Voivod Biography

Formed in Canada in the early 80s, Voivod originally comprised Denis ‘Snake’ Belanger (vocals), Denis ‘Piggy’ D’Amour (Canada, d. 26 August 2005, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; guitar), Jean-Yves Theriault (bass) and Michel Langevin (drums). The release of their first album made them one of the first thrash metal bands to make a name for themselves worldwide. The sound of this 1984 debut was highly unconventional, with an almost avant garde feel at times. A second album continued in this tradition with noisy, neo-industrial elements, and helped them become popular in metal underground circles. Progression was evident on 1987’s Killing Technology which showcased improved musicianship and lyrics. However, on Dimension Hatross they left behind much of their thrash roots, and there was now much more to their sound than that basic attack. This trend continued on Nothingface (1989) which contained little that could be labelled thrash metal, and Angel Rat (1991), which also saw the departure of Theriault.

By this point in Voivod’s career, influences such as progressive rock were increasingly taking hold of song construction and twisting the band’s narratives into new and occasionally brilliant shapes. The strength of their ideas and the depth of their musical skills and interpretation helped them to grow steadily and transcend thrash roots while still retaining a strong fanbase right across the metal spectrum. Belanger departed following the release of 1993’s The Outer Limits. The 1995 set Negatron marked the recording debut of new bass player/vocalist Eric Forrest as the band forged on as a trio. Jim Thirwell (Foetus) guested on one track, ‘DNA’, while 1997’s Phobos featured a track, ‘M-Body’, co-written with Jason Newsted of Metallica. Newsted, by now having parted company with Metallica, officially joined the band in 2002 as a replacement for Forrest, with Belanger also returning to the fold. The new line-up toured as part of Ozzfest in 2003 and issued a self-titled album on Newsted’s Chophouse label the same year. Guitarist D’Amour died in August 2005 after battling colon cancer.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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