Part 2 of a 2 part series. Click here for part 1, Katorz.
VOIVOD – Infini (2009 Sonic Unyon)
Who would have thought that little band from Quebec, VoiVod, could have survived so much adversity. The death of Denis “Piggy” D’Amour (guitar) in 2005 should have been the end, but yet the band has soldiered on with two albums utilizing his guitar parts recorded just before his death. In addition, unbelievably, the band has even continued on with returned original bassist Blacky (Jean-Yves Thériault) and new guy Chewy (Dan Mongrain) on guitar!
For those who don’t know, shortly before Piggy died of cancer, he had been working hard at recording every idea he had onto a hard drive. He explained to the band, that if they went into his PC they would find hours of meticulously recorded music and detailed instructions on how to use it. From there, Away (drummer Michel Langevin), Snake (singer Denis Belanger) and Jasonic (bassist Jason Newstead, ex-Metallica) buckled down and created the surprisingly awesome Katorz. Incredibly there was still enough music left to create one more album, 2009’s Infini. The fact that both albums are excellent, coherant pieces that add to the already rich VoiVod body of work is nothing short of astounding. It is a tribute to Piggy as an artist and as a person.
What VoiVod have created here is yet another astounding progressive metal headbanging experience. Loads of droning Piggy chords, odd Piggy solos, insane time changes, and cool lyrics abound. Snake’s lyrics are both thought provoking and cool sounding through a Francophone lens. Even the song titles alone evoke multiple images.
I’m pleased that the band has continued on with Blackie and Chewy. Their last album, Target Earth was also challenging and excellent. But that’s another review. For now I am blown away and grateful that the band have created two monstrously great albums in a row after the death of the man who seemingly defined their sound. As a metal fan, and as a fellow Canadian, I am proud of our metal heritage. I feel Piggy is a huge part of that heritage (the CD itself has Maple Leafs and Fleurs-de-lis emblazoned upon it), and I hope his music continues to live on in the new VoiVod.
“God Phones,” “Destroy After Reading,” “In Orbit,” and “Earthache”. I love the thunderous chorus in “Earthache”: “Blah, blah blah, is that all you say?”
Infini is not quite the album that Katorz was, it’s more challenging and abrasive, but it’s definitely one to be proud of. Very few bands could produce an album of this complexity and intensity.
Is Jasonic really the best name they could have come up with? Also, I love that deleted scene in Some Kind of Monster where Peter Mensch says he had no idea Newsted was even in Voivod after being accused of getting them dumped off a festival bill.
Honestly most of the later members had crappy names. Frenchy and E-Force were silly names. I like Chewy though. If you see his hair, you’ll understand! He IS Chewy
Didn’t Blacky used to play the “blower” bass? I like that!
That was Blackie alright! Aka Sarca’s high school crush!
And yes that was funny when they didn’t even know Newsted was in Voivod at all.
Oh man, Quebec LOVES its metal. That place is a hot bed for it.
A maple leaf AND a fleur-de-lis? CONTROVERSY!!
I really need to get to this band. There are only so many hours in a day, and so many dollars in a bank account ya know, Lebrain! ;)
Yeah I know that, but you’re just as bad as me! Sending me all those Stones albums knowing that I can’t have a collection without them…
And all my sympathies to Mick at this difficult time.