There is a song on Infini, Voivod’s final recording, titled “KRAP Radio.” In it, the refrain “One word says it all” is repeated over and over. They may have been talking about crappy radio when the song was written. But the one word that says it all about Voivod, and this great record is a simple one: “Classy.”
The 25 year career has had it’s share of ups and downs to be sure. But the loss of founding guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour to cancer four years ago ended the band. Infini contains the final 13 tracks recorded with Piggy, cleaned and retro-fitted for release.
For what amounts to a tribute album to a fallen comrade, Infini is remarkably good. In fact, if a person were unaware of the circumstances surrounding it’s recording, they would probably think it is just the latest in a long line of excellent Voivod discs.
Take the opening cut “God Phones” for instance. The crunching, riff happy guitar of Piggy never sounded better. “From The Cave” and “Global Warning” are two more examples, not only of his unparalleled guitar sound but of the band screaming at full throttle.
Although Voivod were alway a group in the truest sense of the word, Piggy was their spiritual leader. From the early thrash of War And Pain, through the prog-metal breakthrough of Nothingface and beyond, his guitar defined their music.
Bassist extraordinaire Jason Newsted understandably left Metallica during the filming of the embarrassing Some Kind Of Monster. He joined a band who did not need group therapy to record an album, Voivod. Newsted’s original and influential style can be heard to best effect on “Volcano” and “Treasure Chase.”
Vocalist Denis “Snake” Belanger sings his heart out here, and drummer Michel “Away” Langevin pounds the skins mercilessly throughout as well. Both were in the original incarnation of the band, way back in 1982. Bassist Jean-Yves “Blacky” Theriault was there too, and appears on a few Infini tracks, bringing all four founders together one last time.
First and foremost, Infini is a great metal record. Everything I have ever liked about the band is present here. From the instrumental mastery of each member, to the always interesting subject matter, even to the cover design, Infini is state of the art metal. Definitely worth hearing.
Obviously there is a little more to it than that though. As a farewell to a bandmate who was clearly a friend first, Infini gets my wholehearted respect. It doesn’t hurt that the disc kicks solid ass either.