On August 26, 2005, the metal world lost one of its legends in guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour. Vowing to carry out one of his last requests to have the band’s final works heard, the surviving members of VOIVOD got to work in the studio and finished the powerful new album, Katorz. APESHIT met up with Denis “Snake” Belanger, Michel “Away” Langevin, and Jason “Jasonic” Newsted hours before their record release party in Hollywood to learn more about Piggy‘s amazing talents as one of the greatest talents in metal history.
Katorz is the first of two or three upcoming VOIVOD albums that will be released following the tragic passing the legendary Denis “Piggy” D’Amour. First off, Katorz is not just a killer album but sounds as professional and complete as any other “active” band out there. Piggy‘s guitar is loud, crisp and full of vitality. The rest of the band are in fine form as well with Jasonic‘s loud monster bass, Away‘s fiery drumming, and Snake‘s ever charismatic voice. The energetic, uptempo opener, “The Getaway,” jumps out of the gates and gets the blood flowing. Following track, “Dognation,” starts off with an ugly stomping riff and eventually gains momentum and speed before ending in a decrescendo. The rest of Katorz continues to serve up a healthy variety of strong songs that possess their own distinct character. A major characteristic of the album is the strong feel of spontaneity and hunger. You can feel VOIVOD‘s undeniable desire to go all out. Another major characteristic is the band’s prominent hardcore/punk influence in much of the songs. Even the complicated chords, riffs, and tempos sound direct and deceivingly simple. Snake lays down some great lyrics about topics such as bringing back the troops from the war in Iraq, political corruption, social control, and the desensitization of the masses towards the ills of society. Props go out to producer Glen Robinson for creating such a powerful and energetic sound and giving the songs the justice they deserve. Itâ€™s a damn shame that Piggy had to leave us as the band was certainly poised to take over with Katorz. However, there is much to celebrate the legacy of Piggy with one of the band’s best albums in recent memory. (The End Records)