(First posted on http://www.recessiondodgetovictory.wordpress.com on 11/11/2012)

Disclaimer: As with all my music reviews, this is a blow-by-blow account taken from my own perspective and written mostly for myself as a memory aid. I’m not always an expert on the band in question. Massive thanks go out to the Setlistfm, Lastfm and the Youtubers whose content that I have used either indirectly or directly in this blog post.

Man, my neck hurts; it’s been too long. I’ve missed a few gig reviews on this blog like last week’s Bloc Party amongst others but now that I’m working again I’ve got more time to focus on blog updates instead of searching like crazy for jobs. The other upshot is that I can also go to a lot more gigs, which this ought to be the first review of what looks to be many. Enough padding, enter the destructive mammoth hybrid of technology and nature, Gojira

The last, and only time, I saw them was at the Barras supporting In Flames and it was the only gig that I have ever went to see the support band exclusively and not stuck around to see the main act. Why? Well, Gojira are a pretty hard act to follow. Between bone-crushing heaviness punctuated by off-the-wall drum rhythms, punch-along guitar screeches and vocals that just sound painful to produce from a band with ridiculous, unfailing talent coming from all corners of the 4-pillars of the band, you’d need to have a pretty special line-up to have people stick around to see the rest of the program that they weren’t at the top of. At the Barras, I only got to see a condensed version of what they had on offer and even there they managed to squeeze in a 5 minute drum solo.

This time, I was out for the full thing and that was in spite of having not heard their latest work and fifth studio album, “L’Enfant Sauvage”, so I had a minor worry that I wouldn’t know much of the material that they were going to play as I entered the venue. Klone took those concerns from me as I caught the last three songs of their set. As such, I can’t offer much of an opinion of them, but what I did hear reminded me of metal in the 90s and the rise of nu-metal and to me they came across as a less progressive, less inspiring Tool. However, they put a big smile on my face as I really never thought I’d hear Björk at a metal gig and was pleasantly surprised when they played an “Army of Me” cover to end their set.

From big smiles to bigger smiles with groove metal (or whatever other sub-genre in the ever growing sea of sub genres you want to label them as) on the cards from Trepalium in the Garage’s all French line-up. When they opened up with their first track, red back-lighting and significant output from a smoke machine, I wasn’t originally taken with them; at the time, I thought that they took a while to get into things and the first guitar solo almost felt like an afterthought. The crowd was tellingly sparse too. However, three tracks later and the slow start had become an afterthought – the closest thing I had heard to Trepalium before was probably… I dunno, Pantera? And even so, I had no idea that anything comparable to the creators of ‘Cowboys from Hell’ could be even remotely jazzy. Some of the crowd really liked it too and after a small, bouncy pit and cries of anguish as they announced their last song, they left with some new fans. Now, having heard them, I’d gladly go see them in the support role again. Time for me to get listening to their albums methinks… But not before listening to “L’Enfant Sauvage”, which I’m doing right now.

I small part of me regrets not having listened to it before going out to see them as I wasn’t able to throw myself into their new songs as much as I did their old favourites like “Backbone”, “Wisdom Comes” and “Toxic Garbage Island” but a larger part of me is glad I didn’t. Discovering the new songs like “The Axe” and that holy shit… moment I had upon first hearing the fading conclusion to the song made me realise why I go to gigs all over again; to rediscover music.

The last time that I had listened to Gojira must have been in 2009 or so when I managed to get a hold of a physical copy of their debut, Terra Incognita. As a result, I was hanging onto the hope that they would play songs like “Love”, knowing futilely that they were unlikely to play many, if any, tracks off an album that was produced over a decade ago.

However, upon exiting the gig, I realised that Gojira didn’t need to rely on those tracks. They have continued to create amazing album after amazing album. Reknowned for their flawless live performances in this, their six hundred and sixty sixth gig, having rarely put a foot wrong in all that time, they go from strength to strength. The crazy, tribal drum solos to showcase Mario Duplantier’s skill on the skins were still there as were the trademark screeching slides of the guitars spliced with neck-breaking heaviness. For a band to reinvent that formula 5 times over and then blow away your expectations again and again really takes something.

As a quick side-note, take a look at their Lastfm stats: you’ll notice that as of writing this, their most played songs are ones mostly ones from their latest albums.

What their stats won’t show is that this translates live too. They were truly sublime. If you like Gojira, hell, if you like metal at all, and you didn’t find a reason to go to this then you missed out in a big way. If, no… when Gojira come back to Glasgow, you really, really need to be there. Old fan or first time listener – go (re)discover them.

The live footage of the gig below gives you a taste of what you missed. My Coheed and Cambria gig coming up three days after the Gojira one had a lot to live up to…

Now for the live footage:

And a 40 minute corker: