Gojira were a rising star in the metal world. Now, the band have surpassed ambitions to simply ‘play metal’ with their environmental themes and unique twist on technical metal gaining global notoriety. The French four-piece drop by Newcastle on a chilly Bonfire Night to kick off their UK tour in support of stunning new album ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’.
French act Trepalium are first on the bill tonight, introducing the Newcastle crowd to a professional assault of groove metal. The talented five-piece aren’t a typical act transfixed on exploiting groove; their unashamed and accessible stoner choruses defines them as an altogether different entity. The Season Of Mist-signed act provide a refreshing fusion instrumentally, whilst dreadlocked frontman Cédric Punda gives a consistent, befitting and bellowing vocal performance, whetting appetites for what is to be an explosive night.
Klone take this all-French metal showcase to another level. Guillaume Bernard has one of the fastest wrists in the west; his steady palm-muting creates a ferocious bastion of progressive groove riffs and when backed by the unpredictable, inventive and almost math-drumming of Florent Marcadet, Klone are an unstoppable machine. Karnivool-esque clean vocals from Yann Ligner fill out the heavier sections and there’s no real need for Klone to readjust their top heavy imbalance of clean to harsh vocals. The tight sextet launch into the title track of their newly released full-length album ‘The Dreamer’s Hideaway’, giving new life to the meaning of a good old fashioned breakdown and showing they’re much more than your average progressive affair. They end their simply spectacular performance with a surprisingly good cover of Bjork’s ‘Army Of Me’.
Enter Gojira. The foursome abruptly smash into the leaden grooves of ‘Explosia’ from excellent new album ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ and a pit opens as soon as the word “go” leaves frontman Joe Duplantier’s lips. Verse upon verse, the French act bludgeon their metallic chunks in charismatic fashion and initiate hypnotic head-nodding ritual from the Newcastle crowd. ‘Flying Whales’ continues the euphoric experience, showing Gojira to be tight, professional and evidently passionate in their conviction. The signature sound translates impeccably tonight with a cacophony of well-timed harmonics, an impenetrable fortress of percussion and steely, hard-nosed groove riffage. ‘The Art of Dying’ and ‘The Axe’ stick out as particular set highlights showing – for their unique songwriting and unmatched sound – just why Gojira are a premier metal band that people will continue to have a moth-to-flame effect on music fans.