1995 – Negatron
Released in 1995 by Hypnotic Records
Produced, recorded and mixed by Mark S. Berry
Denis D’Amour: Guitars & Effects
Eric Forrest: Bass & Vocals
Michel Langevin: Drums & Percussion
All-Music Guide review
4 pts.It’s hard to believe that the same band capable of composing such superb (and criminally overlooked) progressive-metal masterpieces as Nothingface and Angel Rat would resort to the more conventional heavy metal sounds of their inconsistent earlier albums. With the addition of new bassist/lead singer Eric Forrest, Voivod promptly rejected the unconventionality that set them apart from the rest of the metal pack, since Forrest’s vocal style is more similar to the growls heard so commonly in death metal. Maybe being dropped by the major label Mechanic/MCA after record sales began to sag brought on the change in direction. The obvious difference between Negatron and past triumphs is that the majority of the album blends together, with very little variation. Which is very surprising, since variation and texture were major ingredients in Voivod’s original sound. After hearing such cuts as the title track, “Insect,” and “Nanoman” (the later contains a guitar riff popularized in the Metallica song “One,” then copied by a million other metal bands), the decline is obvious. Too bad Voivod decided to reinvent themselves as a straight-ahead metal band and shun their progressive side– Greg Prato, All-Music Guide
METAL HAMMER magazine review
November 1995, pp. 70.
© 1995 by Dennis Publishing, Ltd.
NEGATRON – Voivod (Play it Again Sam)
RATING: 4 out of 5
Thirteen years and seven albums later, Voivod are still looking for the sales figures to match their critical acclaim. Cited as the influence by bands as polarly opposed as Pantera and Sonic Youth, they have constantly been at the forefront of the cerebrally stimulating.
Though it’s debatable whether ‘Negatron’ will have them appearing on TOTP, it is as extreme and challenging an album as any of its predecessors. With the usual splattering of conspiracy theories and even the odd alien abduction, ‘Negatron’ has enough mileage in it to run and run. All in all, ‘Negatron’ is a lot heavier than a very heavy thing.
– Denise Stillie
New Musical Express review
1995.10.28 page 56
7 (out of 10)
“…NEGATRON is a move towards an almost approachable sound, like the point where Corrosion Of Conformity meet Ministry, a step on from their real hardcore industrial acid outpourings of a few years back…”
J. Eric Smith Rocknet
Guitarist Denis D’Amour and drummer/conceptualist Michel Langevin have invested 13 years in getting Voivod to the point where it is generally regarded as Quebec’s premier metallic export, if you exclude copper and iron ore.
At the hump of the ’90s, however, Langevin and D’Amour must have done a little corporate self-assessment in keeping with the spirit of the age; for “Negatron” they optimally re-engineered the band by outsourcing singer Denis Belanger and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault in favor of the more economical Eric Forrest, a singing bassist. It was a bold shift in product paradigm that should open untapped temperate zone markets, mainly by inspiring scads of metal heads to injure each other in fits of high-energy atomic joy.
Forrest provides a step-function improvement over the vaguely fey Belanger, roaring out Langevin’s atrocity fables in a voice that rates somewhere between 7.0 Hetfields and 8.0 Rollinses on the Pitch-Neutralized Glenn Danzig Bellowing Scale.
Tempos are way up on “Negatron” as well, making it an album that warrants proper head-banging, instead of the loose distracted hair tossing, induced by Voivod’s last disk, “Outer Limits.”
The CD pressing of “Negatron” contains the vile video for the single “Insect” buried inside Langevin’s nightmarish CD-ROM interactive lyric sheet. If that’s not enough to really pique your interest, then hang on ’til Jim Thirlwell shows up for the album’s hilariously titled closing track, “DNA (Don’t No Anything).” Ignorance like this really is blissful.
-J. Eric Smith