VOIVOD – Infini (2009)

Voivod - Infini As far as metal bands are concerned, Voivod are unique in that they exist in that rarified space between the utterly weird and the commercially viable; they’re perhaps the strangest band to ever have the thrash tag attached to them, and although they’re not as revered as, say, underground legends Dark Angel (or above-ground mainstays Slayer), they’ve consistently delivered in their 25 years as a group. Infini is being publicized as Voivod’s final album (in addition to featuring the final musical contributions from founding guitarist Piggy, who died of colon cancer in 2005), and it’s a fitting, if somewhat anti-climatic, farewell.

You see, Voivod’s return with their eponymous 2003 release was startlingly strong; that album brimmed over with vitality, the runoff of which spilled into 2006’s Katorz. On Infini, the band occasionally sound as if they’re in danger of hitting empty, but none of the songs here falter unforgivingly. Indeed, the majority of them are quite memorable; while thrashier songs like Volcano show that the band can still deliver the speed metal goods, it’s the slower, more discordant songs that are the most enjoyable to listen to (such as Room With A V.U. and In Orbit).

While it might not be as impressive as some of the other metal that’s been released this year, Voivod don’t really need to impress anyone at this point. They’re stayed true to their roots for an astounding amount of time, and Infini is the sound of a band tapping those roots dry – how many other thrash bands from the 80’s can say the same?

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