1984, Music

War and Pain (1984) by Voivod

I had heard the name Voivod a bunch before I listened to this record. And I think I had always heard them mentioned as a thrash metal band. But somehow, right before I listened to this, I read they were a speed metal band. And though I think I knew that was wrong, that primed me for a different record. So much of my appreciation of this record might have to do with the (pleasant) surprise of finding out I was listening to a thrash metal album as opposed to a European-style speed metal record.

This is messy, sloppy, speedy thrash metal. I mean that as a compliment. It’s very much to the punkier side of the thrash metal spectrum, with seemingly little are paid to whether or not the band sounds “good” in the conventional musical sense, while still providing most if not all of what you want from thrash metal. Make no mistake, it’s still very much metal; it’s too loud, aggressive and technical to be anything else, but it’s gloriously unrefined as well. If this record had come out a year or 18 months earlier, it might have been one of the seminal ’80s metal albums.

It’s still very good for what it is; released at a crucial time in the history of the genre, it is rawer than most of the contemporary American thrash metal I’m aware of. That is a virtue though it is also a bit of a curse, given Voivod is certainly not as technically impressive as those bands.

I don’t know that I have much else to say. It’s what I was hoping for and I’m so happy it’s not another speed metal record.


All lyrics by Denis “Snake” Bélanger and all music by Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault and Michel “Away” Langevin.

  1. “Voivod” – 4:16
  2. “Warriors of Ice” – 5:04
  3. “Suck Your Bone” – 3:30
  4. “Iron Gang” – 4:15
  5. “War and Pain” – 4:55
  6. “Blower” – 2:42
  7. “Live for Violence” – 5:11
  8. “Black City” – 5:08
  9. “Nuclear War” – 7:01
  • Denis “Snake” Bélanger – vocals
  • Denis “Piggy” D’Amour – guitar
  • Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault – bass
  • Michel “Away” Langevin – drums, artwork

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