This is something Voivod threw together back in 1996 due to having a few leftovers in the cupboard. I get nervous just looking at it since Away's cover art looks like one of those many Now That's What I Call Music compilations that pollute the musical landscape. It actually has three sections to it, as the first three songs are remixes, the middle four are unreleased songs and the last four are live tracks. So I am going to break up the review accordingly.
First we have the remixes. As with almost all metal remixes they are full of irritating nonsense which serves to do nothing but remind you why you loved the originals so much. All of the usual remix tricks are brought out, horribly distorted vocals, techno and dance beats and of course great songs being torn apart and reassembled in an utterly half-assed manner. To paraphrase Bill Hicks, "If you remix songs into more danceable versions, kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul." The only exception to this is Justin Broadrick even though his remixes suck too. His originals on the other hand, ye gods.
Now we get to the reason any Voivod fan really needs to own this, the unreleased originals. Two of the songs are decent and the other two are actually pretty off. I wish they had kept them under wraps actually. Vortex and Erosion are decent Voivod songs in the vein of Phobos and Negatron but the other two Drift and Ion sound like leftovers from the Angel Rat era, which was by far the darkest chapter in Voivod history. The song Ion is really a problem due to a bad production that has the drumming up way to high so that it comes out fuzzy. Combine this with the fact that it feels like an outtake from Angel Rat and you realize this song should never have seen the light of day.
The live songs also have problems. The last two Astronomy Domine and Nuclear War are the problematic ones. Eric Forrest is just a bad fit for a Pink Floyd cover. The subtlety of the song just didn't come through here, as Eric is much more a screamer than a singer. My problem with the classic Nuclear War is that for some reason it is really short here. This song is one of the longer ones in Voivod history and it’s about a minute short. I hate when that happens. However on the other songs Project X and Cosmic Conspiracy he comes through nicely, as does the rest of the band.
All in all, I can't really recommend this to anyone but the most ardent of Voivod fans.