Denis D'Amour, guitarist for legendary Canadian metal band Voivod, has died of colon cancer just days after the band went public with his illness. D'Amour, known to Voivod fans as "Piggy," passed away on Friday in a Montreal hospital, aged 45.
Last week Voivod posted a message on its website announcing that D'Amour was "very ill" and asking fans to send "notes, good words and positive vibes" to the guitar player as he fought the then-unnamed illness. The band also noted in its message that D'Amour was "a very private person" who did "not want to make a big deal about his illness."
A founding member of the band, D'Amour was the driving musical force behind Voivod's early, attention-grabbing sound, one that the band's bio describes as comprising "brutal power, metallic ferocity, mad jazz-shifts and brash noise." D'Amour stayed with the band throughout its sometimes tumultuous 20-year career, from 1984's seminal War & Pain to 2003's self-titled effort, Voivod's 13th album.
Referring to Voivod's influence on heavy music, current Voivod member and ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newstead said recently that "they created something a long, long time ago that may have been emulated many, many times sinceóbut nobody can do it like the original."
Voivod had been about to enter the studio to record its first album under a new deal with The End Records, with Newstead revealing recently that the band had up to 25 songs already in the bag. It is not known at this point whether the band will continue to record and tour without D'Amour.
Voivod will release its first DVD, D-V-O-D-1, a collection of the band's videos from 1983 to 1991 as well as early live performances, on October 25.
Writer: Neil McDonald