Last Known Status: Active
Voivod (consisting of singer Denis "Snake" Belanger, guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, drummer Michel Langevin, and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault) was one of the first thrash bands out of Canada to gain popularity outside of their home country. From their beginning in the early '80s, their main goal was to be different from anyone else and thus they incorporated odd musical tempos and futuristic story lines into their songs, often dealing with technology taking over the world. Voivod opened the way for other Canadian thrash bands and for metal bands with their unique styles of performing and writing.
Such early releases as 1984's "War and Pain" and 1986's "Rrrroooaaarrr!" showed that the quartet was aligned to the then up-and-coming thrash metal movement, eventually letting their prog-rock influences seep in on 1987's "Killing Technology" and 1988's "Dimension Hatross." By the time of their major-label debut for MCA, 1989's "Nothingface," Voivod had perfected their thrash metal/prog rock style, resulting in the most commercially successful release of their career -- spearheaded by a video for their cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" (which enjoyed airings on MTV's Headbangers Ball) and a headlining club tour over a pair of bands that would soon change the landscape of alt-rock by the early '90s, Soundgarden and Faith No More.
But just as it appeared as though Voivod may be able to break through to a wider audience, Theriault left the group right after the release of 1991's "Angel Rat" as the album quickly sunk from sight while the rest of the rock world focused their attention on the burgeoning alt-rock/Seattle movement. "The Outer Limits" followed two years later, which was followed shortly thereafter by Belanger's exit from the band. By the mid-'90s, Voivod's lineup had been scaled down to a trio -- newcomer Eric Forest doubled on vocals and bass, resulting in such releases as 1995's "Negatron" (which was the #1 Aggressive Rock in the United States in the first week of release) and 1997's "Phobos." 2000 saw the release of the odds and ends compilation "Kronik" as well as the live set "Lives." In early 2001, the remaining members decided to call it a day when Forest departed, only to reunite several months later with Belanger back on board and with former Metallica member (and longtime Voivod fan) Jason Newsted filling in on bass.
Voivod Interviews and Features
Below are our features and interviews with Voivod.
Canadian progressive metal act Voivod is back with new album "Target Earth," which was released today in Europe and is due out for eager North American fans tomorrow.
Just a handful of days before the album drop, I chatted up Voivod's drummer "Away" (Michel Langevin) to find out what went into the album and how the recording process went with members "Blacky" and "Chewy."
In the transcription of the interview below you can also see what Michel had to say about the distinctive artwork he created for the album, what Voivod's tour plans look like over the coming year, and how the band has become a cohesive unit while playing early classic material at live performances. More...
It’s been over a year since Metal Underground.com has talked to Away, drummer for the long-standing band Voivod. Through decades of changes in personnel and sound, Voivod has remained a metal icon, recently playing at Maryland Death Fest IX and Roadburn Festival to screaming fans. They premiered a new song live at the fests which is part of a new album currently being written. I was able to talk to Away for some time about the album, Voivod's history, and the many influences that have shaped their sound. More...
Voivod has been one of the most important names in thrash since their 1984 debut War and Pain. Now touring for their final studio album with original bassist Blackie, Metalunderground.com had the opportunity to talk to drummer Away about Voivod's history and the band's upcoming performance at the 2010 Wacken Open Air. More...