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Voivod | DVOD 1 | review | dvd | Lollipop
by Mike Delano
Telling the story of a band as complex and long-lived as Voivod is no easy task. Possibly knowing this, the creators of DVOD-1, the band's first DVD, don't even try. They just dump what they have into your lap and force you to make some sense of it.
The meat of the release, which is called a "movie," is really just shards of concerts and other band footage thrown together, connected only by title cards. It's not in chronological order, so you won't get to see how the band evolved from their primitive thrash days to the prog complexities of their late '80s heyday. One minute they're in the studio, laying down tracks for their defining album, Nothingface, then they're playing live in 1987, and suddenly it's 1991. Not even the concert footage has any kind of continuity: Most clips are only one or two songs, so you can't even get an idea what a set list looked like for the band at any time period.
The hilariously awful (but often eerily appropriate) videos are the real highlight, including the "must-see-to-believe" clip for "Ravenous Medicine," made on a pocket change budget.
Scattershot as it is, the material here still gives ample proof that Voivod were among the most interesting metal bands of the late '80s, even if their Queensrÿche-meets-Meshuggah arty explorations never had a chance during the height of hair metal. Guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour's fretwork is as mind-bending now as it was then, and since the band released an exemplary album in 2003, and Denis "Snake" Bélanger recently guested on Dave Grohl's metal all-star Probot album, the Voivod story continues to this day. Now we just need a filmmaker with the ambition to tell the whole story.