Tonight the iconic venue the KOKO is crammed with a hungry mob ready to taste the wonders of France. However there will be no croissants, no frog’s legs and certainly no snails, for instead this three course meal will ooze with groove and riffs that only the heaviest of palettes could endure.
The first entre comes from self-acclaimed “boogie death metallers” Trepalium who keep to their word with riffs as groovy as a Pantera-Gojira lovechild. Cédric Punda is a dreadlocked dominator whose vocals fill the room with a dense brutality whilst showcasing tracks from latest album ‘H.N.P’ and certainly warms up the crowd for what is yet to come. Hopefully this tour will help Trepalium get the credit they deserve.
Klone may have a similar bottom layer to their sound, with yet more progressive guitar work and breakdowns galore, but enigmatic frontman Yann Linger’s vocal range puts them worlds apart. With haunting Keenan-like cleans blended with deathly snarls, it is this that stops the Frenchmen from becoming, ahem, clones of the metal world. Unfortunately tonight the extreme volume of the bass and guitars overshadows the unique sampling and sax playing of Matthieu Metzger; however one can only imagine this adds yet another dimension to this already very technical tirade of music.
As the main course is about to be served, the lights are dimmed and its apparent the stage production is much bigger than a few months prior when Gojira came to visit. The iconic head artwork from this year’s belter ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ glistens behind Mario’s equally beautiful kit, as Joe Duplantier kicks off the night with ‘Explosia’. The set list tonight is flawless with examples from each album, be it ‘Wisdom Comes’ from ‘The Link’, ‘Clone’ representing ‘Terra Incognita’ or favourite ‘Flying Whales’ of ‘From Mars to Sirius’ – every song is played by the quartet with precision and an organic aggression rarely found in bands today. Fifteen years on and the Duplantier brothers are still able to be silly with each other, as they swap roles for a quick jam, before Mario returns back behind the kit for a solo of what he does best. ‘The Art of Dying’ and ‘Ouroborous’ embrace Gojira’s darker side with guitars that swirl and squeal as crowdsurfers float in ecstasy. Newbie ‘The Gift of Guilt’ proves to be an epic encore and despite this being Gojira’s 669th show (not that we’re counting), the band have no intention of slowing down yet. Très fucking bien.
Review by Lily Randall
Photo from Google.
To be Published in Devolution Magazine