78. Voivod, 'Dimension Hatröss' (1988)
One of metal's most idiosyncratic bands, Voivod was the product of four fertile young imaginations from the remote reaches of Northern Quebec. Drawing equally from hardcore (Discharge), post-punk (Killing Joke) and classic prog (King Crimson, Van der Graaf Generator), the foursome made a name for themselves with a series of three ferocious, speed-riddled albums powered by sci-fi themes and the warped riffs of guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour. It was on Dimension Hätross, however, where the band's reputation as innovators truly took flight. While recording in Berlin in winter 1987, the band devoured anarcho-punk and industrial music, namely the work of avant-garde legends Einstürzende Neubauten, and hatched a dystopian concept album that shocked the metal underground the following summer. While the speed and abrasiveness remained, the band coupled these elements with a remarkable sense of discipline, making room for industrial samples, shifting time signatures and memorable vocal melodies. Led by "Tribal Convictions" and "Psychic Vacuum," this landmark album had a profound impact on heavy metal, pointing the way for the ambitious likes of Tool, Opeth and Dream Theater. "We had discovered what industrial and electronic music could do if put together with metal," drummer Michel "Away" Langevin told Metal Hammer in 2005. "In the process, suddenly we weren't the thrash band of old." A.B.