Tag Archives: denis “Piggy” d’amour

“Katorz” (re-release) by Voivod

Artist: Voivod
Title: “Katorz” (re-release)
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 11/11/2014
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Originally released in 2006 on The End Records, “Katorz” is the eleventh album by the legendary band Voivod. The recording was recently re-issued by Metal Mind Productions and now comes in a Digipak holder but features no additional tracks or expanded liner notes. With that being the case my original thoughts on it remain the same and I have restated those views in the review that follows. The edition is limited to 2000 copies so diehards might want to act fast if interested in purchasing.

Everyone knows the phrase “with triumph comes loss”, but as I listened to the most recent release by the band Voivod, I had to wonder if “with loss comes triumph” as well. The reason I bring this theory to light is due to the sad truth that the group would lose founder and riff wizard Denis “Piggy” D’Amour to colon cancer in August of 2005. Prior to his illness and throughout his treatment demos were written and worked on in hope that he would recover and the new recording could be completed and released for their fans. When this would not be a possibility anymore and Piggy succumbed to the illness and died, the band was faced with what should be done and more important – what would be right to do. Before his death, Piggy had instructed drummer Michel “Away” Langevin on the whereabouts of the demos and that he wanted this music completed and reach their fans. From there it would be far from simple, but yet it would be done and the results serve as a fitting reminder to the creative musician D’Amour was. It’s an interesting album that sounds quite good especially when you take into account the means that it was recorded and what the members had available to them to do it. From the demos with Piggy’s last guitar work and Jason’s bass, drums were added by Michel while vocals were hammered out by “Snake” Belanger in his home. It is not the typical album creation scenario but the guys rose above it all. As you play this Hard Rock & Punk influenced album at any volume you will be hard-pressed to find any limitation to it. “Getaway” is a great opener and has a slight Motorhead vibe to which is never a bad thing and Snake has a great feel to his vocal here and on “After All” (two of my preferred tracks). An interesting observation to the recording is the tightness between bass and drums which was fantastic as while the two instruments are normally recorded together that was not possible for the demo work and found Michel figuring out the feel from the tapes. He shines through especially in how he slows down and speeds up as if he was sitting there with the other guys.
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“Katorz” by Voivod

Artist: Voivod
Title: “Katorz”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Everyone knows the phrase “with triumph comes loss”, but as I listened to the most recent release by the band Voivod, I had to wonder if “with loss comes triumph” as well. The reason I bring this theory to light is due to the sad truth that the group would lose founder and riff wizard Denis “Piggy” D’Amour to colon cancer in August of 2005. Prior to his illness and throughout his treatment demos were written and worked on in hope that he would recover and the new recording could be completed and released for their fans. When this would not be a possibility anymore and Piggy succumbed to the illness and died, the band was faced with what should be done and more important – what would be right to do. Before his death, Piggy had instructed drummer Michel “Away” Langevin on the whereabouts of the demos and that he wanted this music completed and reach their fans. From there it would be far from simple, but yet it would be done and the results serve as a fitting reminder to the creative musician D’Amour was. It’s an interesting album that sounds quite good especially when you take into account the means that it was recorded and what the members had available to them to do it. From the demos with Piggy’s last guitar work and Jason’s bass, drums were added by Michel while vocals were hammered out by “Snake” Belanger in his home. It is not the typical album creation scenario but the guys rose above it all. As you play this Hard Rock & Punk influenced album at any volume you will be hard-pressed to find any limitation to it. “Getaway” is a great opener and has a slight Motorhead vibe to which is never a bad thing and Snake has a great feel to his vocal here and on “After All” (two of my preferred tracks). An interesting observation to the recording is the tightness between bass and drums which was fantastic as while the two instruments are normally recorded together that was not possible for the demo work and found Michel figuring out the feel from the tapes. He shines through especially in how he slows down and speeds up as if he was sitting there with the other guys.
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“D-V-O-D-1” by Voivod

Artist: Voivod
Title: “D-V-O-D-1”
Label: Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 7/10

I will be the first to admit the limited scope of knowledge that I have about VoiVod and their music. With the exception of “Nothingface” and “Angel Rat” there was not a lot that I knew about them, and even then only a few tracks were my favorites. Despite this I was still able to enjoy them in some fashion for there was a level of Progressive Metal going on in their stuff and for a band not as established as Rush or Fates Warning at the time this was a risky choice to make in ones direction. Prog-fans back in the day were not so accepting of new things coming from bands more known for their Metal influences at one time. The time period that this DVD focuses on runs from 1983-1991 and is considered the bands classic period based on the material and personnel. It is the first in an apparent series of such DVD programs and features a number of live performance clips as well as video films for the bands songs. There is a very “loose” feel to the production of the release and at times it will strike you as very disorganized since when it is viewed as a movie itself it combines all the various segments. You are also able to watch it by segment, either focusing on the live clips, the videos or the extras they included. The bonus features are a couple of live demo recordings as well as artwork used by the band and photography. Each is accompanied by music from elsewhere on the release. The DVD comes to the world after the passing of guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour who the music world lost far too soon at age 45. His innovative style of playing is showcased well on these films as is the playing of members Michael “Away” Langevin on his drums, Jean-Yves “Blacky” Therialt on bass as Denis “Snake” Belanger sang his heart out. Listening to the early work of this band I admit I found a very Punk feel with Progressive mixed in. To this day my favorite part of “Nothingface” is the cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”, which is of course presented here for all to enjoy.
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