Sound — 10
On Voivod's 1989 fifth album "Nothingface", the band finally found a far more signature sound that they would follow for the rest of their career, and that's called "progressive thrash metal"! In my opinion, this is one of their best albums as well as 1984's "War & Pain" and 1987's "Killing Technology". I never knew who Voivod was until a friend bought me a copy of "Nothingface" after he saw them in concert with Faith No More and Soundgarden. I was so amazed when I started listening to it. In my opinion, "The Unknown Knows", "Nothingface", "Missing Sequences", "Inner Combustion", "Into My Hypercube" and the Pink Floyd cover "Astronomy Domine" are classics. Denis D'Amour's guitar sounds are awesome and sound thrashier or proggier like Testament's Alex Skolnick, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine or Celtic Frost's Tom Fischer.
Lyrics — 10
I don't see whether Voivod's lyrics are really bad or not. On this album, Denis Blanger's singing sounds different than aggressive-sounding voice on their first four albums, which sounded thrashier comparing to something like, say, "Rush (circa 1976) meets Metallica (circa 1984)". Voivod brings good meaning to their songs and not just random words used to rhyme, although Denis' vocals on some songs are kinda hard to understand, but reading the lyrics would be a good start. Also, the lyrics in some songs could have been heavily inspired by thrash or pogressive, seen or heard in like "The Unknown Knows", "Inner Combustion" or the Pink Floyd cover "Astronomy Domine". Like I said, "Nothingface" is the best Voivod album yet.
Overall Impression — 10
I would probably compare this album to either Testament's "The New Order" or "Practice What You Preach", Celtic Frost's "Into the Pandemonium" or anything by Annihilator, Helloween, Megadeth or Metallica (with either Cliff Burton or Jason Newsted). Around the time "Nothingface" came out, it was the first time I've ever heard of Voivod, just after a friend of mine gave me a copy of it. Besides "Nothingface", you also should check out "War & Pain", "Rrraaarrr", "Killing Technology", "Dimension Hatrss" and "Angel Rat", those are classics! I wasn't really into the post-Blanger stuff, but I did like "Negatron" though. However around 2003 or '04, sometime before Denis D'Amour died, I did get a chance to see those guys in concert when then-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was finally in the band. If the CD copy was lost, I could buy another, but don't worry, I always take good care of my CDs.