Voivod + Bio-Cancer
@ The Cathouse, Glasgow
5th October, 2018
Review By: Pete mutant
Photography By: Inty Malcolm
Voivod are back in Glasgow and on the tails of releasing another album no less. ‘Wake’ was pictured at the local HMV and posted on their Facebook page to possibly hint towards the local bunch trawling their posts for set times and the like to get motivated and show their love. It wasn’t long ago that the band were here in Glasgow and I was there, at the Audio, with a near sellout crowd there to celebrate the Canadian interstellar thrashers. I was there even before that when they played at Lords of the Land.
The hat-trick will be complete and along for the ride come Athenian thrash outfit Bio-Cancer whom I have seen only once before on that titanic lineup of Bio-Cancer, Origin, Immolation and Marduk back at the G2 in 2016.
That was a cracker of a show and this night’s music was to be held at a separate venue in the Cathouse. Recently renovated, the Cathouse was looking more sleek and upgraded. Gone were the chains that separated the bar from the merch stall and in was the more sterile yet more inviting environment that greeted the punters.
There weren’t too many bodies in at first when Bio-Cancer [3.5/5] took to the stage. The five piece came on to an epic symphony piece before kicking into the high octane stuff with ‘Ear Piercing Thrash’, and they never looked back.
The band had a ton of energy and the riffs were flying, as were some notes early on as guitarist Thanasis Andreou shredded some very tight and pronounced lead; there wouldn’t be many more such displays from him throughout the set.
I was right down the front for these dudes and was getting a good feel of their music, especially since I was in very close proximity to a massive stack.
Bio-Cancer were loud, fast and energetic. Vocalist Lefteris was putting in a shift and was requiring regular blasts of bottled water to cool himself down, or have a quick public wash whilst the band were thrashing away. His high rasps cut through as the riffs were ever shifting with as many hammer ons and pull offs as you could want.
They had some melody like in the opening of the third track ‘F(r)iends Or Fiends’ and could mix it up even further with the tidy oriental riff of ‘Think!’. This is where bassist Giannhs really came into his element. He was all over every inch of the fret board, using his fingers to pick, strum and rattle the flowing rhythms which were ever changing and in a constant state of flux.
The crowd were getting much more into it and the seismic riff of ‘Obligated To Incest’ got a few ‘oi, oi, oi’s from the crowd. By the eighth track, there was a small three man pit started; things were heating up even further and the water kept on getting doused over the band members.
The set ended with ‘You Scream You Die’, which bought a fluid combination of rolling drums and bass before some more old school thrash style riffs as Bio-Cancer gave one final push for their set this evening. It was a cracking start which definitely got the fires burning.
Voivod [4.0/5] came on the stage to a much more sizeable crowd. A roar of appreciation was unleashed as the band took to the stage. They opened with ‘Post Society’ from the previous EP of the same title. It was a very thrashy opening, but Voivod always mix it up and there is always a space for them to grow into that warps perceptions and becomes almost hypnotic.
Snake wasn’t slow in addressing the crowd, and the fact that the band is celebrating 35 years of existence. As mentioned, they also have a new album out and we got our first live dose of it with the third track -also the title tack- in ‘The Wake’. There was a pit going strong with many more bodies than what we had seen so far; the new stuff was going down well.
Snake is a natural and got the crowd chanting ‘Hey-ho Glasgow’ over and over again throughout the night, smirking as the crowd responded and reciprocated. We went back to 1988 for the fourth track in ‘Technocratic Manipulators’, which had lots of choppy progressions.
Away’s double bass was a little flat but the snare had a great tone which was making up for it. I noticed his style was pretty similar from one song to the next during the early stages of the set but his drumming increased in flexibility as the set wore on.
Chewy was just a dynamic dynamo with a vast array of complex riffs, deranged breaks and stellar solos, some of the leadwork absolutely blew me away. You could hear people in the crowd let slip with the words “fucking hell”.
By the 6th track, ‘Iconspiracy’, we had our first crowdsurfer, and as I was thinking ‘it won’t be the last’, the next one rose up and surfed towards the barrier. The crowd were loving it and many a punter was singing along. We went back to 1987 for ‘The Order Of The Black Guards’ and Snake even put a little falsetto in at the end of the next track, ‘Fall’, which was a bit of a separation from the tone of the other songs.
The band handed out their plaudits to each other and seemed to have a great bond between them, each member was celebrated by the crowd. Snake then proceeded to “play both the bass and guitar at the same time”, which was really just him simultaneously bringing one arm up then swiping down on one instrument, then doing the same with the other arm. All a bit of good fun.
The set was winding down and we got to the last track of the set before the encore and, naturally, it was ‘Voivod’ from their very first album. The crowd were putting in extra energy and there were more crowd surfers emerging from the pit near the front.
The band bowed out but only went to the side of the stage, well visible from my point of view. They came back on and closed the set with ‘Overreaction’, which has such a phenomenal break in it and was soaked up by the audience.
The show was over and it was a peach. A great mix of Voivod’s styles and discography. 35 years and going strong, I am looking forward to the next time that they are round these parts.
- Post Society
- Ravenous Machine
- Technocratic Manipulation
- Into My Hypercube
- The Prow
- Order Of The Black Guards
- Always Moving
- The Lost Machine