Skinny Puppy: N. Ogre, Cevin Key, D. Rudolph Goettel, Rave.
The fourth full album-there's also an EP-of Canadian noise-dance trio Skinny Puppy is their breakthrough, in both artistic and commercial terms. VIVISECTVI was the album with which the band broke into the burgeoning alternative-goth scene in 1988. Their audience-practically a cult following-was devoted and stayed with the band for the rest of its career. The reason is the group's improved musical and lyrical focus on this album. Dave Ogilvie's production is clearer and more detailed than before, and that's essential for Skinny Puppy's multi-layered, sample-driven sonic assault. Where earlier albums sounded a little muddy, VIVISECTVI's knife-sharp detailing gives it a nerve-wracking immediacy. Similarly, Nivek Ogre's lyrics are much clearer than before. Before, it occasionally seemed like the repeated vivisection imagery was there for nihilistic shock value, but throughout this album, it's clear where the group's sympathies lie. The album's highlight is the atypically melodic "Testure," ironically the album's most extreme statement against animal cruelty.