Voivod's current lineup.
|Origin||Jonquière, Quebec, Canada|
|Genres||Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Progressive Metal, Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, Groove Metal, Space Rock|
|Years active||1982 - present|
|Labels||Metal Blade, Combat, MCA, Nuclear Blast, Century Media|
|Associated acts||Probot, E-Force, Metallica, Flotsam and Jetsam, Men Without Hats, Tau Cross, Paranoland, Cryptopsy, Gorguts, Aut'Chose, Les Ékorchés, Kosmos, Union Made, Martyr, Cœur Atomique, Project: Failing Flesh, Liquid Indian, Thunder Circus|
|Current members|| Michel Langevin|
Active since 1982, Voivod have changed their sound constantly over the years, shifting from early days of speed and thrash metal to a distinctive dissonant progressive metal to even a sound resembling stoner rock and grunge. The band has a lot of distinctive trademarks such as guitarist Piggy's frequent use of unconventional minor chords, lyrical themes on cold war and science and drummer Away's distinctive artwork in every Voivod release.
The band found mainstream success in the late 1980s with their fifth studio album Nothingface (1989), which is Voivod's only album to enter the Billboard 200 charts, peaking at number 114. The band also found another stint of mainstream success in the late 90s with their self-titled record getting showcase on MTV.
Since their formation the group has performed all over the world and has a major following among metal circles, even dubbed as one of the "Big Four" of Canadian thrash bands (Alongside Sacrifice, Razor and Annihilator). The band to date has thirteen studio albums with a fourteenth in the works.
Voivod's name comes from a character created by Langevin that many of the songs are based around. Inspired by Heavy Metal magazine and getting the word “Voivod” from Dracula, he created the Voivod character. The post-nuclear-war vampire creature resides in Morgoth, a land of never-ending war inspired by Lord of The Rings, Dracula and various sci-fi magazines.
Metal Blade and Noise Records era (1982 - 1988)Edit
Voivod formed in 1982 in Jonquière, Quebec, Canada. Upon their formation the band primarily played speed metal heavily influenced by metal from the late 70s. The band would play their first live show (Later released as the demo Anachronism) on 25 June 1983 in Saguenay. Along with only a handful of originals the band performed covers by the likes of Judas Priest, Venom, Motorhead and Raven among others. The band would release another demo in January 1984 entitled To The Death! before signing to Metal Blade Records. The band's thrash-based debut, War and Pain, was released on 10 August 1984 , selling over 40,000 copies worldwide within two years of release.
The band would perform a string of shows in 1985, including an infamous performance at the World War III Festival alongside Celtic Frost, Destruction, Nasty Savage and Possessed. Voivod would go into 1986 with a new label, signing with Noise Records (and distributor Combat) and release their second album Rrröööaaarrr on 14 March 1986. The band would support this record with their first major tours in the form of a North American tour with Celtic Frost and Possessed and a tour of Europe alongside Possessed and Deathrow. The band's sound started to drift away from pure thrash and speed and began to invoke progressive elements in newer songs at the time such as "Overreaction" and "Ravenous Medicine" for example.
1987 would follow with the band's third album Killing Technology, released on 3 April 1987 to positive reception among metal critics, showcasing an evolution into a progressive thrash band and hitting the road worldwide with Kreator that year in what was dubbed the Tournado. The next year would build on the band's progressive nature and Pink Floyd influence even further with Dimension Hatröss, released on 29 June 1988 to positive acclaim and is regarded as a classic metal record, even ranked among Rolling Stone's Top 100 Metal Albums of all time list at No. 78. The band toured the USA for two months with Vio-lence in support of the record. An intended European tour with Cro-Mags would be canceled while Piggy would take a brief time off due to heath issues. The band would spend a fair amount of 1988 writing their next record.
Nothingface, Angel Rat and The Outer Limits (1989 - 1994)Edit
Voivod would sign to MCA Records in 1989 and begin to promote their fourth album in four years. Nothingface would be released on 13 October 1989 with a music video for the cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" (An intended video for "The Unknown Knows" was scrapped in the process). The band would end up finding the most mainstream success of their career with this album, Nothingface itself peaking at 114 on the Billboard 200 and selling between 250,000 and 300,000 copies. The video for "Astronomy Domine" was a regular airing on MuchMusic’s Power Hour and MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. With this momentum the band would tour heavily throughout 1990, touring with the likes of opening for Rush (Whom they were huge fans of) and a headlining USA Tour with two young, aspiring openers in Soundgarden and Faith No More.
In 1991 the band had begun work on their sixth studio album, releasing Angel Rat on 12 November 1991, produced by Terry Brown of Rush fame. The band drifted from their complex sci-fi based progressive metal in line for more of an alternative rock/progressive rock sound, also the first album not about the Voivod character conceptualized in their songs. Due to a dispute between MCA and Mechanic labels there is issues with the album's promotion and the record would see fairly mixed reviews at the time (Though with time Angel Rat would gain a significant cult following). After finishing his bass tracks for the album, Blacky would depart from the group due to personal differences and a general interest towards other forms of music. With the band held up due to the legal issues between labels it gave them time to begin work on a new record.
A "best-of" compilation would see release in 1992 and then on 3 August 1993 The Outer Limits was released, with session bassist Pierre St. Jean handling the studio recordings. Voivod's seventh studio album would be one of their most ambitious, featuring 3-D Glasses to view the artwork, some of the band's most accessible sounding material and the 17-minute "Jack Luminous" in what would be their longest song. Despite mixed reception of this record from fans and critics at the time (Though later this album would attain a stronger following) the band would embark on a world tour that year with Martin Bolduc and Gilles Brisebois filling in as live bassists. After a tour of the USA in early 1994, Snake would depart from the group, citing personal issues. With a short time off, Away and Piggy would jam with Eric Forrest, nicknamed "E-Force" and quickly the band would go on as a trio with Forrest handling bass and vocal duties.
The E-Force Years: Phobos and Negatron (1994 - 2001)Edit
Now as a trio with a third songwriter, the band's sound would change again from the psychedelic/alternative/progressive rock adapted from the last three records to something more resembling industrial and groove metal. This heaviness would prompt MCA to drop the band out of their contract. Now signed to Hypnotic Records, the band would release Negatron on 5 December 1995, following with a tour of the USA and Europe in support of it the next year. The new direction perplexed and divided some fans as the band themselves played smaller venues.
The trio lineup would follow up with Phobos on 12 August 1997, meshing many of the styles the band adapted in what would turn out to be one of their most experimental efforts. Voivod followed into the fall touring Europe in support of the record. The band toured Europe again in 1998 but the tour was cut short with a van accident that badly injured Eric Forrest when he was thrown through the front window. That same year a compilation album entitled Kronik saw release, showcasing remixes, unreleased songs and a handful of live tunes from the E-Force era.
Despite doctors saying the van crash would likely have left Forrest unable to walk he defied the odds and recovered, touring with the band throughout 1999 alongside the likes of Iron Maiden, Today Is The Day and Neurosis. Snake would reunite with the band for one gig this year. The band toured further the next year alongside the likes of Therion, Flowing Tears and High on Fire. A live album entitled Voivod Lives saw release via Century Media on 22 August 2000. By the end of the year the band recorded a third album with E-Force that never saw release as the group decided to disband in March 2001. Behind the scenes there were talks of Snake rejoining the group.
In recent years Away has expressed interest of releasing the album-length demo that never saw release as it was conceptualized as the final chapter of the "Voivod" character though an official release at the moment has yet to be seen.
The Return of Snake and Self-titled Album (2001 - 2004)Edit
Citing the Probot project as one of the elements that led to his return to working with the band, Snake would return to Voivod in late 2001, with his official return show on 25 April 2002 with Vincent Peake on bass. The band played a handful of shows with a new bassist in the fold who had departed from Metallica after a 15-year tenure in one Jason Newsted, now known as Jasonic. The band began work on a brand new album that year and their first in six years, the longest gap to date between Voivod albums.
Signed to Chophouse, the band released the self-titled Voivod on 4 March 2003 to positive acclaim among fans and critics, with the band's sound shifting towards metal and alternative rock. This album is the first to enter the Billboard charts (#21 on Top Independent Albums), with the single "We Carry On" receiving heavy rotation on MTV2's Headbangers Ball and Fuse TV's Uranium upon release. The band toured the USA with Sepultura and then toured Canada with Ozzy Osbourne and following with an appearance at OzzFest. Voivod performed on the second stage while Newsted would perform later that night with Osbourne as he was handling double-duty with both bands, which he'd state in a 2017 interview as "30 days, 60 shows that summer and I was ready to roll in Europe that year too. I'd play in that band for an hour and then that band for two and a half hours. I had over forty songs rolling in my head and think about it, Geezer's lines and Blacky's lines... That's a lot."
An intended tour with Ozzy Osbourne in Europe was canceled that year due to Ozzy's ATV accident. As it'd turn out, Denis D'Amour's final appearance with the band (and final show with this lineup as a live unit) was on 28 August 2003 at the Coral Sky Ampitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The Death of Piggy, Katorz and Infini (2005 - 2009)Edit
As the band would work on their next record, now having time with the canceled European tour, the group would finish a DVD entitled D-V-O-D-1 released in 2005 as an intended first part of a three-disc series. Along with music videos the DVD features a whole host of live footage and rarities.
Tragedy would befall the band as Denis D'Amour passed away on 26 August 2005 due to complications from colon cancer. The band would pay tribute on 1 September after his funeral by setting one of his old guitars on fire and placing it in the Sable river in Viking Funeral fashion. A second memorial in Montreal was held on 22 October 2005. Before his death, D'Amour let Langevin know about a laptop in his possession with 23 guitar tracks he fully recorded and instructions on how to work the other instrumentation on it, giving him these recordings on 24 August 2005. Langevin would procure these recordings and to honor his friends legacy, began work on the next Voivod record roughly three or four months later.
Basing the artwork around a "demo" concept and shifting from the character concept as noted from the album cover, Katorz was released on 25 July 2006 via The End Records to positive reviews. As a touring band Voivod was not active and Away contemplated quitting music forever after the death of Piggy. However the lineup of Newsted, Langevin and Belanger agreed to compose one more album with the remaining recordings by D'Amour.
Some time later it would be announced Voivod would be performing live again with a new guitarist in Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain, who had been a fan of the group since the age of 12. Along with Mongrain, Blacky would return to the group on bass duties. The band's first show with the lineup (and first in five years) would be at the Heavy MTL Festival in Montreal on 22 June 2008. The band played a host of other shows the same year. The band intended to get Blacky and E-Force on bass duties for the next record as Jason Newsted was out with shoulder surgery but he'd recover and perform bass on Infini, released via Nuclear Blast on 12 June 2009 and intended at the time to be Voivod's final studio album.
Voivod would follow through the year with a tour of Europe and a short Canadian tour with Down, releasing a live DVD from 2008 entitled Tatsumaki: Voivod in Japan 2008 on 17 November 2009. That same year, a hardcover book entitled Worlds Away: Voivod and the Art of Michel Langevin by Martin Popoff with the surviving members of Voivod was released, showcasing the band's history and specific insight into Away's career as an artist.
Target Earth (2010 - 2013)Edit
The band resumed as a touring unit performing mostly classic Voivod songs, beginning 2010 with an appearance at Scion RockFest followed with a tour supporting Kreator and a full tour of Europe. The band would keep on the road with tours of Europe, appearances at Maryland Deathfest and a curated double set at Roadburn Festival over the next couple years. The band released a new live album Warriors of Ice on 14 June 2011 via Indica Records and then a portion of their performance at Roadburn via Roadburn Records on 14 April 2012.
On 9 October 2012 the band would release a new single entitled Mechanical Mind and express that a new album was in the works via Century Media Records, despite past hinting that there would be no more Voivod albums. Returning to a progressive thrash style, Target Earth was released on 22 January 2013 to critical acclaim and what was referred to as a return to form for some fans. In immediate support of the record the band toured around various festivals that year including HellFest, Brutal Assault and BloodStock among others.
Post Society and The Wake (2014 - Present)Edit
Voivod would perform a string of shows to start off 2014, including a short tour of South America. However on 10 July 2014, Blacky would once again part ways with the band, citing personal and musical differences. With a few days notice the band recruited Dominique Laroche, also known as "Rocky", as a fill-in for the remaining 2014 shows though within a short time he would settle in as the new Voivod bassist. The band would close out the year with appearances at Heavy MTL Festival in Montreal and Housecore Horror Fest in Austin, Texas.
In a 2015 interview with Away and Chewy via Thrash Eaters, Away explained Blacky's second departure:
|“||“Last year, Blacky didn't agree on how the band should be managed and all that, so we parted ways. And we didn't want the situation to be complicated. I mean, we could have phoned back Jason [Newsted, former METALLICA and VOIVOD bassist] and all that, but that's complicated; it's another set of issues. And we wanted to be able to give each other a call and say, 'Let's jam,' and go to the rehearsal space. So that's what [VOIVOD guitarist guitarist Daniel 'Chewy" Mongrain] told me. He said, 'I know somebody, and I'm sure, sure, sure, sure, sure he can do it.' And I'm, like, 'Great! Let's jam.' And that was it.”||”|
— Away, Thrash Eaters via Blabbermouth 
Voivod returned to the road in one of the most productive touring stages of their career, touring relentlessly through the USA and Europe supporting Napalm Death and Carcass. The band began work on new material (and the first with Rocky on bass), the first of which being We Are Connected on 31 March 2015, initially as a split 7" with At The Gates. Another single followed with Forever Mountain that October with the band releasing a new EP.
Post Society saw it's release on 26 February 2016 to further praise from critics as the band maintained the progressive thrash style. The band embarked that Winter on their first headlining USA tour in 13 years with Vektor, Eight Bells, Black Fast, King Parrot and Child Bite as support through four months of touring. The band followed up with an extensive tour of Europe that same year with Entombed AD.
With further touring in 2017 the band announced in November that their fourteenth studio album is in the works for a 2018 release, hinting that the new record may be a double album due to the length of some of the songs. On 13 June 2018, Voivod officially announced that their fourteenth studio album The Wake was set for a September release via Century Media, with a tour of Europe in lieu of their 35th Anniversary as a band. Further extensive touring would span through the entirety of 2019 in support of The Wake. On 5 April 2020 it would be announced that the band were beginning work on a new album set for 2021, with inspiration being drawn from the CO-VID19 pandemic along with a live album set for the Fall.
Current Lineup Edit
- Michel Langevin aka Away - Drums (1982 - Present)
- Denis Bélanger aka Snake - Vocals (1983 - 1994, 2002 - Present)
- Daniel Mongrain aka Chewy - Guitars (2006 - Present)
- Dominique Laroche aka Rocky - Bass (2014 - Present)
Past Members Edit
- Denis D'Amour aka Piggy - Guitars (1982 - 2005)(Deceased)
- Jean-Yves Thériault aka Blacky - Bass (1982 - 1991, 2008 - 2014)
- Pierre St. Jean - Bass (1992 - 1993)
- Gilles Brisebois - Bass (1993 - 1994)
- Eric Forrest aka E-Force - Bass, Vocals (1994 - 2001)
- Jason Newsted aka Jasonic - Bass (2002 - 2008)
- Vincent Peake - Live Bass (2002)
- War and Pain (1984, Metal Blade Records)
- Rrröööaaarrr (1986, Noise Records)
- Killing Technology (1987, Noise Records)
- Dimension Hatröss (1988, Noise Records)
- Nothingface (1989, MCA Records; Mechanic Records)
- Angel Rat (1991, MCA Records; Mechanic Records)
- The Outer Limits (1993, MCA Records)
- Negatron (1995, Hypnotic Records)
- Phobos (1997, Metal Mind Productions)
- Voivod (2003, Chophouse Records)
- Katorz (2006, The End Records)
- Infini (2009, Relapse Records)
- Target Earth (2013, Century Media)
- The Wake (2018, Century Media)
- Anachronism (1983)
- To the Death (1984)
- Morgoth Invasion (1984)
- Zeche Bochum (1986)
- No Speed Limit Weekend (1986)
- Live à Bruxelles (1987)
- Dimension Hatröss Demos (1987)
- Spectrum (1987)
- Nothingface Demos (1988)
- A Flawless Structure? (1988)
- Live at the Paradise (1990)
- Angel Rat Demos (1991)
- Negatron Demos (1994)
- Klubben Stockholm (1999)
- 2001 Album Demo (2001)
- Katorz Demos (2004)
- Thrashing Rage (1986, Noise Records)
- Cockroaches (1987, Noise Records)
- Angel Rat Sampler (1991, MCA Records)
- Live @ Musiqueplus (2000, Musiqueplus)
- Post Society (2016, Century Media)
Live Albums Edit
- Voivod Lives (2000, Century Media)
- D-V-O-D-1 (2005, Linus Entertainment)
- Tatsumaki: Voivod in Japan (2008, MVD Visual)
- Warriors of Ice (2011, Sonic Unyon Metal)
- Live At Roadburn (2011, Roadburn Records)
- The Best of Voivod (1992, Noise Records)
- Kronik (1998, Hypnotic Records)
- To The Death 84 (2011, Alternative Tentacles)
- Build Your Weapons The Very Best Of The Noise Years 1986-1988 (2017, Noise Records)
NOTE: All dates can be sourced from Voivod.net.
- 1984 Canada Residency (1984)
- 1986 North American Tour (With Celtic Frost, Running Wild) (1986)
- 1986 European Tour (With Possessed, Deathrow) (1986)
- Tournado (North America) (With Kreator) (1987)
- Tournado (Europe) (With Kreator) (1987)
- Dimension Hatross Tour (With Vio-lence) (1988)
- Nothingface Tour (With Testament, Nuclear Assault, Wrathchild) (1989)
- 1990 North American Tour (With Soundgarden, Faith No More) (1990)
- 1990 Quebec Tour (With Big F) (1990)
- 1990 UK Tour (1990)
- 1990 Canadian Residency (With Rush) (1990)
- The Outer Limits Tour (With Clutch, Damn The Machine) (1993)
- 1994 North American Tour (1994)
- Negatron Tour (1995)
- 1996 Tour (With Crisis, Pro-Pain on select dates) (1996)
- Phobos Tour (1997)
- 1998 Tour (1998; Cut short)
- Ed Hunter Tour (With Iron Maiden) (1999)
- Polliwog Festival (1999)
- 1999 European Tour (With Neurosis, Today Is The Day) (1999)
- 1999 North American Tour (With Neurosis, Today Is The Day) (1999)
- The Deggial 2000 European Tour (With Therion, Flowing Tears) (2000)
- 2000 Canadian Club Tour (With High on Fire) (2000)
- 2000 Australian Tour (2000)
- Snake's Return (With Motorhead, Morbid Angel or Dio depending on dates) (2002)
- 2003 North American Tour (With Sepultura) (2003)
- 2003 Canadian Tour (With Ozzy Osbourne) (2003)
- OzzFest 2003 (Final tour with Piggy) (2003)
- 2003 European Tour (With Ozzy Osbourne, H.I.M.; Canceled) (2003)
- 2008 Shows (2008)
- 2009 European Tour (2009)
- 2009 Canadian Tour (With Down) (2009)
- Hordes of Chaos Part II (With Kreator, Nachtmystium, Evile, Lazarus A.D.) (2010)
- 2010 European Tour (2010)
- 2010 South American Tour (Canceled) (2010)
- 2011 Mini Canadian Tour (With Martyr) (2011)
- 2011 South American Tour (With Forbidden) (2011)
- 2011 European Tour (With Grim Skunk on select dates.) (2011)
- 2011 Canadian Residency (2011)
- 2012 European Tour (2012)
- 2013 European Mini-Tour (2013)
- 2014 South American Mini-Tour (2014)
- Through Space and Grind (With Napalm Death) (2015)
- We Are Connected Tour (2015)
- Deathcrusher (With Carcass, Obituary, Napalm Death, Herod) (2015)
- Post Society Tour (Leg 1) (With Vektor, Eight Bells, Black Fast) (2016)
- Post Society Tour (Leg 2) (With King Parrot, Child Bite) (2016)
- Post Society European Tour (2016)
- Dead Dawn (With Entombed A.D., Lord Dying) (2016)
- June 2017 European Tour (2017)
- Post Society 2017 European Tour (2017)
- 35th Anniversary Tour (With Maggot Heart, Nightrage, Bio-Cancer) (2018)
- The Wake Australasia Tour (2019)
- The Wake North American Tour (Leg One) (With Yob) (2019)
- The Wake European Tour (2019)
- The Wake North American Tour (Leg Two) (With Conjurer, Skeletal Remains, Psycroptic, Revocation) (2019)
- Use Your Collusion European Tour (With GWAR) (2019)
- ↑ LoudWire on YouTube
- ↑ Blabbermouth
- ↑ Blabbermouth
- ↑ Blabbermouth
- ↑ Blabbermouth
- ↑ Blabbermouth VOIVOD Discusses Split With Bassist BLACKY, Addition Of ROCKY, accessed 5 December 2017
- ↑ The ObeliskAccessed 13 June 2018
- ↑ Blabbermouth