Review by Mike Korn
Elsewhere in this edition of MSJ, we took a look at Rebel Meets Rebel, a project of the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Now we turn to the last output of another innovative guitarist who tragically passed away at a young age, Dennis "Piggy" D'amour of Voi Vod. Long one of the most original axemen in underground metal, Piggy died in 2005 after a bout with advanced colon cancer. However, he left a computer full of basic guitar tracks and on his deathbed, instructed the other members of Voi Vod (who have endured an incredible amount of misfortune in their long career) to go ahead and use those tracks to create an album. Katorz is the result.
It's hard to believe that this album was not done by the whole band live in the studio. It has such a natural, organic sound to it. Thanks should definitely go to producer Glenn Robinson for stitching this all together so seamlessly. As for Katorz itself, it's the most rock and roll of all Voi Vod's albums, even more so than their self-titled disk of a couple years back. The music is simple, catchy and punchy; in some cases, it's more punk than metal. Those who like Voi Vod for dense psychedelia and odd avant-garde time signatures may be disappointed with Katorz, as this is far from their most "out there" work. But I can't see anybody who enjoys catchy rock and metal failing to enjoy such strong cuts as "The Getaway" and "The X-Stream."
Aside from Piggy's strong guitar work, a lot of the success here can be chalked up to the excellent vocal skills of Snake. He's not a vocalist with a great voice, obviously, but he does have an uncanny knack for coming up with strong vocal hooks with infectious rhythms. Every track here has at least one vocal line that embeds itself in your brain. Add in the super-tight rhythm section of Jasonic and Away and you have Katorz...an entertaining album that's a fine tribute to a great guitarist and a strong piece of rock wizardry.