What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name France? Delicate little statues, flowers everywhere, sweet artistic people…they are not the kind of folks that do metal, right? WRONG! Meet Gojira. Formed in 1996 the band kicked the word petit out of the French dictionary. These guys are so metal, once you hear their music, you’ll never think of France in the same way ever again.
The name “Gojira” used to be “Godzilla”. So it’s no surprise that Technical Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Groove Metal and Progressive Metal are all they work with. After failing to classify their style myself, I tried to look for answers at Wikipedia (because if there is an answer, Wikipedia has it). Guess what, they failed at it too. Gojira uses a blend of many, and I do mean many styles from all over the Metal universe. Other than the elements from the genres they work with, they also have elements from Metalcore, Deathcore, Heavy Metal and just about any kind of metal you can think of. Their music also very often contains atmospheric sound textures mixed with instruments. I think I can hear influences of Metallica and more clearly Meshuggah. But their music covers a wide range of styles, so there must be more bands that influence them that I haven’t heard of yet.
As for the members, let’s start with Joe Duplantier – the vocalist + guitarist. He undoubtedly has one of the most versatile metal voices I’ve ever heard. His singing covers growling, screaming, squealing and of course, clean tones as well. Joe has a wide vocal range and clearly shows off his ability to reach lows in “Born In Winter” (it has a really cool animated music video too). But my favorite style is the way he mixes screaming with squealing to produce an extremely harsh, yet melodic tone (best displayed in L’Enfant Sauvage”). Him and Christian Andreu (the other guitarist) together play all sorts of crazy licks with their guitars. They are mostly into Djent and start-stop riffs and tend to favor the lower register. Naturally, they have deep, aggressive tones with loads of distortion and boosted top frequencies. The bassist, Jean-Michel Labadie is nothing out of the ordinary, really. He does his job, most of which is supporting the notes that the guitarists are playing just at an octave lower, and he does it well. At last, we have Mario Duplantier ( Joe’s brother ) the precision drummer. With his huge bass drums, cymbals and his own signature series drumsticks (not food) from Tama, this guy intends cause your head to explode with his drumming.
Considering how awesome these guys are, it is surprising that only a few people know of them. You can buy their albums from their official website.
You can subscribe to their YouTube Channel and watch their music videos and tour videos for free.
Here are a few songs I’d recommend:
Born In Winter
The Gift of Guilt
The Art of Dying
Flying Whales (their first song that I listened to)