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Katorz CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, July 25, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Katorz is the 11th Voivod studio album and 14th overall release. It was conceived in a period of inspiration. The touring that followed 2003's self-titled Voivod album (including a successful Ozzfest stint) kicked the band's momentum up another notch. With the lineup firmly settled Denis Piggy D'Amour, Michel Away Langevin, Denis Snake Belanger and Jason Jasonic Newsted they began writing of one mind and prepared to take their sound to the next level. A wealth of material was conceived, too much for one album, but they eventually settled on 10 songs that would stand as their 11th album. The fine-tuning began. But early in the process, tragedy struck. Guitarist and main riff-constructor Piggy was struck down with colon cancer. Throughout the middle of 2005, the music took a back seat while band members and friends hoped and waited for him to beat the disease. By late August of that year, Piggy succumbed to the illness and passed away. The metal world mourned with Piggy's band members and family. In the ultimate tribute to his memory, the rest of Voivod finished the recordings using a wealth of demos the guitarist left behind. In his final days he gave longtime cohort Away directions where to find his demos, expressing his wishes that the band finish the album in his absence. Voivod would carry on in Piggy's memory, recording with producer Glen Robinson(a name Voivod fans will recognize from the Nothingface era) and emerging triumphant with Katorz. It is a fitting tribute to Piggy's talent and a respectful epitaph of the man's vision. During the recording, Voivod hinted that more experimentation would go into Katorz than the previous album. While this is clear, the band didn't experiment for its own sake and there are no overzealous attempts to recapture the vibe of any previous album. They have always pushed defiantly forward, and Katorz adds new aspects and colors to their diverse discography. Odd sounds, strange rhythms, cosmic segues and unsettling atmospheres exist in the margins, while direct attacks comprise the bulk of the album. Diminished, crippled chords fly from Piggy's fingers. His strange 6-string shapes prove he's the only man to ever find the X-sharp and Z-flat chords on a guitar. Drums roll and tumble like a churning machine as Away makes perfect sense of Piggy's unique configurations. Snake sneers and spits in his inimitable style as Jason's rumbling bass lines boast fat, crunchy tones that pierce their own melodies through the din. If defiant opener The Getaway and catchy mother The X-Stream are direct stabs of Voivod at their most punk, then the paranoid Mr. Clean, the heavy shifting slabs of Dognation and left-of-center Polaroids reveal the more difficult, mysterious aspects of their sound. And if people interpret hints of new-wave underlying the weird Silly Clones , it wouldn't be the first time Voivod confused or confounded. Sounds are heavy but punchy, raw and frazzled but typically focused and always mesmerizing. Voivod and The End Records are proud to present Katorz: a triumph in the face of tragedy. We all think Piggy would be proud.

From the Artist

His main concern was letting the record company down. They had given his band another chance. They were putting money behind it. They did what they said they were going to do. What a concept! And he saw that. He felt he let the band down and the record company down. That's his mentality. So we knew we had to make sure everybody heard what he had to share, his last stuff." – Excerpt from Jason talking about Piggy in this interview.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 25, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: The End Records
  • ASIN: B000G7PNY0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,950 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
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 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.
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Format: Audio CD
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.

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Format: Audio CD
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!
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My most anticipated album of 2006. How completely appropriate that even with the tragic passing of Piggy the band still can put out superior music with his spirit and playing still intact on the album. Death is no limitation to the power of the human spirit. Can't wait for this one.
Jun 21, 2006 by Sidsel Roine |  See all 3 posts
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