Eleven years after the rather mellow “Voivod Lives”, the French Canadian masterminds of Progressive Thrash Metal release this final offering honouring the works of their legendary late guitar player Denis “Piggy” D’Amour with three quarters of the band’s original line-up before the band carries on with new songs and a new album.
In comparison to the previous live record “Voivod Lives” that had a very lame crowd, the release of the old school DVD “D-V-O-D-1” that had a rather poor sound quality and the release of the “Tatsumaki” DVD that had a rather bad camera setting, “Warriors Of Ice” easily beats all of those previous live records together.
The sound on this record is heavy and authentic and a powerful fistful of Metal hammers out of the speakers as soon as the track “Voivod” kicks off. Even the rather soft tracks like “Panorama” or “Global Warning” have a pitiless pace and turn out to be great live tracks. But this heaviness doesn’t mean that the band doesn’t sound technically brilliant and diversified. The guitars in “The Unknown Knows” or “Brain Scan” sound as perfect as the studio version with “Piggy” and this live release may prove to the last critics that Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain is the one and only that could have taken this heritage. He is not only heavily inspired by the late VOIVOD guitar player and imitates him close to perfection but he also has his own range and style that is similar to the one of his idol but not completely identical. I’m looking forward to the future album of the band with him as he may surely add something fresh and technically brilliant to the sound of the band.
What distinguishes this record from the previous live albums is the enthusiastic crowd in a rather small venue in Montreal, Québec. The fans cheer and sing along and contribute to a great atmosphere even if some cheering parts before the encores and after the last song have sadly been cut off from the final version of this great release. The interaction between the crowd and singer Denis “Snake” Belanger is very natural and intense in a very unique and charismatic French-Canadian language.
Let’s add to all those positive facts that the album artwork is another great work from drummer Michel “Away” Langevin and that the rather small booklet contains a few nice photos.
The only negative points I could find about this release are the shortened cheering crowd passages and the rather sudden ending of the album as well as the fact that the material of the albums “The Outer Limits”, “Negatron”, “Phobos”, “Voivod” and “Katorz” has been ignored for the set lists but the band has recently add a few songs to their shows and I hope that they will continue to do so in the future because there is some great and underrated material on the records of the nineties, too.
In the end, this album is without the glimpse of a doubt your definite VOIVOD live record and a great appetizer for the upcoming new era as this live record is the last transition between the old and the modern times. Get this great gem and enjoy.
(Online April 7, 2012)