Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Voivod - Phobos (1997)
I truly find it to be a crying shame that the E-Force era is largely panned and ignored as with the absence of vocalist, Snake, a large quantity of fans abandoned ship, and that's not counting those who turned their backs on the band after the divisive 'Angel Rat'. If anything, 'Negatron' and 'Phobos' are without a doubt, a return to the bands past aggression, albeit a bit tempered and controlled as opposed to the rustier sound and approach of the band's punk/thrash beginnings.
'Phobos' is undoubtedly the superior of the two Eric Forrest releases, though that's not to say that 'Negatron' is lacking in any way. I just find the darker, spacier grooves of the latter to be more appealing. Vocally, Eric was a perfect fit as he could effortlessly shift from Snake's earlier aggression to the rhythmic crooning of Voivod's space/thrash era. Of course that's not to say that he does not have an identity of his own, but it does make it a little less painful of a pill to swallow in terms of changing vocalists. It is also a testament of E-Force's diversity and mastery of the mic.
Musically, the band hadn't sounded this "spaced out" since 88's 'Dimension Hatross', as even 'Nothingface' was primarily a more stripped down version of the former. here, the spacey dimensions take on a darker hue, perhaps darker than the band has ever dared to conjure fourth, before or after, and it works brilliantly. In my opinion, this is the most experimental Voivod has ever dared to be throughout their entire career, all the while retaining every last bit of their integrity.
I have to say, although I absolutely love and adore both 'Dimension Hatross' and 'Nothingface', though it's difficult to say for sure, in all probablity this is my favorite Voivod album.