Gojira Prove That Giants Still Roam The Earth
Over the past few weeks Grand Central's newly re-stocked jukebox seems to have been playing nothing but Gojira. Fresh off the release of Magma, it feels the band are now at the zenith of a recent meteoric rise and as the first gut-wrenching notes of Only Pain rbegan to rumble, they transformed the Academy into complete rapture.
New York's Car Bomb had kicked things off with a strobe-infested set comparable with Meshuggah on smack. Even if their unconventional, helter skelter brand of noisy progressive metal confused and alienated some portions of the crowd, they played with a ravenous fury you just couldn't knock. For those who understood and accepted the chaos before them, it was devastating.
It's been just over a year since Pittsburgh's Code Orange set the hardcore scene alight with their album, Forever. The reverberations of its impact, however, can still be felt and tonight they were tight, energetic and bold. A slightly reserved atmosphere - with so many preserving themselves for the main attraction - may have cloaked itself over the audience, but that didn't halt or hinder their passion and power, even if the action in the mosh pit was baffling.
"The Froggies are back" proclaimed Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier early on, and how the room lapped up their return. Quite easily the deadliest and most in-demand metal band in the world right now, they didn't half show it. If opener Only Pain was savage, following it up with The Heaviest Matter In The Universe showed how merciless a live band they are.
Behind them their light show went ballistic, in front of them the crowd swayed about like a stormy ocean of smiling faces and sweaty bodies. All the while their performance was pinpoint accurate, virile and virtuousic. They held themselves with grace, yet it felt like watching giants roam the earth.
Silvera sounded astronomically massive, the off beat attack of The Cell was enough to sign you off work with whiplash and Toxic Garbarge Island, with everyone already in their palms of their hands, sent the place into frenzy.
It's easy to throw superlatives at a band, especially straight after a set as high octane as this, but Gojira are truly deserving of whatever synonyms for 'fucking brilliant' you can conjure. Because they are, and then some.
Words: Phil Weller