The Wake

BY Josh WeinbergPublished Oct 5, 2018

Death, destruction, paranoia — these are just some of the themes one encounters when trekking into a new Voivod project. One of Canada's longtime contributors to the metal world have returned with their first album in five long years. And what a time for The Wake.
On this record, the band continue to hit their strides as musicians, with some of their strongest songwriting to date. Denis "Snake" Bélanger continues to pen captivating, immersive stories. Opener "Obsolete Beings" tackles the digital age and society's preoccupation with social media. "Spherical Perspective" contemplates a dark journey through the mind of someone on the verge of giving in to suicide.
The sheer mania outlined on "Orb Confusion" (complete with a kickass bass solo from new bassist Dominique "Rocky" Laroche) only adds to the tension. At nearly 12-and-a-half minutes, the juggernaut of a closing track "Sonic Mycelium" leaves no stone unturned. Flying through a flurry of tempo and mood changes, it's the perfect way to close things out.
Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain has a terrific approach to solos, the lead tone on "The End of Dormancy" meshes perfectly with the impeccable timekeeping of Michel "Away" Langevin. Rhythm plays a larger focus here than in the past, with percussion serving to accent each track's more looming, transitory moments.
The Wake continues Voivod's musical legacy with a pulse-pounding album that stands alongside their classics. A bizarre, sweeping and cinematic ride; would you expect anything less from Jonquière's own?
(Century Media)

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