Released in 2000 by Metal Blade Records
Produced by Voivod, Rob Sanzo
Denis D’Amour: Guitars & Effects
Eric Forrest: Bass & Vocals
Michel Langevin: Drums & Percussion
|In league with Satan||5:11|
After 15 years of history and no less than nine studio albums, something was still missing in VOIVOD’s eventful career: the band have long realized how difficult it is to convey the real energy of the band in a studio context. Apart from an obscure single (recorded live at the Roxy in L.A. in 1993) and four songs recorded in Berlin, 1995, that were finally released on the Kronik album in 1998 (which also featured three remixes by Foetus, DJ Acucrack and Haig Vatzbedian from Bran van 3000) they never had a chance to properly document their legendary live-performance and not only capture their intensity and their well-rounded set list, but also preserve such a show for future generations.
Being the thoughtful and forward-thinking band VOIVOD have been since their very beginning, the decision where to record the diverse tracks on VOIVOD Lives was not only based on the fact that both venues offered professional recording facilities, but also due to the legendary status of both the CBGB’s club and the Dynamo Open Air festival.
Furthermore, the band wanted to show two very different aspects of a live situation: the first within the intimate and yet seedy environs of a tiny New York punk club, and the second outdoors in liberal Holland in front of thousands of happy festival-goers (opening for the godfathers of extreme metal, Venom, who had as much inspiration on the bands initial sound as early Motorhead.
Sure the selection of the songs will be subject to discussion and argument amongst their fans, but each track on VOIVOD Lives was carefully chosen according to performance and to help display the undeniable diversity of VOIVOD’s numerous albums. Unfortunately all of the tracks recorded during a show in Kraliky, Czech Republic (short before the dramatic car-crash in the summer of 1998), whose existence was spread via the Internet, were ruined by the bass-drum microphone overloading the leaking onto all other tracks.
For their final track, they pay tribute to their all-time faves Venom by covering their classic tune “In League with Satan” which more than once has been the closing number to a successful VOIVOD performance, perfectly ending their set with everybody cheering and singing along.
Is there a better way to bear witness to the uniqueness of this French-Canadian space metal institution?
In case you still have the slightest doubt, be sure to check them out on their tour with Therion and Flowing Tears in March 2000!
Hardradio review by Martin Popoff
Voivod . . . Lives!
As bassist and vocalist Eric Forrest continues recovery after a life-threatening road injury (Eric: “I feel pretty good. I’m pretty lucky to be able to walk, let alone live, after what I’vebeen through. Not too many people can do that after they break their spine in three places.”),
Voivod are readying two albums for release this year. The first, to be released in conjunctionwith a European spring tour supporting Therion (Christofer is a huge fan), is Voivod Lives, their first full official live album.
Drummer Michel Langevin explains. “It’s coming out probably in April on and Metal Blade in Canada and the States and Century Media in Europe and Japan. And we’re going to Europe to promote it. And then we’re going to come back and hopefully tour Canada once it comes out. But first of all, it’s two shows, one recorded at CBGB’s in New York, and the other one recorded at the Dynamo festival in Holland. Both shows are from 1996. We did record shows in 1998, but we had technical problems and we couldn’t release those tracks. Eventually we’ll have another live album with an expanded repertoire.”
The second album will be the band’s new studio album, hopefully ready for the summer. The music’s been written for two years, and pre-production has been completed, with Steve Albini expressing
interest in recording it. Lyrically, Michel says it will be a concept record telling the final chapter of the Voivod saga. Musically, he offers this: “I think when Eric joined the band and we put out Negatron, I thought it was a little bit reminiscent of Killing Technology. And I think Phobos is like Dimension Hatross, and I think the next one is going to be more like Nothingface, with more psychedelia included in the writing. On the past couple of albums we’ve been trying to cut down on the tempo changes and find a groove that can be heavy without really being fast. And
we’ve tried to do a little bit more ambient experimenting with the guitar effects, and not as many sampling as before. It’s more of a real power trio thing but there are a lot of guitar effects of course.”
Guitarist Dennis D’Amour, aka Piggy, echoes this sentiment. “A lot of people who listen to it like it and say they are very surprised by it. But it’s hard for me to comment. But yeah, I agree, there are some surprises. I use different guitar sounds and effects, and the way we write the songs was a little different too. We tried not to repeat the same record.” Eric’s take on it? “I think it’s the type of thing where Voivod fans from War And Pain all the way up until Angel Rat are going to like this record. It’s got progressive moments as well as heavier thrash moments as well as groovy, trippin’ kind of vibes. It’s heavy in spots, progressive in spots, a bit of everything.”
Michel has been thinking about adding as CDROM material, his years of artwork and peripheral writings on the story of the Voivod character and beyond. Parts of his library of work might show up chronologically in book form, available for sale on tour.
Additionally, the band has been involved in the Heavy Metal II soundtrack. Michel: “Yes, Piggy and I did the music for Heavy Metal II, the movie. We did the score for the trailers of the movie for USA in Japan, and then we put a song onto the movie soundtrack. It’s actually not on the CD, but it’s the first song on the movie. Also we did five songs for a video game called Onslaught.”
Finally in Voivod news, in the works is a proposed Voivod tribute album. Michel: “Relapse Records are working to put that. And so far, the people interested, I was quite surprised. There’s Primus, Mr. Bungle, Sepultura, names I wasn’t expecting. So hopefully that is going to see the light of day.”
Rock Ezine review
If you have ever heard of this band it’s now time to go to the record store and get this live album of this space metal institution.
VOIVOD finally decided to bring out a live album. The current line-up is more extreme and tighter than ever. Listen to the voice of Eric Forrest, the absolute stunning drums of Michel Langevin and the inimitable sounds of Denis d’Amour and you know what’s meant.
This CD is recorded in the legendary CBGB’s club in New York and at the famous Dynamo Open Air festival in the Netherlands. Whenever you have seen these three guys live you know that this album should be a killer.
Thanks to the great (live) production it has become what you could expect. Off course, every fan will miss some favourite songs, but the ones which made it on this record are great enough.
I could give you a list of numbers which are on this record, but you can see and hear that for yourselves. The most remarkable song on this record is ‘In League With Satan’ from Venom. Better than the original? Decide that for yourselves.