Voivod – Dvod 1 DVD
Music Video Distributors
When I was a kid in high school back in the mid 1980s, I discovered Voivod pretty much by accident. I bought some Metal Blade Records compilation LP for the sole reason it had Slayer on it and Voivod also had a track on there which was taken from their first, and only album at the time. I thought aside from Slayer, it was the best band on that compilation and immediately bought their album, and the others that followed soon after.
Voivod hailed from Montreal Quebec Canada and started out as a pretty standard fare speed/thrash metal band. While they were quite competent early on, it was when they started growing as a band and progressing their sound that they really became something special. Starting with their third album, Killing Technology, the songs were slowing down and branching into all kinds of different musical and more experimental directions. The themes of their records also got more out there too. They were like the first and only band playing science-fiction metal, for a lack of a better term. Their song structures were far different on each record that followed than any other band from the genre they spawned from, and they just kept getting better.
The band really peaked with Dimension Hatross and Nothingface, both which actually got some MTV attention and both featured the best of this new sound they created. After that, they put out a couple more records that seemed to get a little too out there and didn’t have the magic of the stuff up until that point, but still contained an odd gem or two (especially their cover of “The Nile Song”). Eventually the band sort of fell apart a bit, with original vocalist Snake leaving the band for many years as the band carried on with a new singer, but it was never the same. Snake found his way back to the band a couple years ago and they released a new studio album with Jason Newsted filling in for original member Blacky on bass who quit years earlier after the band released a couple albums on MCA Records. Sadly, earlier this year, guitarist Piggy passed away after losing his fight against cancer and thus the band is pretty much finished.
This DVD showcases the band in their original form during their “great years” between 1983 – 1991. It collects all six of their music videos, various live footage from shows throughout the years, some behind the scenes footage of making their videos and some footage of them recording in the studio. You can watch this in one of two ways; either by choosing each segment from the main menu, or as a whole by selecting the “play movie” option on the menu. This option was the best because you just hit the button and can sit there for the next 80 minutes and soak it all in. During this “movie” when it gets to the music videos, they are shown in reverse chronological order, so you see the band at their best, and go backwards to see how they started. The live footage is of mostly good to very good quality with very good audio. I never got to see these guys back then so it was cool to see what I missed, and made me a little sad that I never went to any of their shows.
On top of the 80 mins of main features, there is a few cool extras on the disc as well. First is a pair of slideshows set to two different Voivod songs. The first features a collection of band related artwork done by their drummer, Away, who did all the bands record covers and logos, etc. I always liked his artwork and it was one of the many things that attracted me to the band. The second is a collection of photos from different points of their career. Rounding it out is both of the bands cassette-only live demos from 1984 and 1987 in their entirety, both remastered by the late Piggy and sound better than any tape-dub you are going to find of it. While these play, on your screen is a static image of the full cassette cover. Not much to look at for 45 minutes straight but its something you’d put on and do other stuff with like you were listening to a record. It was a really cool inclusion that helps fill out the whole package and as far as I know, neither one are commercially available anywhere else.
If you are a Voivod fan, there isn’t much to complain about on this disc. This material isn’t available anywhere else, it has the demos as a bonus and the sound and visuals are very good to excellent. One note, the DVD cover states this is in Dolby 5.1 surround but that is not the case, it was straight stereo and there was no options on the disc to change it via the menu and using the audio button on your remote doesn’t work either. I guess it was not included or perhaps wasn’t meant to be and it was an error on the packaging. If I had my way there would have been even more live footage on this disc, aside from that, it was a fun way to spend a couple hours and I’m glad to see such an underrated band getting some exposure so people can perhaps see something they missed out on.