Voivod, War and Pain

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 06.14.11 in Reviews
So raw it’s practically punk, so abrasive it’s pure metal

Before French Canadian experimental sci-fi thrash band Voivod streamlined their sound with the progressive tones of 1989′s Nothingface, they were one of the loudest, ugliest and strangest bands in the nascent thrash scene, mixing the blues-tinged bombast of Motorhead and the unfocused brutality of Venom with songs about futuristic beasts waging nuclear war. In 1984, when Voivod’s “Condemned to the Gallows” appeared on Metal Massacre V (alongside the equally brutal Hellhammer), the band sounded like aliens descending to lay waste to Western music. Signed on the strength of the single, Voivod released War and Pain later that year. While songs like “Blower,” “Suck Your Bone” and the title track offer few hints of the complex arrangements and innovative tones the band would deliver a few years later, there was enough energy, anger, weird noise and stranger lyrics to keep listeners captivated. So raw it’s practically punk, so abrasive it’s pure metal, War and Pain immediately put Voivod on a different platform than the big four and other more conventional thrash bands.