Voivod – Lost Machine-Live
Reviewed: January 2021
Released: 2020, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
THE WAKE was the album that reignited my love affair with Voivod. My first guitar instructor (Joe Antares, love you dude) hated me because I begged him to teach me songs from DIMENSION HATROSS. I bought THE OUTER LIMITS on in its first weekend because I wanted to make sure I got the 3D glasses, but I was just a few months shy of being able to get into Jani Lane’s Sunset Strip to see the band play live ( I’m pretty FIGHT was the opening act, but I could be wrong). No, my first live exposure was during the NEGATRON tour, where the mighty Voivod was Snake deprived and performing as a mid-set opener for f@#king Pro-Pain of all bands. And then Snake came back, Piggy died, and there was a bunch of stuff released that never quite scratched the same itch.
That was, until THE WAKE – the album which pulled me back into all things Voivod. That touring cycle afforded me the luxury of seeing them live several times, each of which was better than the time before. So I might be a bit sentimental and jaded with my gushing about Voivod’s latest live album, LOST MACHINE – LIVE, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a phenomenal capture of the where Voivod is today. As expected, there’s a heavy presence of newer tunes from THE WAKE, but the balance is peppered with gems that span most of the band’s career. Addressing the newer tunes first – tracks like “The End of Dormancy”, “Obsolete Beings” and “The Fall” are delivered with more character and spirit than their studio counterparts, and the opening bassline to “Post Society” still gives me the chills no matter how many times I hear it (their version of “Ace of Spades” maybe???). Regardless, the band sounds flawless.
As for the classic material, yes, there’s the obligatory “Astronomy Domine” and “Voivod”, but resurrecting “Into My Hypercube” is absolutely brilliant. Snake’s worn and weathered vocals allow the track to grab you by the feels just that much more than it did in 1989, and I’m an absolute sucker for any contributions from ANGEL RAT (“The Prow”). The tracklist is a balanced journey between Voivod’s past and present, and again, the band sounds flawless throughout the performance. At a minimum, LOST MACHINE – LIVE should compel you to revisit Voivod’s vast catalog and reintroduce yourselves to some of metal’s most innovative material. It’s a celebration of almost 4 decades of Voivod that signals no signs of slowing down or lack of inspiration. Piggy would approve, and chances are that you will as well. Voivod to the Death – yesterday, today, to the Outer Limits and beyond.