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Released: 2000, Metal Blade
It’s about damn time that VoiVod got their own live album! This highly respected Canadian unit has been toiling along for almost 20 years now (!) and has quite the legacy of whacked-out technical metal. With tracks taken from three separate concerts, the album lacks cohesion but covers all the bases of the band’s storied career.
The first four songs are probably the most exciting on the album as they are taken from the band’s kickass Dynamo ’96 show. Opening with the killer “Insect”, VoiVod quickly blazes through some of their best material: “Tribal Convictions”, “Nanoman” and “Nuclear War”. The band sounds in perfect form, easily tackling their material in the live setting. You can especially picture the sea of limbs crushing each other in the pit during the fast breaks in “Tribal Convictions”. Of special note is the drumming performance of Michel Langevin; truly an underrated drum talent.
“Planet Hell” opens the section of the album recorded at CBGB’s, again from 1996. From the first notes of the song, you can tell VoiVod was on that night! You can feel the intensity of each track, prematurely climaxing in the killer version of “Negatron”. The band produced the CD themselves but it probably would have sounded better if they had had an outside producer. As it is, the songs sound O.K., but the CBGB’s portion of the album is very muddy, especially Eric Forrest’s vocals. Ah well, “VoiVod” can still slaughter a boy-band without breaking a sweat. Also includes a crushing version of “In League With Satan”.
As a bonus, the band tacked on 2 songs that were recorded live in Sweden in ’99. A cool surprise is the inclusion of “The Prow” from the much-maligned Angel Rat album. It’s a daring choice and one that works very well. Overall, this album will probably not win VoiVod any new fans, but for the true fans that they already have VoiVod Lives is a great testament to the power that this band holds.
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