Voivod - Kronik

Still one of the most underrated bands out there, this is a kind of compilation of the later moments of Voivods career. Taking in 3 remixes, 4 unreleased tracks and 4 live tracks. As such it’s a bit of a stop gap album, and in some ways comes across that way. The packaging is uninspired compared to the fertility of the imagination of Michel when you look at previous albums. But packaging is irrelevant, music is not.

The CD is kinda set into sections. You get the remixes, the new tracks, then the live shit. So let’s take them that way. The remixes highlight the good and the bad of remixes. The good hear is that it augments them in places, though opening track Forlorn sounds like three or four separate songs as the remix takes not so subtle changes of direction. However, on the other tracks, Nanoman and Mercury, it works pretty well.

The new material section are quite possibly outtakes from the sessions for the last two albums, Negatron and Phobos. Andin Vortex, Drift, Erosion and Ion, the solidity of the current line-up is illustrated. But there’s nothing new even amongst the new. Which is a shame for Voivod.

And finally we reach the live section. Astronomy Domine starts off a little shakily, though that may be the whole intention, but then it settles down, and Eric manages to recreate the vocal style of Snake quite well. It’s a style he doesn’t try to emulate on the studio albums, and the studio tracks here, instead going for the shriek / growl style. The rest, Project X, Cosmic Conspiracy and Nuclear War are perfunctionary live renditions.

It’s a stop gap, while Eric hopefully recovers from his injuries, and, I hope, they record a new studio album and maybe tour. If they do, hope they manage more than just the one gig in the UK this time round. Cos they’re better than that.

Available on Hypnotic Records.