Voivod - Rrröööaaarrr
Noise Records
Thrash Metal
9 songs (38:08)
Release year: 1986
Voivod, Noise Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

I'm always quite surprised at the treatment that Rrröööaaarrr gets from the band's fans, who seem to reject it out of hand as a poor step backwards before Killing Technology came along to reshape the genre and launch the band into their Progressive trajectory. Which is wrong, wrong, wrong; listen carelessly to the admirably-titled Rrröööaaarrr and you may well dismiss it as a Punky mess, but given time and attention it soon becomes obvious that this is the perfect stepping stone between War And Pain and Killing Technology. The Motörhead-on-even-more-drugs sound of Voivod's debut is here given precision and power, buried beneath a deceptively sloppy and yes, Punk-influenced sound - if you're familiar with the band's Progressive material then it's easy to see its roots here. Korgüll the Exterminator may restrict itself in numbers of riffs, but the way the instruments interact is superb, the bass churning and drums mounting in tension, Piggy's guitar exploding in the background - it sounds strangely Venom-y, but a Venom that could play their instruments and were launching a meandering yet intense assault - get to know this album and you'll see that the Punkishness is more in style than execution.

It's difficult not to be swept along with the band. Take Fuck Off And Die, which is like a rather frightening Whiplash - imagine Metallica actually trying to kill the audience, and you'd be pretty close, although Piggy's soloing even at this early stage is superior to anything Kirk Hammett ever managed. That little melody at the start of Slaughter In A Grave is almost a wink to the listener - yeah, we can do great things, and will do, but stick around and have a Thrash in the meantime. The way the track speeds up and slows down almost arbitrarily is like a train wildly out of control yet somehow staying on the tracks, a good way to describe the entire album. Of course, some may find it too much, which the band acknowledged on Ripping Headaches, about as perfect a Thrash song as you can get - "Haha! The riff comes full pitch at your head! Do you like it?" as Snake's gleefully deranged voice asks.

Truth is, this is not for losers, or fucking wimps, to quote the lyrics again. One look at that fantastic cover art should tell you all you need to know, something tracks like Horror sum up quite well with their mindcrushing Thrash breaks, and the unearthly rumble of Thrashing Rage is timeless. We all want certain things from our Metal, and Voivod absolutely deliver here - the riffs are fantastic, far from the usual chugging and a broad hint as to what would follow. It is rather an unholy mess if you're used to the more sedate eighties thrashers, or even to later Voivod, but after a few listens everything falls into place and sense is made. The band would go onto greater things, but Rrröööaaarrr is exactly the yell of individuality that its name suggests. It's the sound of a young band letting it all out before they go on to create their masterpieces, and what masterpieces are to come...

Killing Songs :
Korgüll the Exterminator, Fuck Off And Die, Ripping Headaches, Horror, Thrashing Rage
Goat quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Voivod that we have reviewed:
Voivod - Target Earth reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Voivod - Warriors Of Ice reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Voivod - Negatron reviewed by Goat and quoted 72 / 100
Voivod - The Outer Limits reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
Voivod - Angel Rat reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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