. .  
.         . .
... Home | Reviews
.   .
Latest Reviews

Prong's X - No Absolutes

Rabid Flesh Eaters - Reign of Terror

Coffins/Isla Split

Haken - Affinity

Be'lakor - Vessels

Valdur - Pathetic Scum

Messa - Belfry

Die Choking - III

Sailing to Nowhere - To The Unknown

Black Anvil Interview

Six Feet Under - Graveyard IV The Number of the Priest

Destroyer 666 - Wildfire

Onslaught - Live at the Slaughterhouse

Rotten Sound - Abuse To Suffer

Venomous Concept - Kick Me Silly: VC III

The Great Discord - Duende

Arcana 13 - Danza Macabra

Die Choking - II

Obsidian Kingdom - A Year With No Summer

Thy Catafalque - Sgurr

Denner Shermann - Masters of Evil

Voivod - Katorz Review

by Mark Hensch

It is not without the slightest bit of sadness that I write this review. Despite the fact I've never been a huge Voivod fan, even on this posthumous recording of sorts, it is still highly apparent that Denis "Piggy" D'Amour was a special guitarist. Katorz was coincidentally recorded long before D'Amour's passing in 2005 after a battle with colon cancer, but even now it is apparent just how strange the Canadian's guitar technique was. Even on Katorz, Voivod still puts forth a sonic tempest of hypnotic, otherworldly tones most bands can't ever even hope to replicate. Vocalist Denis "Snake" Belanger's distinctly accented vocals (some have likened him to a metalhead version of Billy Corgan, which I'd actually agree with to a certain extent) sound every bit as abnormal and jarring as they have from day one, and the rest of the band has a field day with it all, keeping Katorz afloat in a weightless voice of spacial atmospherics.

"The Getaway" is the perfect track to hop into a car and drive to. Taking up residence in some limbo between mid-tempo Motorhead and interstellar spacecraft flying in hyperdrive, the song also has no fear of exploring odd arrangements and dissonant surprises. "Dognation" hinges on a hangnail riff that floats in and just sorts of dies in mid-air; it's an odd effect, and Snake's manic vocals lend even more surrealism to the big picture. The joyously twisted "Mr. Clean" spins a web of tongue-in-cheek mockery, over-the-top theatrics, and deliciously spaced out punk/speed rawk. In my mind, this is one of the more intriguing songs on the album as it really captures all the original aspects of the band itself. "After All" swings in on a jarring, disharmonic riff vaguely recalling one Dillinger Escape Plan breakdown or another, but somehow lacking that band's fiery intensity. The smooth transition to far-out, driving riff-rock helps a bit, but the song doesn't make anywhere near as much of an impression as the ones preceding it. "Odds and Frauds" gets things back on track with memorable, fuzzy hooks and even a freakish guitar solo in there somewhere. "Red My Mind" is laid-back drumming, sinister guitar hums, and (before you know it) crunchy space rock that's pretty fist-in-face.

"Sillyclones" sinks into a buzzing sinkhole of groove that is pretty slick. As weird as it is, chances are this one will be stuck in your head for a couple days. "No Angel" builds an explosive fireball of raw energy from nothing, the song starting with a soft, menacing layer of fuzz before gradually building itself up into a very strong rocker. I hated single "The X-Stream" the first time I heard it, but the more I hear it, the more I like it. The song manages to capture Voivod's eclectic output, thier Motorhead worship, and their thrash/speed metal roots all in one song...and its a keeper for those of you keeping score at home. "Polaroids" is a great close to the album, its off-kilter rhythm providing a mesmerizing backdrop of spaced out groove. With "Piggy" having been such an integral member of the band, no one seems to be sure if another album after Katorz is even a possibility. As for Katorz itself, it is a decent album but not necessarily what I'd call strong swan song material. My one complaint with this album is the fact rarely do the songs tap into the speed, energy, and fire that this band is really capable of; in fact, most of the cuts here showcase a very radio-friendly Voivod indeed, with few songs really hitting you with heavy weight to the guitars or any truly wicked moments. In all fairness, I believe Voivod have always been more famous for their innovative approach to hard rock rather than their ability to play it louder or faster than anyone else. Regardless, Katorz is a solid, well-rounded album that could have used one or two stronger cuts, but is a great listen nonetheless. Will it define Voivod's end, or will it serve as the stepping stone to more albums and maybe even greater things? Only time will tell.

Track Listing
1. The Getaway
2. Dognation
3. Mr. Clean
4. After All
5. Odds & Frauds
6. Red My Mind
7. Sillyclones
8. No Angel
9. The X-Stream
10. Polaroids

CD Info and Links

Voivod - Katorz

Label:The End Records

Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review


The Pit Your turn to get in the pit with your thoughts about this review and CD

They call you
What do you think ?:

Posted by GSRQG:


Thrash Worthy Link

antiMUSIC - iconoFAN - Rocknworld - Day in Rock - Rock Search - thrashPIT - iconoSTORE
Thrashpit is presented by Rocknworld.com - Part of the antiMusic Network

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - Link to us

Copyright© 1998 - 2007 Iconoclast Entertainment Group
All rights reserved.
No Part of this site may be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form.
Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use. Updated 12-19-99