Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Canada’s eclectically diverse, sci-fi metallers VOIVOD return with a 3-track 12″ EP, ‘The End Of Dormancy‘, set for worldwide release July 10th from Century Media Records.
The short-play recording offers varied versions of the song “The End Of Dormancy“, found on the band’s 2018 studio album, ‘The Wake‘ [Brett’s review]. The Side A selection of the EP is the specialized version of the track, entitled “The End Of Dormancy (Metal Section)“, where we find the number enhanced with trumpets, saxophone, and trombones.
Following it in the EP’s running order are the Side B selections: “The End Of Dormancy” (Live Montreal Jazz Fest 2019) and “The Unknown Knows” (Live Montreal Jazz Fest 2019).
We are far from finished though, for accompanying today’s EP news announcement from VOIVOD is the official video for “The End Of Dormancy (Metal Section)“. The video is directed by Syl Disjon – who previously created the “Kluskap O’ Kom” clip for the band – and the song produced by Igor Simonnet.
Guitarist Daniel “Chewy“ Mongrain checked in with the following comment about ‘The End Of Dormancy‘ and its special “Metal Section” version:
“I initially wrote the opening riff of the song on tour, outside, behind a club in Germany on a sunny day and recorded right away. It had that Quartal Harmony over a pedal point that to me evoke soundtracks of classic roman movies when you hear the brass (Lituus, Cornu and other instruments). It has a military and solemn vibe to it. In 2019, we had the honor to be invited to play the Montreal International Jazz Festival, we all thought we could do something special in the context. I had the idea to do a brass arrangement and add in an extra open improvised Sax Solo section which doesn’t exist in the studio version.
“I started to write and was able to finish the arrangement in time for the rehearsal but it was sooo much work that I could only do one song. We hired top players of the Montreal scene, they were very excited to be part of it. It’s not every day that a brass section plays with a metal band so it was as exciting for them as it was for us! We had one rehearsal and it worked perfectly! Then we played the show and the crowd went totally nuts!!! You can hear it on the live version: It was a great moment for everyone and we had a real blast! The live version is also on the EP, but will not be on the upcoming live album ‘Lost Machine’, since that was recorded during a different show…
“When the video idea of that song came up, I thought, we could record the brass over the studio version and make the video version unique, and share this version with the rest of the world, giving something special to the fans and immortalize the brass arrangement at the same time. So, I just cut out the improvised section that was in the live arrangement and we could time a studio session with all the same guys.
“Francis Perron (RadicArt Studio), who recorded and mixed ‘The Wake’, brought his gear and recorded it, then remixed the song. It was an amazing experience, a great challenge for me to write each parts and conduct it. I don’t do that often, so it was a lot of work and I’m very happy with the result, it adds that extra empire, military, roman paddle boat war feel like in the old Ben Hur movie, with the acceleration of the music and intense and stressful emotions that fits the song lyrics perfectly. I’m so proud and happy to play in VOIVOD, as we can try this kind of madness projects and everybody in the band gets excited and motivated to do new things. It’s so fulfilling. I hope this feeling transpires into the music and that the signal gets to the receiver’s frequency!”
In a bit of related news, it was recently reported that Mongrain will make a guest appearance on U.S. metal outfit GRAVEHUFFER‘s currently-in-progress album for Black Doomba Records.
“The End Of Dormancy” EP:
The End Of Dormancy (Metal Section)
The End Of Dormancy (Live Montreal Jazz Fest 2019)
The Unknown Knows (Live Montreal Jazz Fest 2019)
Denis ‘Snake’ Belanger – Vocals
Daniel ‘Chewy’ Mongrain – Guitar
Dominic ‘Rocky’ Laroche – Bass
Michel ‘Away’ Langevin – Drums
Metal Section (Players):
Trumpet I: Dominic Léveillé
Trumpet II: Maxime St-Pierre
Tenor Sax: François D’Amours
Tenor Trombone: Renaud Gratton
Bass Trombone: Jean-Sébastien Vachon
Arrangement: Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain
Vocalist Denis ‘Snake’ Belanger was the screenwriter for “The End Of Dormancy (Metal Section)” video and said the following:
“I must say that we had some hesitations regarding the timing of release for this very special video clip. The shoot took place in November 2019 and the scenario is pure science-fiction, but we were concerned the imagery might be insensitive in these pandemic times. In the end, we decided to proceed as planned. Speaking of sci-fi, the documentary called “The Creeping Garden” had a big influence on me and was a great source of inspirations for the concept. A must watch. The slime molds are amazing creatures and will use ingenuousity to survive. And so are humans…we’ll get through this!”
VOIVOD ‘The End Of Dormancy‘ is available in 180g 12″ vinyl EP (variants below) and digital formats arriving July 10th from Century Media Records. Pre-order the new release at the band’s site [HERE] or CM store [HERE].
Light Blue vinyl – 200pcs CM Webshop Europe
Neon Yellow vinyl – 400pcs CM Distro
Transparent Magenta vinyl – 200pcs Band Webshop