August 29, 2005

Voivod guitarist D’Amour dies of colon cancer

By Greg Prato

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Voivod guitarist Denis D'Amour,
better known to fans as Piggy, died Friday at a Montreal
hospital after a battle with colon cancer. He was 45.

Although it was the group's futuristic lyrics on which fans
most focused, D'Amour's complex, jazz-based guitar work fueled
the band musically.

One of the first Canadian thrash metal bands, the
Quebec-based Voivod (which also originally included singer
Denis "Snake" Belanger, bassist Jean-Yves Theriault and drummer
Michel Langevin) has released a string of genre classics such
as 1984's "War and Pain" and 1987's "Killing Technology." But
the band truly hit its stride on 1989's prog-metal effort
"Nothingface," even headlining a U.S. tour over Faith No More
and Soundgarden.

Just as it appeared the mainstream metal world might be
catching up with Voivod in the '90s, Theriault and Belanger
exited the band. Voivod continued recording throughout the
decade and was in recent years rejuvenated by the addition of
former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, as well as the return
of Belanger.

The new lineup toured as part of Ozzfest in 2003, and
issued a new, self-titled studio album the same year on
Newsted's Chophouse label. In 2004, Belanger appeared on Dave
Grohl's star-studded metal detour, "Probot."

Voivod recently signed a new contract with the End Records,
and was gearing up to enter the studio early next year. Newsted
recently told that more than an album's worth of
songs had already been demoed.

While it is unknown what will happen to the new material,
D'Amour recently completed guitar tracks for a reunion by the
obscure '70s Montreal band, Aut'Chose. First up will be
Voivod's first DVD, "D-V-O-D-1," due October 25 via Music Video
Distributors. The project compiles all the group's videos from
1983-1991, as well as live performances from this period.