Voivod – Morgoth Tales Review

Century Media Records

To celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary, Voivod have decided to return to their first 20 years of material. Morgöth Tales is a re-recording of some songs from 1983-2003, plus a new track.

Included from their legendary appearance on Metal Massacre V, “Condemned to the Gallows” might be more thrashy than most know the band, but they have added a few of their recent tricks to some of these relatively archaic numbers, and with a much different lineup than they were originally recorded with that will naturally happen. “Thrashing Rage” has a bit of the progressive hum that was absent in 1986, but sounds right at home with modern day Voivod pulling the strings here.

Hitting the sweet spot of the album are “Killing Technology,” “Macrosolutions To Megaproblems” and “Pre-Ignition,” which are from the era where they started to perfect the genre of progressive thrash metal from what some consider to be their three best albums. The songs here continue to remain true to form, especially if you have seen the band perform songs from this period live, as they are often staple tracks of their live sets with Snake and drummer Away absolutely crushing it here with current day guitarist Chewy and bassist Rocky bringing this full circle.

Moving from that era, “Nuage Fractal” and “Fix My Heart” marked another stylistic shift to more ownership of the progressive element from albums Angel Rat and the criminally underrated The Outer Limits. Thrash went by the wayside and the guitar tone has a noticeably smoother sound while still being metal, as the band experimented with some of their favorite parts of Pink Floyd a little more than their originally recorded cover from Nothingface. All of that comes through in 2023 without missing a step.

The next two tracks feature a fun bit of history for the band, as it was without vocalist Snake on Negatron and Phobos, so Eric Forrest aka “E-Force” assumes his duties from all the way back in 1997 for “Rise.” Former Metallica, then Voivod bassist Jason “Jasonic” Newsted returns to re-record “Rebel Robot,” done originally on their 2003 self-titled album. The band was rediscovering their balance of heavy and progressive at the time, with all of that firmly on display years later has them sounding much tighter than on the original recording from this era. These little touches allow fans who missed all of these changes over the band’s history to take them all in with nine legacy tracks.

The one new track “Morgöth Tales” is a powerful one that has great emotive and progressive touches while including their classic combination of crushing riffs and out of the box thinking with all four current members showcasing why they are still one of the most talented groups in the genre today. Morgöth Tales is a fun collection that both longtime and newer fans will grow to love and appreciate. Congrats to 40 years and many more!

(released July 21, 2023 on Century Media Records)

Heavy Music HQ Rating:

Watch Voivod – “Nuage Fractal” Video

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