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Voivod - Katorz CD (album) cover



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4 stars Piggy's first post-humous album (apparently there might be more to come) and the guitar maestro left us something good from outer space. Although not as classic as "Dimension Hatross", "NothingFace" or others, it is nonetheless a good album, especially in comparison to other metal contemporaries. Much in the vein of previous outing "Voivod". As with other Voivod albums, a good amount of spins are recquired in order to fully appreciate the scope of this work. Standout tracks after a few spins are : "Red my Mind", "Silly Clones" and "The X-Stream".

Thank you Voivod for doing what must have been a difficult, heartwrenching work. I am sure Piggy would be proud of this one.

R.I.P Piggy !

Report this review (#85098)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'll admit this is a piss-poor review for everyone else, but the Iron Gang will see where I'm coming from. I fell in love with Voivod with the release of "Killing Technology", I am lucky enough to have seem them on their "Nothingface" & "The Outer Limits" tours (On the "Angel Rat" tour; they opened for Rush. I love early Rush, but at the time, I was a club show regular). But let me cut to the chase. These shows and albums were a great part, aside form an early infatuation with Yes & Jethro Tull: due to my older sister, of my prog-rock tendencies. This music hit me like a ton of bricks then & still does today. I was very angey when Snake left, but was also disappionted when he rejoined and the result was less than spectacular (Voivod self titled). Katorz is much like that album, and "Angel Rat" a somewhat dumbed-down version of one of the most complex music acts ever.

But far better than what passes for prog today. Don't get me wrong, I love "The Human Equation" by Ayreon, most of what Katatonia, Opeth, and Dan Swano put out, but albums like that, are few and far between today.

Report this review (#85107)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars A very raw album, good, but to "straight-forward" into metal and "simple" to this line-up. Knowing the facts that this is a postumous album, and is recorded with material from the deceased guitar hero you might find out that is more like a tribute (and i think that in the liner notes they say so) than a proper record. Let's face that Denis D'Amour or PIGGY for fans and friends was a very underrated guitarrist, then having this sort of proper launch into eternal life is worth the hearing, however, don't expect a classic sound. Now, the songs are very tight indeed, following a natural and organic path, i think there's the magic of this album, from THE GETAWAY, a very nice opener with a lot of energy, diving into DOGNATION and MR. CLEAN, taking notice of very strong political content, from here, the songs and passages (ambient interludes from studio outtakes) goes in a very known form, but still, very raw. The peak point is (at least for me) NO ANGEL, which leds to the great THE X-STREAM, and a great and touching finale with POLAROIDS. Another thing to point is the ever great and psychodelic artwork that is a trademark of the band, a delicacy. So, why 3 stars? beacuse is not a classic, is the proper farewell to a friend and legend, but eventually it will only mark a stage and not an anchor point in the band history like the previous album. peace
Report this review (#88558)
Posted Thursday, August 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Katorz marks what will likely be the end of Voivod. While the album was being recorded, founding guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour died of cancer. He was one of the greatest metal guitarists who ever lived, and barely anyone has heard of him. Determined to ensure the fans had one last hurrah, the rest of the band added their parts to Piggy's completed guitar demos and released this album. Like the previous eponymous effort, Katorz is fairly straight-foward, though it contains elements of old. As always, Piggy's fretwork is original and inspired. Jason's Newsted proves a fitting bassist, which is hard considering that the excellent Jean-Yves Theriault once played in Voivod. Away's drumming is great and Snake's vox, though not great, fit the band.

Standout tracks include Dognation, Polaroids, and, of course, The X-Stream. I was so happy when this song appeared on Guitar Hero II, because it's catchy, fun, and perhaps it will teach people who Piggy was.

While all of the songs are enjoyable, it's a bit to straight-forward to call prog, plus it's not the greatest of swan songs. Still, any fan of Voivod should own this album simply because it's the end of the line for one of metal's most challenging acts. R.I.P. Piggy.

Report this review (#102592)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Katorz has a special history as Piggy had passed ( RIP) at this point. He had finished his guitar demoes for the album, and these demoes were used in the studio, which meant a lot of studio techniques were used for this album to come into form. Bass, drums and vocals had to follow the guitar. In my opinion this shows to much. This is not a worthy testimony to Piggy ( My hero).

Katorz seems half finished in places and the guitar isn´t right in my ears. I´ve listened to Piggy play for the last 17 years and I can hear when something is wrong. This is demo material and don´t let anyone tell you differently.

As exciting this experiment seems on paper it doesn´t work. I understand that Voivod wanted to honour Piggy by finishing the album, but what a sad testimony.

I will always remember Piggy for the outstanding guitar work on these 5 albums: Killing Technology, Dimension Hatröss, Nothingface, Angel Rat and The Outer Limits. I´ll forget about this one.

Not essential.

Report this review (#146970)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars Tribute as it is, Katorz is a poor album. The album is void of any progressive tendencies, and any hope at hearing any new or innovative music should be put out before listening, because in the way of simplicity on this album, this is basically like Voivod-does-AC/DC.

The album basically sounds tired, with otherwise good riffs just pieced together in standard hard rock songs. Of course the musicianship is there, but there's nothing much that states how great a guitarist Piggy was, and if anything it leaves behind a sour taste in Voivod's legacy. There's no atmosphere, and at times no energy.

Voivod fans will pick it up, listen to it maybe two or three times, and then keep it in their collection. Other prog fans really shouldn't bother.

Report this review (#218937)
Posted Saturday, May 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Katorz is the first of two albums that were recorded after guitar player Piggy's death. Fans will know he had a computer full of recorded riffs, solos and song ideas. By means of tribute to their beloved guitar wizard and friend, the band chose to assemble the available material into songs. And they did a terrific job!

The song writing and style of Katorz is very similar to the 2003 come-back album Voivod, meaning we get an upbeat and rocking version of classic Voivod. The riffs and songs are a lot less progressive then on their masterpieces from the end of the 80's but Piggy's riffs and chords remain an interesting and original feature.

It is quite amazing how natural the songs flow. Given the source of this material I had expected a more disjointed feel and more haphazard transitions in the songs. But no complaints about this at all. Snake's vocals are in better shape then on the preceding album. He still strains his voice but it isn't as grating and tuneless as on the preceding album. Away and Jasonic lay down a solid rhythmic basis.

Every song is good on this album but none strikes me as really remarkable. As such I appreciate it slightly less then Voivod, which suffered from its length, but had more real highlights. A good album for the fans and a worthy tribute to one of the greatest guitar players in metal.

Report this review (#286269)
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars In times of "Silly Clones" of legendary rock'n'roll bands and rock revival times, Voivod contribute in their own unique style to this new trend and create an amazingly fresh rock'n'roll record with ten heavily addicting and straight songs. They are all killers and no fillers and the young and modern "Motörhead" or "AC/DC" clones may just get blown away by this album of the good old Quebeckers. They have just lost one of the best guitar players in the world during the writing session of the album, but this album has nothing about sadness or goodbye. Voivod are digging the grave for the modern rock bands, but they live a very personal resurrection after the one-dimensional and dumb self-titled album. After thrash metal, progressive metal, extreme industrial metal and alternative rock, this diversified band goes rock'n'roll.

The amazing straight opener "The Getaway" already shows that this album works best when you play it on a warm summer day at a maximum of volume in your car. "The X-Stream" goes in the same direction, has an amzingly tension filled chorus, interesting breaks and would have been a perfect single in a very positive meaning of this term. Nobody who likes good rock'n'roll would be able to not amazingly adore this song. "Polaroids" is my third favourite song on this album and is the most diversified one on the album because it has all the trademarks which made Voivod what they are today.

But "Polaroids" is a little and fresh exception because the rest of the album offers really straight and good rock'n'roll, only some sound effects and samples in the end of some songs show us the connection to the band's addiction to science-fiction and the story about the Voivod creature which had found its end with the last album and just before Piggy has passed away. Liberated from the conceptual perfection, the band really breaks free on this album and tries something new even if this style might not please to most of the fans of the band's progressive era.

Personally, this is maybe the best hard rock or rock'n'roll album I have ever listened to and it has still slightly Voivod trademarks. The band has gone into another universe and jumped the period of experimentation and transition as this first rock'n'roll album of the band goes straight in your face without any warning after the faceless alternative rock reunion album.

Originally published on on October 6th of the year 2010.

Report this review (#383282)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permalink

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