As curators for the 17th edition of the Roadburn festival, Canadian metal innovators VOIVOD transported fans into “Dimension Hatröss” as part of their special headline show during the Au-delà du Réel event on Friday, April 13 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
Progressive thrash? Thrashing prog? Call it what you like, “Dimension Hatröss” is a rarity: a concept album that stands the test of time. In fact, the original storyline has been eclipsed by reality, rendering it not so much a fantastic sci-fi trip as an uncomfortably prescient account of the world today. Divided into eight chapters, the album covers everything from the quest to create a utopian society in the face of technocratic and theocratic governments to terrorism and mind control. Plus, it rocks! It rocks in that uniquely hypnotic flight of the space bumblebee way that hums VOIVOD at every dissonant turn.
In the book “Worlds Away”, drummer and artist Michel “Away” Langevin fondly recalls: “Around the era of ‘Dimension Hatröss’, the music was so complicated we almost didn’t have any interaction with the crowd anymore because we were concentrating so hard on our instruments.”
But what exactly is a Hatröss? In a 1988 interview with Sounds, Away explained, “‘Hatross’ is a word I created from the English word ‘hate’ and the French word ‘atroce,’ from which ‘atrocity’ is derived.” He added, “The music had to be a bit weird for this album, although we kept the heaviness of it.”
VOIVOD entered Pierre Rémillard‘s (OBLIVEON, CRYPTOPSY, KRISIUN, MISERY INDEX) Wild Studio in January in a small town called St-Zénon in Quebec, Canada to begin recording its new album for a tentative summer release. The follow-up to 2009’s “Infini” will contain the band’s first music to be written with new guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain (MARTYR) following the passing of original axeman Denis “Piggy” D’Amour in 2005.