The Nu­clear Blast Record­ings

Classic Rock - - Reviews - Dave Ever­ley

Cana­dian prog-thrash­ers’ mid-00s ca­reer repack­aged.

Voivod were the think­ing per­son’s thrash me­tal band, even if there weren’t enough think­ing peo­ple in thrash me­tal to el­e­vate them to Me­tal­lica lev­els of suc­cess.

By the early 00s the Cana­dian band had set­tled into a com­fort­able, cult-shaped pocket. Orig­i­nal singer De­nis ‘Snake’ Be­langer was back in the fold af­ter spend­ing the 90s in the

wilder­ness, help­ing his for­mer band­mates relocate their sci-fi prog-thrash mojo in the process, while the line-up had been bol­stered by a heavy­weight ad­di­tion in the shape of for­mer Me­tal­lica bassist Ja­son New­sted.

The two al­bums Voivod made in the sec­ond half of the 00s, 2006’s Ka­torz and 2009’s In­fini, con­tin­ued the in­ter­stel­lar jour­ney that had be­gun in the early 80s. Both sit squarely in the up­per end of their back cat­a­logue qual­ity-wise, but they were un­der­cut by a poignancy – they in­cluded the last record­ings made by orig­i­nal guitarist De­nis

‘Piggy’ D’Amour be­fore his death from can­cer in 2005.

It’s Piggy’s mav­er­ick spirit that dom­i­nates the two al­bums, com­bined in this two-CD pack­age. His brit­tle, jazzy guitar play­ing pro­vides the com­pass for his band to fol­low on Mr Clean and God Phones, al­low­ing them to spi­ral off into other di­men­sions, mu­si­cal and other­wise. There’s noth­ing in the way of ad­di­tional ma­te­rial to bulk out this reis­sue, but these two al­bums stand as a fine epi­taph to one of me­tal’s great un­sung vi­sion­ar­ies.

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