France has a proud reputation for pushing the artistic boundaries and Gojira maintain that strong tradition. HRH Mag sent John Evans to get the lowdown on the fast-rising quartet.

 

They might have changed their name from Godzilla but Gojira are gradually morphing into true monsters of rock – their immersive brand of progressive metal perfectly positioned to give the dinosaurs of the genre a genuine scare.

It didn’t take long for the boys from Bayonne to get their claws into a crowd almost doubled from their last trip to Tyneside. And if Newcastle isn’t exactly renowned for the success of its French imports then Gojira were in no mood to be the next Remy Cabella or Florian Thuavin.

More David Ginola than Yoan Gouffran, their technical skills frequently belied belief. Driven by a relentless drum sound, that signature guitar tone and melodic vocals it swiftly became clear this was a match made in heaven – The Heaviest Matter In The Universe and Flying Whales (from 2005’s From Mars To Sirius) reminding those present that Gojira have been making great music for more than a decade now.

Unsurprisingly last year’s critically acclaimed Magma took centre stage with Joe Duplantier and co. justifiably proud of the band’s creative tour de force: Silvera, The Cell, Magma and Stranded were made for the live arena and it was difficult to look beyond this heavy-hitting quartet in the search for genuine highlights.

Perhaps Gojira lost their way, albeit briefly, midway through a full-throttle set but the lapse was momentary. On the whole a remarkable level of consistency and professionalism underpinned a set rich in ambition and controlled aggravation.

Toxic Garbage, from fan favourite The Way Of All Flesh, took things up a notch but Gojira aren’t short of showstoppers in 2017. If there was ever an argument against Brexit then this charming Gallic quartet are it.

John Evans