Voivod Credit: Gergely Csatari

Roaring out of the gate in the early 80s as a tight, inventive thrash unit, Quebecois legends Voivod quickly became as sticky as a ball of Velcro, picking up influences from prog, industrial, modern classical, and technical death metal. They’ve forged a singular path of sci-fi tech metal that’s become highly influential in heavy music and beyond, but they’ve also endured their share of bad luck and tragedy—a late-90s car crash badly injured bassist and vocalist Eric “E-Force” Forrest, and in 2005 original guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour passed away from cancer. Through all the ups and downs, they’ve kept on space truckin’; last year they released their 14th full-length, The Wake (Century Media). On the album, bassist Dominic “Rocky” La Roche joins two original members, vocalist Denis “Snake” Bélanger and drummer Michel “Away” Langevin, and relatively new guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain. Widely heralded as one of the best metal releases of 2018, The Wake is a loose concept album involving postapocalyptic politics, and it’s a big head trip. Voivod spin their tale through a glorious array of chugging, rumbling styles, and the album culminates in the glorious 12-minute “Sonic Mycelium”—which reprises themes from previous tracks only to resolve them in fatalistic ecstasy, complete with strings.   v