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(16 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Let me start off by saying that not one rave review or bit of hype surrounding Katorz has been overstated in the slightest. Piggy may have left too soon, but he sure as hell left in style. The album is stunning, raw, explosive and as fresh as anything the best new bands have put out in the past year. Building on the stripped down groundwork laid out on the previous self-titled cd, it’s very close to the album I’ve been waiting for since the Hatross/Nothingface days. I’ve always regarded those two ablums as my absolute favorites, and Katorz sits proudly alongside them.

    I can’t really give a track by track analysis at this point, but pretty much everything I love most about Piggy’s sound is here. I kind of expected this cd to be mostly guitar-driven, but everyone’s efforts get to shine through. Still no robot vocals from Snake, but he sounds so cool on this album that it’s not much of a disapointment. I’ve never heard Jasonic sound this good before. He’s got a great back and forth thing going on with Piggy throughout the cd and is unlike what I’m used to hearing from Voiovd. And Away…wow…I doubt anyone worked as hard he did owing to the unintentional tempo changes of Piggy’s rough tracks, but the man just flows with it in such a masterful way that he makes it seem like it’s effortless for him. Kudos go to producer Glen Robinson as well.

    The album, of cousre, brings up some sad feelings for me as well. No doubt Piggy would have taken these great songs and polished them and pushed them even further had he been given the time. If he had, my guess is Katorz would not simply be among their best cd’s – it could have been their best.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album is excellent, a real grower. On first listen is difficult to catch all the great ideas that this album has, but when you go into repeated listens, it begins to shine. The rock music of today don’t get better than this. Support this band, they really deserves it, for all the years that they were creating excellent and unique music. Can’t wait for the next album from this band due for the next year.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Katorz marks the end of an era for Voivod with the departure of Dennis Damour cornerstone of this band sound, despite it all Dennis were the constant on the Voivod Line-up even when the band called it a day time ago, a few years ago, renovated, refreshed with a new Bassist, no other than ex-Metallica Jason Newsted Voivod returned with their remarkable 13th album but things were destined to change soon.

    Katorz were not quite completed by Piggy , actually many of the riffs recorded by him before his death were captured in his
    laptop and using an unorthodox recording process the other members worked the rest of the material based on that recordings, the result is a complete masterpiece of progressive psychodelic and experimental metal with the sci-fi concept added this is evident in cuts like the opening “the getaway”,”dognation” , “Mr. Clean”, the awesome “silly clons”, “polaroids” and “odds & frauds”.

    Hard to know what will follow for the canadians but if this is the end , they did it with class.


    Posted on January 14, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A huge loss to the Voivod fans and his family (R.I.P.) but Piggy truly leaves us with a release only true Voivod fans will like and appreciate. This album makes up for the last couple releases (save for Negatron) and throws you back in time when you bought “Dimension Hatross” and “Nothingface” and gives you a true Voivon album. The music is much more in the style of the aformentioned albums and Snakes vocals are back to the slimy, robotic whines like he used to and that’s what makes this a return to classic Voivod. The lyrics aren’t consistant with their previous sci-fi themes, more like bringing our troops back from the war, kicking people out of clubs and the spirit of heavy metal, a first for the band to pick that up. When I heard this album my blood went up and I had hairs standing up with goosebumps, which I rarely feel but when you feel that way you truly know this is a good album, from start to finish. Pick it up, play it loud and remember the great Piggy!

    Posted on January 14, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • 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. The whole effort was then produced by Glen Robinson, who fans will remember from their killer album “Nothingface”. Musically, I guess that “Odds & Frauds” will be one of the most popular tracks along with “Polaroid’s” as the first is one of the catchiest and the latter is perhaps the trippiest of the albums music. The album as a whole is in the same direction that album and not like the early Thrash fests that the band used to deliver. Personally, I always preferred the direction that they were going with both “Nothingface” and “Angel Rat”, as the group was taking experimental journeys with their music that were both interesting very creative.

    This would be the bands first release on The End Records and the label would be behind them for the whole process. Voivod had a strong fan base and you either loved them or hated them, as sometimes the change was too drastic for some listeners. Despite this you could never say that they were short on creativity and that’s what makes having this album worthwhile. Before he died, Piggy recorded 23 demo tracks and this recording has the first ten of them. The remaining songs will go through the same process that gave us “Katorz” and with them the world will be able to better appreciate the quality of player that Piggy was and the impact he had on many of Hard Rock and Metal’s finest.

    Posted on January 14, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now