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