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1991 – Angelrat

Released in 1991 by Mechanic / MCA Records
All songs written and arranged by Voivod
Produced and Recorded by Terry Brown

TRACKS
Shortwave Intro 0:25
Panorama 3:10
Clouds in my House 4:47
The Prow 3:30
Best Regards 3:52
Angel Rat 2:52
Golem 3:35
The Outcast 4:33
Nuage Fractal 3:43
Freedoom 4:37
None of the Above 4:08

REVIEWS
All-Music Guide review
2 pts.

After the success of 1989’s excellent Nothingface, progressive-metal experimentalists Voivod were poised for their big breakthrough with their follow-up, Angel Rat. It didn’t happen. For reasons unknown, the album quickly sank from sight upon its release in the fall of  ’91, which is surprising, since it’s nearly as good as its predecessor. Founding member/bassist Jean-Yves Theriault left the group after Angel Rat’s recording was completed, and was not officially replaced until bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest would take over for both Theriault and singer Denis Belanger in time for 1995’s Negatron. The band’s ongoing science fiction imagery is still conveyed in both the music and lyrics, which sounds like a cross between early Pink Floyd (circa Meddle) and Rush (circa Caress of Steel), with a heavy metal edge added to it. Angel Rat also to proves to one of Voivod’s most consistent releases, without a weak track in sight. Included are such spacy highlights as “Panorama,” “Clouds In My House,” “Golem,” and the moody psychedelia of the title track. Produced by former Rush knob-twiddler Terry Brown, Angel Rat definitely deserved more attention and commercial success.
– Greg Prato, All-Music Guide

Metal Forces magazine review

November 1991, p. 28.
© 1991 Force 10 Publications, Ltd.
VOIVOD – Angel Rat (Mechanic/MCA – MCA 10293)

EXCELLENT (90)

When CELTIC FROST voluntarily (and inexplicably) gave up their mantle as the pioneers of Avant-Garde Metal, they left a clear path for Canada’s VOIVOD not only to fill the gap, but also to explore new musical territories and textures. And over the past few years, this is certainly something that the foursome have done to great effect, taking their Freeform Jazz and Psychedelic inflections into a number of weird yet exciting directions.

The result has been albums of worth, weight, and substance, such as “Dimension Hatross” and “Nothingface,” LPs which have set standards on both the musical and ideological fronts many have found a basis for inspiration. Strangely though, as the ears of a generation have become more open and accepting than has ever been the case in the Metal genre, VOIVOD have made (seemingly) their most accessible record to date. Not that you should run away with the idea that the band have suddenly taken on the hue of EUROPE, merely that the territory they choose to explore musically owes much to RUSH, U2, PRIMAL SCREAM, and very early PINK FLOYD. And if anything, this makes them even more virulent than previously!

Eschewing their Thrash roots and also the metaphysical/physical adventures of the Voivod creature that has dominated their work to date, the band take on a range of identities from the ‘Chaos Theory’ of Glick through the folklores of various European histories. Don’t worry, this isn’t an academic’s orgasm, merely the clothing for a breathtaking panoply of musical indentations. It’s difficult to sum up this record simply because it has too much depth and breadth. The likes of “Panorama,” “Clouds In My House” and “The Prow” may seem inoffensively accessible on the surface, but with Piggy’s guitar ratio spiking the smoothly controlled vocals of Snake, they unnerve perhaps more than anything the band have yet attempted. “Best Regards” is a turmoil of cataclysmic philosophy and musical fractures. The title track is hauntingly suicidal; “Golem” tells the tale of the unthinking clay creature brought to life by magical code; “Nuage Fractal” is a plasma flow of deranged dreaminess; “Freedoom” proffers a dischordant crimson stain across a misleadingly aural landscape of caress.

“Angel Rat” is superficially the most listenable VOIVOD offering thus far. In truth, though, it is more fitting to call it their most mature work to date. Yet in maturity, they have sharpened rather than rounded their skills and become an even more volatile act than ever.

— Malcolm Dome

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