Voivod - Dimension Hatross
Noise Records
Progressive Dreamy Thrash Metal
9 songs (41:25)
Release year: 1988
Voivod, Noise Records
Reviewed by Aaron

As many know by now, Piggy, the absolutely brilliant guitarist for Voivod, has died from colon cancer. I’ll spare everyone the rants about the conspiracy out to destroy the metal community one by one, and merely say that Piggy was one hell of a guitarist, and wrote amazing, technical riffs, and also somehow managed to meld a genre (thrash) that was known for stripped-down aggression and meld it with a genre (prog-rock) known for nigh-on masturbatory excess, while successfully embodying the spirit of both those genres: being heavy and angry (here in a subtle way) and being exploratory and… progressive.

If you ask Voivod devotees which album is their favorite, 99% of the time, you get either Nothingface or Dimension Hatross. While I abide by Nothingface most of the time, lately, I’ve been more engrossed with Dimension Hatross, mainly because it’s more aggressive than contemplative and more cohesive than chaotic. Even so, Nothingface remains a better album, but I can’t find my copy of it, so here’s to Dimension Hatross.

It is, like all Voivod albums (as far as I know, anyway), a concept album, concerning the Voivod blasting into an alternate dimension, where the inhabitants worship it as their messiah. There’s a whole mess of other stuff that goes on, but there are, of course, dual meanings: the unleashing of technology on a society that isn’t ready for it, tyrannical governments, and many other things. A lot of the fun here is interpreting the songs.

The production is strange. The bass is pretty prominent, which would give Blacky a way to show off if he weren’t completely eclipsed by Piggy’s weird off-kilter jazzy prog-thrash riffs, which are distorted like crazy for whatever reason. The drumming is extremely competent but is once again overshadowed by Piggy, who of course has the biggest portion of the production devoted to his guitar, as it should be with all metal albums. Snake’s vocals are dreamy and echo, kinda like a more metal version of Richard Gilmour from Pink Floyd. A lot of people think he sounds wimpy, but they’re all incorrect.

This album is a tech-metal masterwork, with songs that explore metal as though treasure was hidden beneath its depths. The jazzy, distorted riffs that Piggy pumps out are as memorable as any of the simple thrash riffs that he throws in every so often, like at the very beginning of Tribal Convictions, during the drum section, and in the beginning of Technocratic Manipulators.

Speaking of Tribal Convictions, it’s definitely one of the best tracks here, with a riff set just under a minute into the song that absolutely screams “BLACK SABBATH,” interspersed with Away’s simple but effective drumming, before it erupts into an angular monster of a song, with a conventionally structured chorus that manages to be catchy without being irritating and obnoxious. There are occasional industrial effects that aren’t overused, and the riffs near the tail-end of the song are a credit to the genre, along with the speedy, technical solo, right before the song climaxes in a repeated chant of ‘WHO’S GOD… WHO’S DOG’ and Piggy gets a last, desperate riff in right before the song just ends, just like that.

Other standout songs are scattered throughout the album, but my biggest problem (now solved) with it is that it’s not as experimental as it could have been, but that’s not really a problem anyway. It’s more of a petty grievance, and had I been around at the time, it would doubtlessly have sounded much more experimental than it does today.

Buy the album, and while you’re at it, buy Killing Technology, Nothingface, Angel Rat, and The Outer Limits.

Killing Songs :
My favorites are the first three, but there isn't a bad one in the lot.
Aaron quoted CLASSIC
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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