The first thing I associate with Voivod’s Nothingface is a strange girl’s home. The girl herself wasn’t strange exactly; I only mean I didn’t know her and can’t recall a thing about her. But the house…Her parents’ house…It was a beautiful, ultra-modern place in a neighborhood that will be forever cost-prohibitive to me. I’d never been in a home like it. Haven’t since. It was cavernous, filled with expensive art and kept immaculately clean. I can’t remember how I got there or who I was with other than my friend Danny, the headbangingest bastard I knew [see: Brainwashed]. The girl’s parents were away, of course, and we were spilling beer and dropping ashes all over the place, but the chick didn’t seem to give much of a fuck.
Danny threw the tape in.
I’d heard it before, but things were different this time around. This time, everyone in the room was under the influence of LSD, and “Astronomy Domine” set our minds on fucking fire. It was the early stage of a new transition for me, and I soon embarked upon a journey beyond metal into wider, sometimes weirder realms. My use of LSD had just begun, and it wasn’t long before Metallica jumped the shark and I found myself practicing full-on Beatle worship, mining the Floyd vault, and charging headlong into the then burgeoning, heavy “alternative” scene: Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Soundgarden and the like. Psychedelicized.
The trip lasted nearly 20 years. (The musical one, not the chemical one.) It was a fine excursion, and my mind was well expanded, but my return to metal a few years ago felt like a return to home. It’s good to be back. My tastes are wider than ever, but because of it, I’m way more stoked by metal now than I was before. I look at it differently than I did when the young metal me was formed, and I can now appreciate the groundbreaking and mind-bending of Nothingface soberly, but with a wizened ear. It’s a wonderful sound.