Home > Music > Voivod – Killing Technology (1987)

Voivod – Killing Technology (1987)

folderKilling Technology is a nasty, filthy, “primitive” piece of speed-thrash that just so happens to contain much more sophisticated writing than you’d expect. After this, Voivod was quick to soften their sound towards a gentler, more prog-rock oriented one, so given the importance of good writing to a metal band, this is at least their first peak. The songs here are actually longer than on the next two albums; some may argue that this means there are extraneous sections, but I personally feel this just gives the band’s ideas more room for development.

Admittedly, the production isn’t particularly intense; it’s got a limited sonic profile with not much high or low end, and the basswork of Jean-Yves Thériault (“Blacky”) often gets buried; given that Voivod has traditionally been a one guitar band, the fact that this happens even during many of the guitar solos does not reflect well on the producers and mixers. On the other hand, the way this album is produced makes guitar tone very prominent; this album is driven by its guitar chord shapes, and being able to hear the notes clearly (at least in any sane person’s estimate) a plus.

Voivod’s main calls to fame are firstly, that compared to their contemporaries, they experimented a lot with tonality, and secondly, their dystopian sci-fi leanings. The latter arguably serves as justification for the former, but it also informs the vocals; usually shouted, occasionally sung or droned, always imbued with a sense of gibbering madness behind them. As a result, this is often very emotive music, which is actually somewhat unusual in that a lot of bands inspired by Voivod went for a more mechanical, rhythm-oriented approach. What they often didn’t pick up on is Voivod’s ability to write varied songs with a sense of motion and development throughout them. On the most obvious, surface level, this means songs don’t frequently reference earlier riffs by the time they’re reaching their codas. Voivod doesn’t shy away from repetition when they feel it’s necessary, but it’s still a nice touch, especially since many of the bands I’ve written about recently tend towards standardized (or thinly veiled) pop structures.

A lot of people are likely to prefer Voivod’s slightly later works, though – Dimension Hatröss and Nothingface are more concise, better produced, and so forth. This album, in short, is definitely less accessible. On the other hand, it did lay the framework for Voivod’s later approach, and the compositional techniques used here are much of what give the aforementioned work their own luster. Voivod, in fact, still seem to have a good reputation, since they’ve managed to put out critically acclaimed albums despite the 2005 death of their main composer (Denis D’Amour, aka “Piggy”). Why that’s happened is a story for someone more versed in their latest works.

Highlights: “Tornado”, “Ravenous Medicine”, “Forgotten In Space”

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