VOIVOD: 'Katorz' North American Release Date Announced

Canada's pioneering metal band VOIVOD have set July 25, 2006 as the North American release date (via The End Records) for their much-anticipated new album, "Katorz".

As previously reported, VOIVOD recorded and mixed the album with producer Glen Robinson (ANNIHILATOR, TEA PARTY, GWAR) at Multisons studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and mastered the CD in New York.

The follow-up to 2003's "Voivod", "Katorz" is the first album in the band's 20-plus-year career that did not feature founding guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour working alongside his bandmembers in the studio. D'Amour died August 26, 2005 in a Montreal hospital from complications of advanced colon cancer.

In order to record "Katorz", singer Denis "Snake" Belanger, drummer Michael "Away" Langevin, and bassist Jason "Jasonic" Newsted utilized all of the guitar parts that Piggy had recorded for the record on his laptop with ProTools before his death.

In a recent interview with Greg Prato of Billboard.com, Langevin had the following to say about the upcoming CD: "It came about in unfortunate circumstances, but the result is mind-blowing. Right before his departure, Denis explained to me that he had recorded all the tracks that we had been working on with Jason and Snake for the past two years. He had recorded that on his laptop with ProTools, and even though he would have preferred to re-do the whole thing in a real studio, there was a chance that we could use the tracks. We built the album based on the guitar tracks, which was difficult, because normally, we go the other way around — we start with the drums, and then add stuff on top. But it sounds amazing."

"'Katorz' means 14 — it's the 14th effort of the band," Belanger added. "The first time Piggy put it together and gave us the demo was on CD, [and he had written] 'Katorz', which is not the right way to write it. Of course [there is] an emotional side to it, so we took the demo, and the design of it will be his handwriting."

Check out the track "The X-Stream", taken from the upcoming CD, in streaming audio format at MP3.com.

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