ST. PETERSBURG — Canadian heavy metal band Voïvod will perform Wednesday, May 17, 8 p.m., at the Floridian Social, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Tickets start at $25. Visit www.thefloridiansocial.com.
Atomic Music Group points out that very few bands survive for four decades — and even fewer are those that continue to reach new creative heights, long after legendary status has been achieved. Voïvod were never like other bands. Even as the thrash metal scene exploded in the early 1980s, the Jonquière, Québec, crew stood apart, both as unique visionaries and as proud subverters of the metallic norm.
From early prog-thrash classics like “Killing Technology” and “Dimension Hatröss” through to the psychedelic explorations of “The Outer Limits,” Voïvod have been standard bearers for individuality and creative freedom for nearly 40 years.
Voïvod weathered the untimely death of talismanic guitarist and songwriter Denis “Piggy” D’Amour in 2005. Buoyed by the support of a global following, surviving original members Denis “Snake” Bélanger (vocals), Michel “Away” Langevin (drums), and Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault embarked on a new and challenging chapter in the Voïvod story, releasing the much-hailed “Target Earth” in 2013, with guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain proving himself to be a smart and dexterous successor to D’Amour.
By 2014, bassist Dominic “Rocky” Laroche had replaced Thériault, and a new incarnation of this indestructible band crossed their compositional beams to forge yet more mind-bending, psychedelic post-thrash wizardry. Released in 2018, “The Wake” was almost universally hailed as the finest Voïvod album since the band’s late 1980s heyday.
The album’s commercial success confirmed that the band’s return to peak form had struck a chord with fans old and new. Not surprisingly, Voïvod hit the road to reaffirm their status as one of metal’s most unique and powerful live acts.
“At first we went on tour for almost two years, pretty intensively, with great bands and line-ups,” said Chewy. “We went all over the globe, to Australia, Japan and Europe many times, and twice across North America. It was great. We had also a few surprising invitations, like playing the Montreal Jazz Fest. We also won a Juno award for Metal/Hard Music Album of 2019. We came back home in late December 2019, and then everything stopped for obvious reasons.”
Confined to their quarters for those long months of lockdown, Canada’s finest simply did what they do best: create. The result is “Synchro Anarchy,” Voïvod’s 15th studio album. Shaped by the weirdest of circumstances, the new songs were born from an intense period of collaboration.
“It was a challenge, because we couldn’t jam together very much, but we all welcomed the circumstances as a new creative element,” said Chewy. “Lots of demos and files were shared and it was all worked to the point where it really sounded like the four of us playing in the same room. We could get together and try the ideas out just before the recording process to make all the small adjustments. In the end, it was almost like a race against the clock. It was pretty intense, but we welcomed the challenge.”