective and cubist experimentation is gone and we are left with a flat dead-on view of the subject. The spikes are all but gone and replaced with rivets. The colors are as poser as they can get and that gradient is pretty generic and does not help the static composition. I'm not sure about the bandages around his waist (right around where the cassette goes), maybe all the ghost-grinding takes up a lot of calcium and causes ribs to weaken. After this record Voivod's art went to the shit dumpster. Seriously, the covers from now on are so bad they almost match the terribleness of their music.


Ghosts maybe scary, but they are 0% metal.



I was looking for a pic of someone sporting a rad Voivod tattoo to close the post, but I couldn't find one. What I did find was a photo of Lita Ford.



37 comments:

  1. this post could potentially start a huge controversy here, or a war against canada. one of the two.
    i personally like voivod cus they sound like the weirder ALL albums. Am I crazy? someone back me up on that one.
    By the way, I appreciate the poster's inclusion of the Cavalera Cosnpiracy as one of the problems in our planet. It's very important, with all this earthquake, Katrina crap going on, important issues get left behind.

    i love that away did artwork for other stuff, like NonPhyxion

    http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drf200/f232/f23214cffzd.jpg
    http://donnamcleer.com/images/graphics/gasmask.jpg

    That dude necro seriously loves thrash metal artwork
    http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/GRAPHICS/necro.jpg

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  2. Man you got it wrong a second time. VoiVod is just as classic as the big 4. I think they should have been bigger than Megadeth.

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  3. Dude, Old Skull should have been bigger than Megadeth

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  4. This is bullshit. Voivod are the cat's pajama's.

    and Lucho.......
    I'll agree with you about ALL except it's the other way around.

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  5. skullkrusher, i declare thee to be stupid. enjoy your forced entry records.

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  6. I personally LOVE voivod cus they sound like DIE KREUZEN

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  7. Just as classic as "the big four" my ass. I've never been able to get into Voivod much either. I've got most of their early albums and I have probably never listened to one of them more than five times. Ever. I always wanted to like them, but I just don't get it. I pull out their albums every few years and think, "Maybe now it will finally click..." but it never really does.

    And when I was like 10 I thought Lita Ford was so hot.

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  8. enjoy your forced entry records.
    nah, i hate FE, it's the sarg that likes them.

    I always wanted to like them, but I just don't get it. I pull out their albums every few years and think, "Maybe now it will finally click..." but it never really does.
    EX-FUCKEN-ACTLY!!! i listened to rrroooaaarrr before writing the post just to make sure i still thought they were shit and i did.

    i still think ppl are missing the point of the post. that techno-skull thing is BAD ASS

    .

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  9. Watch the Road Warrior with the volume all the way down while listening to "RRROOOAAARRR" and it'll start to click.

    And no.....
    I've never listened to "Dark Side of the Moon" while watching the Wizard of Oz.

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  10. That skull is completely badass

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  11. How could you leave out "Killing Technology"? It stands poised exactly at the cusp of the awesomeness of RRRROOOAAARRRRRGHFDHGGGHHHH&$*&@^@#& and War & Pain and the stupidity of Dimension Hatross and beyond. It's the missing link, and it's the Voivod in space. You KNOW that spaceship is just bristling with spikes.

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  12. I love Voivod like I love oxygen. But this post is a classic. That means I laughed out loud like I did from all the Manowar posts...

    While I like their later artwork, the early stuff you highlighted should be hanging in its own wing of the fucking Louvre. Except for a handful highly dedicated black metal bands from the '90's, nobody has ever made the effort to craft artwork, calligraphy and music into one devastating whole.

    Thank you, Mr Krusher for shining the spotlight on the genius of Away. I can almost forgive you for hating them. Almost.

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  13. How could you leave out "Killing Technology"?

    holy guacamole batman!!! you are right!

    FUCK!

    im an idiot, i had the image ready and everything! i'd even thought about what to say about it. goddamit! it was gonna be funny, too. take my word for it.

    my apologies to all. i left out the 'killing technology' cover and for that i deserve to be punished: the board of directors at MI have put me in a one-week suspension. they wont allow me to post anything until friday the 23rd of may. i know i have failed you all. i hope i can come out of this hiatus with a renewed take on the blog and the fresh start can allow me to reconnect with the passion and sense of purpose that got me here in the first place. i promise not to let something like this happen again.
    i'd like to specially apologize to all canadians. and all mid-level managers at financial institutions all over the world. my head hangs in shame. in shame. in shame.

    .

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  14. this is now officially the worst place on the whole internet.

    Voivod rules

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  15. I wonder why no one started such a massive controversy after Skullcrusher's bashing against DEVASTATION...

    Anyway...like any teen metalhead from blabbermouth could say...
    I'D PEE IN LITA FORD'S ASS!

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  16. I really enjoy Voivod, almost nobody tapped that same feeling (I am thinking of bands like Obliveon, Myopia but they're not really as great) as them. Very classy, idiosyncratic band. I can see why someone couldn't get into them, it seriously took me a couple of years too but eventually Nothingface clicked and is now in my all-time top10. I went back from there and understood what was going on and now I can't help but enjoy and be excited by anything they did up to Negatron or so.

    It's good that you are lashing out against a metalhead status quo that wants Voivod to be omg liek, teh best band everrer, and any self-respecting sentient being has to go against the counterculture he may inadvertently find himself part of on a controversial issue. You have to leave the nest eventually! And yes, that feeling you have inside that 90% of people that say they're into Voivod, really don't understand them or enjoy them any more than you do is probably correct. Fucking hypocrites! Voivod suck! ... right?

    I for example never cared much for Iron Maiden post Killers and I've been called many things for by many metalheads for my tastes, but that doesn't stop me from understanding what they find in Bruce-era Maiden.

    Voivod might not be for you. You might forever stand outside looking in on all the technothrash-rivetheads enjoying broken semi-English stories of a psychic war vampire soldier conquering the atom while the music ricochets around an empty mix with nary a powerchord to be found, always envious and bitter of what you cannot understand. It's alright.

    Or you could listen to Nothingface again, without and preconceived expectations of how 'metal' should sound, and you might start to get it (not that Voivod are anything but Heavy Fuckin Metal, you just have to uninstall the old drivers first, perhaps upgrade the firmware, before the new colors in the HM palette show up). Two years from now you'll be apologizing for this post. Either way is fine, this post was funny to read, the theoretical apology post will be funny to read too!

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  17. i think the issue with voivod is that they are sometimes thought of as a thrash metal band based on their look in the early days...but they really weren't. nothingface is a great album that is a bit sing-songy prog, a bit technical pop punk, with a pink floyd cover. with that description...why would most metal fans like it? it's almost like punk rock fans being surprised that early rod stewart (when he had spiky hair) records are not to their liking...and they were let down cus he looked kinda punk or something in a picture. i know the earlier records are heavier, but i've barely ever heard them. nothingface is fantastic...but then again i like prog. so it makes sense.

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  18. Oh man, you are so wrong. Voivod is like the Canadian Slayer almost, they just expanded the "language" of metal by such a significant amount. I'm not sure we would have a band like Gorguts if it weren't for Voivod.

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  19. Helm spoke for me, on every point. gives me hope for a better tomorrow.

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  20. Voi Vod art special without Killing Technology or Nothingface?

    Did Lita Fords' freaky porn hips distract from the fact that the only talentless thing in the story was her?

    Even their tape hand drawn art slays a good proportion of metal artwork coming out today.

    Not to mention that Dimension Hatross, Killing Technology and Nothingface - The first few albums non-withstanding - Are probably three albums that no US band would ever have the sustained focus and enegery to top in terms of concept or execution.

    Blistering quality playing,especially from Piggy, who is easily the most underrated guitarist of the 1980's and metal in general.

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  21. church of 'the big five'May 29, 2008 at 1:46 AM

    If Megadeth & Anthrax have their own brand of coffee beans and Metallica & Slayer have their own brand of uh, everything, then Voivod should at least have their own brand of cola.

    AT LEAST.

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  22. They could have their own line of coffins.

    Of course Gene Simmons would sue them, and poor Piggy would have to be dug up and brought to court.

    Jesus I'm a douchebag sometimes.

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  23. i have a voivod tattoo !!! i can send ya a pic if ya want
    crazymosher@gmail.com if ya wanna contact ,
    laters

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  24. OK. Never cared much for Voivod, but let's correct something here: that Basquiat painting isn't cubist. But it is killer. Douchebag.

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  25. You're a Fuckin' Idiot.October 10, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    worst review by a blatantly retarded idiot.

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  26. I'm probably not getting this bands name right but let's just assume I'm correctly remembering the name of the boring black metal band I saw playing with internal bleeding 9 years ago. the band is bloodstorm and the drummer has full back piece of the war and pain album cover if your looking for cool voivod tattoos.

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  27. As awesome as Voivod was....no one could ever imitate them....and in metal you are only as big as the number of bands that rip off your sound....this is a fact....Something about Piggy's riffs that just don't make anyone wanna pick up the guitar....no power chords maybe....it's all just so unfamiliar sounding....especially at the time.....kinda makes you feel queasy....it's not heavy in the typical sense....it isnt staccato like most metal of the time....it's more....i dunno....greasy?....haha....funny though when i first heard Tool's Sober I instantly thought Voivod...Totally has that sparse bass heavy Nothingface sort of sound.....I always wondered if Tool was influenced by Voivod....they seem to have become kinda a popular band huh?

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  28. Maybe you're just a run-on-the-mill, generic hardcore metalhead who can't see anything that's outside the scope of simplistic thrash metal.

    Only because they experiment a lot, make weird and complex music, they suck? I wonder what you'd say about Dream Theater then, you probably hate them too.

    Apparently all you like is old-school Thrash Metal, which limits you to a very narrow scope of bands, and keeps you from appreciating experimentation and complexity.

    FUCK YOU.

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  29. Plus, they weren't even very much into Metal anymore when they launched Killing Technology, that's why they decided to go prog.

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  30. I like how this cock smeller said everyone who likes Voivod is unintelligent. I'm a math Ph.D and I like Voivod.

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  31. Dude, fuck you. It seems to me that you dislike Voivod's unique art and conceptual style because it's DIFFERENT than most other bands and DEFIES many of the lame ass 80s metal trends that you seem to really dig (satanism, war spikes, adolescent angst). Why are you talking shit about their "robotic sci-fi bullshit" anyway? Probably because you can't wrap your double-digit IQ around it. Any respectable thrash fan knows that your post is a bunch of herd mentality piss. Go listen to whatever latest Pantera-chugga-chugga ripoff bands you're into and leave Voivod alone!

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  32. Hi! It was SO funny to read this "titlitys" after the new album came out. The best beaclground story for a band, the best graphics and now the best cyber-thrash-metal of 2013! Voivod is a coolest band of heavy metal – and now you're gonna shit your bands – Voivod is the coolest BRAND in heavy metal! Yeah, not Iron Maiden, not Metallica, not Slayer, it's …VOIVOOOD!

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  33. You said it best yourself - you're a tone-deaf idiot who doesn't "get it". Like trying to explain colours to a blind man or teaching algebra to an amoeba, that's you, sonny.

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  34. Voi vod is so good that i havent even heard there music since i was a kid and they had this black and white video on power hour and now im like 45 and a born again christian and im still looking for that video and bothering friends in facebook for the name of that one song cause thats how good they are or where...

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