By Jason Wellwood
Here’s a show that in 10 years every metal fan born after 1991 is going to claim to have been at. The surviving members of the original lineup of Voivod headlining their first hometown show since 1991, is definitely something many older headbangers would have love to have seen, let alone the young ‘uns! Choosing songs primarily from the first six albums (and two from Infini) the band were definitely looking to please the old school fans, and I think they’ve done that here in spades! The first thing you’ll notice is the sound quality: for a live album done in a bar, this is super crisp! Not to the point that you’d question how live the songs are though, Denis ‘Snake’ Belanger still has a bit of a rasp, and you can tell that any mistakes (and they are definitely few and far between) were left as is. No punch-ins, no overdubs, just an awesome performance by metal legends. The fifteen songs presented on Warriors of Ice sound heavier and tighter than they ever did on the studio albums, a little thicker and faster at times as well. Not that the originals ever sounded bad, but the songs definitely benefit from years of practice on the part of the band, as well as more modern equipment to work with. If anyone had a doubt that the band would be able to carry one after the death of Denis D’Amour back in 2005, Warriors of Ice lays that to rest. Not that Daniel ‘Chewy’ Mongrain could ever replace Piggy completely but he does a more than admirable job in mimicking his style here and dammit, these songs still deserve to be heard live!
Warriors of Ice is a definitely a high point in the career of Voivod and a show that will certainly go down in Canadian metal lore. Whether the band attempts to write an album of new material or even continues on in this (re)incarnation remains to be seen. If they decide not to continue on they have left us with one hell of a live record to day dream with. This is a must for any Voivod fan, or new-to-the-scene metal head.
(Indica[Canada] / Sonic Unyon Metal [USA])