Voivod - War And Pain
Metal Blade
Thrash Metal
9 songs (42:42)
Release year: 1984
Voivod, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Kicking their career off with the kind of rambunctious racket that would earn Thrash Metal its name, Voivod’s first few albums are rarely recognised in comparison to later Proggy masterpieces, but that doesn’t mean that War And Pain especially isn’t a damn fine listen. Somewhere between Discharge and Venom with lashings of Motörhead, the band play with more enthusiasm than skill but it’s easy to tell that this is the nucleus of something quite special. All the members are clearly having a great time, but guitarist Piggy is the highlight, his varied and frantic playing driving the music and mixing well with the clearly audible bass of Blacky (who does a great job in his own right, the bass often an integral part of songs). He’s always been the sole guitarist of Voivod, and has always handled himself perfectly, providing plenty of mini-solos on top of the riffs to keep the music going – another guitarist would upset the balance.

It’s interesting that where other bands (Anthrax, we’re looking at you here) were content to repeat whatever was on their playlists at the time they recorded their debut albums, Voivod wanted to push themselves and their sound, and already there’s a slightly avant-garde air to their melodies here especially on longer tracks like Black City. You can hear where Gojira clearly took a good bit of influence from the central riff on the atmospheric Nuclear War, whilst even relatively straightforward cuts like Voivod are unhinged barrages of Punk-ridden Thrash that it is scientifically impossible not to enjoy. Snake’s vocals deserve a review all of their own, as he doesn’t even attempt to sing here, but hysterically yelps all over the place, making the vocals on early Megadeth albums sound like a paragon of restraint in comparison.

As the album progresses the songs get better, the slower interlude in Warriors Of Ice just one example. This is pure entertainment, the Glam-on-speed Metal of Suck Your Bone alone great fun, and Iron Gang’s varied riffs and slightly Doomy element is taken to further extremes on the following title track. Few Thrash bands could manage to make anything near as exciting as Live For Violence in their entire careers, let alone prior to 1985, and the ominous percussion-driven part towards the three-minute mark shows more intelligence than you’d have thought from elsewhere. If you want a raw, ripping yet intelligent Thrash ride then Voivod were always more than capable, and even at this early stage the Canadians offered a racket a step up from the competition.

Killing Songs :
Iron Gang, War And Pain, Live For Violence, Black City, Nuclear War
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Voivod that we have reviewed:
Voivod - The Wake reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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
To see all 14 reviews click here
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