GOJIRA: The beginnings

Named after the original Japanese pronunciation of Godzilla, the French death metal quartet Gojira went from utter obscurity in the first half of his career to worldwide recognition.

 

GOJIRA MAGMA

GOJIRA MAGMA

 

Originally from the town of Bayonne on the south west coast of France, Gojira recorded the first of a streak of nearly annual demos in 1996.

Perfectionnant progressivement leur son jusqu’en 2000, when the members of the Joe Duplantier group (chant / guitare), Christian Andreu (guitare) ), Jean-Michel Labadie (basse) et Mario Duplantier(batterie), se sentaient prêts à enregistrer leur premier album, Terra Incognita , en ne comptant que sur leurs propres moyens.

Despite his indie status, the aptly named LP made quite a splash with his unpredictable mix of death, thrash, groove, progressive and math metal - reminiscent of bands as diverse as Pantera, Meshuggah, Suffocation and Sepultura.

 

GOJIRA THE LINK

Yet it took several years (and a curious detour to the music from the 2003 Maciste All Inferno EP soundtrack) for the metal world to gain momentum, and even the second album of Gojira , The Link, had to be released via tiny independent Boycott Records before being reissued by Listenable.

This was followed by the 2004 live album The Link Alive and the corresponding video set, the audio component of which was limited to 500 copies.

Both complex and punishing sonic compositions like "Death of Me", "Remembrance" and "Embrace the World" constantly challenged listeners to resist their dizzying array of Cuisinart styles. , presented with an almost industrial aesthetic and an almost atonal brutality.

For discerning metal aficionados, these songs will primarily be reminiscent of Meshuggah in Sweden, minus the distinctive and exotic rhythmic patterns; to neophytes, they will resemble the work of angry machines, creaking eternally in a post-humanist future.

But the aforementioned versatility was also reflected in a few brief shifting interludes ("Connected", "Torii", "Wisdom Comes"), slower songs augmented by evanescent melodies and white noise sound effects (the title track, “Dawn”), and a pair of unusually concise and less oppressive “singles” in “Indians” and “Over the Flows”.

Dans l’ensemble, il y avait juste assez de variété et d’émotion humaine perceptible pour élargir la portée créative de Gojira ; but not yet as much as the group will develop on the following albums, starting with the revealing leap forward of 2005 '

 

GOJIRA

GOJIRA

GOJIRA: From Mars to Sirius

Now finally gaining momentum Gojira saw their third album, From Mars to Sirius, enter the French charts at number 44, while garnering the most enthusiastic reviews of their careers.

A level of recognition that has led to numerous European festival appearances and lengthy European and North American tours with Obituary, Hatesphere, Bodom's Children, and Machine Head, to name a few.

At the end of From Mars to Sirius' long promotional cycle, Gojira was widely recognized as a force to be reckoned with, on stage and in the studio.

Their highly anticipated fourth album, The Way of All Flesh (released in the US by Prosthetic Records), made a big impression, debuting at No. 138 on the US charts in October 2008.

The extensive tours that Gojira undertook then meant that fans would have to wait almost four years for the group's next studio album.

 

GOJIRA

GOJIRA

 

GOJIRA: The wild child

In 2012, the group passed into the big leagues, signing to the great Roadrunner label for the release of L'Enfant Sauvage, inspired by the Truffaut film of the same name.

It won numerous critical acclaim, as well as the Top 40 on the US, Canadian, Swedish and French charts.

De longues années de tournées et d ‘enregistrements occasionnels – dont un autre album live, Les Enfants Sauvages – ont été suivies par la sortie du sixième album de Gojira , Magma, released on Roadrunner in 2016.

 

gojira magma5

GOJIRA: MAGMA

This sixth album by metallers from the extreme French will be a daring step forward into new territory.

Having already solidified their place as one of the best technical death metal bands in history, here they broaden their horizons considerably, experimenting with melody, groove, shorter songs, simpler structures and actual vocals.

This shift from complexity to accessibility saw Magma draw comparisons to the black album by Metallica , than Gojira have welcomed.

While they've toned down the complexity a bit, the music is still incredibly heavy, and there are even more ideas in this album than most bands can handle in a career.

From the Middle Eastern solo of "Silvera" to the brutal, syncopated drum tattoo that leads "The Cell" to the almost liturgical, monastic voice of the title song and the incredibly harsh, howling industrial guitar effect that periodically pops up.

 

 

“The Shooting Star” sets the stage for the rest of the album with a muddy mid-tempo groove, multi-track vocals, minor melody, clear vocals and a real guitar wall.

The title track is one of the most progressive on the record, reminiscent of the band's old school days with at least five different sections, Joe Duplantier roars into the void on a cyclical guitar whirlwind.

But there is almost a pop feel to some of the titles. Duplantier's music and singing style both have a '90s vibe, and the chorus of “Stranded” could almost have come out of something from one of the more muddy grunge bands, like Alice in Chains or Tad.

The album ends in a majestic quasi-silence with the acoustic instrumental outro “Liberation”.

Most of the lyrics are inspired by the untimely death of the mother of the Duplantier brothers, a subject which has obviously done a lot of harm but which is also treated with grace, sensitivity and good taste.

This album will not give Gojira great pop radio hits, but it will certainly broaden its appeal outside the death metal ghetto to more general metal and hard rock fans.

 

GOJIRA: Fordtitude

Five long years after the release of the groundbreaking and smashingly successful Magma, the pressure is on Gojira to deliver a sequel to match, making Fortitude one of the most anticipated metal releases of 2021.

gojira fortitudeThe first set offered artfully rendered songs that were unusually personal; they were composed in response to the death of singer / guitarist Joe and the mother of drummer Mario Duplantier.

The band used everything from clean vocals and retro grunge to post-punk, gnarled prog and neo-psych to get the songs across, gaining new fans, many of whom usually didn't frequent the metal section of the band. record store.

Fortitude was recorded at Sterling Silver Studios in Brooklyn, New York, produced by Joe Duplantier and mixed by Andy Wallace (Nirvana). Despite a wider range of stylistic and production elements, these 11 songs are linked as a sequel.

The first track "Born for One Thing" is propelled by the explosive rhythms of Mario amid the grooves of death metal and punishing industrial failures as Joe sings the human fear of death and braces for its inevitability.

Joe and Christian Andreu's two guitar vamps collide and bounce off each other.

The anti-deforestation hymn "Amazonia" offers a massive bass groove from Jean-Michel Labadie, supported by power chords, thumping drums and native instruments that directly pays homage to Roots era Sepultura.

"Another World" offers a magnificent presentation of Gojirales' abundant technological death prowess.

Layered and quasi-sung vocal harmonies introduce "Hold On" at the top of an orgy of Sabbath riffs and incantatory drums.

The clean, layered vocals shift the cadences of the guitar and bass, swirling together among reverb and neo-psychic effects before Andreu signals a change with a crunch-and-burn vamp added by distortion and beating. explosives.

 


It erupts with heavy, groovy death metal anchored by Joe's growling lead vocals.

The title song is more like a two minute intro with marimbas, tom-toms and bass drums delivering cumbia and reggae beats.

Clear vocals without words and plucked guitars before exploding into "The Chant" amid crisp bass and loud electric guitar vamps.

Combined, Neil Young's self-titled debut album, Re-ac-tor and Killing Joke. "Sphinx" is a furious look back at Gojira 's recording history as "Into the Storm" rolls out the door with melodic twin guitars.

These guitars turn into a frantic death metal vamp on top of triple blastbeats and sung, hard vocals.

For longtime fans, 'The Grind', closer, is the payoff: it's incredibly heavy, syncopated, technical, and nuanced in production, with raging vocals that may preach surrender but are actually deeply insurgent like the bubbling music offers proof of this.

Magma fans didn't have to worry: Fortitude is huge, Musical evolution continues as they weave old sounds with new ones to create a sound tapestry that showcases a surprising imagination, musical intelligence human and stimulating, complex emotions and immense physical power.

The secret inspiration behind Gojira's Fortitude album cover

Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier reveals how a 19th century painting inspired the enigmatic cover of the new album Fortitude.

Gojira's seventh album, Fortitude, is a landmark release for the band and for the metal in 2021. One of the album's most striking things beyond the music is its enigmatic work, created by singer Joe Duplantier.

Gojira's drummer Mario Duplantier tells us about the meaning of the artwork - and the inspiration behind it.

“We had the title, we knew we wanted to call the album Fortitude,” Joe says. “People will understand why it is called Fortitude when they read the lyrics. [For the cover], I wanted to represent an indigenous person, because so much of the album is a tribute to indigenous communities - I wanted to represent that aspect.

 

 

For inspiration, Mario showed his brother several paintings and works of art. Among them is Pallas Athena, an 1898 painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.

“It's a beautiful painting,” says Joe. “He showed me other examples of warriors and knights, and the work ended up being the Knights of the Round Table mixed with native culture.

"It represents the spirit of the album." adds Mario, who also paints. “Joe asked me, 'Do you want to draw something?' I said, 'No, no, that's your role, because you're the one putting the words together. Words and visuals go together so well. "

Le batteur ajoute qu’il existe un lien visuel entre de nombreuses pochettes d’albums de Gojira. «J’aime le fait qu’il y ait une ligne entre The Link , From Mars To Sirius , The Way Of All Flesh , L’Enfant Sauvage et celui-ci. Et il y a aussi un esprit derrière la technique du dessin – c’est comme un masque pour les gens qui aiment la musique. C’est très réconfortant.

 

GOJIRA: Secondary projects

Joe Duplantier was invited by the founding brothers of the influential Brazilian group Sepultura, Max and Igor Cavalera, to join their new group Cavalera Conspiracy as bassist.

The album Inflikted was released in March 2008 and a tour followed in mid-2008. Also, the Duplantier brothers ont formé un metal group d’avant-garde appelé Empalot en 1998, mettant en vedette Stéphane Chateauneuf, qui apparaît dans la courte émission de The Link Alive DVD appelée « Thang & Tanguy ».

Their first release was a demo album called Brout, released in 1998. Two albums followed: Tous aux Cèpes in 2001 and a live CD titled Empalot in Concert in 2004.

Joe Duplantier lent his unique vocal style to Devin Townsend on his 2011 album “Deconstruction”. The song that uses Joe's vocal talents is called "Sumeria".

Joe Duplantier also performed vocals with Swiss band Kurger on the 2010 album “For Death, Glory And The End Of The World” on the song called “Muscle”.

 

GOJIRA the flesh alive

GOJIRA the flesh alive

 

Musical style, influences and lyrical themes

Le son de Gojira mélange plusieurs styles.  Gojira est un groupe de death metal technique et combinant des éléments de death , thrash , groove ,  progressif ,  et de math métal .

They are also considered post-metal. Gojira have been influenced by heavy metal artists such as Death, Morbid Angel, Metallica, Sepultura,  Meshuggah , Tool , Pantera , Neurosis, Slayer and Godflesh.

Gojira joue un style technique et rythmique de heavy metal avec des percussions de précision accompagnées de battements explosifs , de motifs rythmiques inhabituels et de riffs start-and-stop.

Gojira is also known for incorporating textured atmospheric elements and instrumental songs into his music.

Les chansons de Gojira ont des structures de chansons progressives et inhabituelles , utilisant rarement l’ écriture de chansons standard de couplet-chœur .

Le style vocal est varié, utilisant le style crié souvent employé dans le métal extrême, avec le style de grognement de mort principalement utilisé dans le death metal, en plus des voix claires et des cris plus élevés.

Sometimes death metal growls and clear vocals are mixed together to create an aggressive yet melodic effect.

Les paroles de Gojira abordent les thèmes de la vie, de la mort, de la renaissance, de la spiritualité et de la nature. En particulier, leur album 2005 De Mars à Sirius est un album conceptuel abordant des questions environnementales et des thèmes plus larges de la vie, de la mort et de la renaissance.

 

 

The members of the group grew up in the region of Ondres and Bayonne, on the southwest coast of France (Pyrénées-Atlantiques / French Basque Country).

The surrounding scenic countryside and rugged coastline have inspired interest in Gojira for nature and the earth. Gojira uses their words to spread spiritual beliefs and concern for the environment.

In an interview in 2016, the Duplantier brothers said that the education they received as a youth - by an illustrator and painter father, Dominique Duplantier, and a mother, Patricia, an Azorean American - in a house Landes style "lost in the forest, without neighborhood", was reflected in the music of Gojira.

Mario Duplantier recalled these memories, and his mother like, a very free spirit, who always encouraged our creativity.

On the one hand, we had this outgoing mother, who drew, sculpted, produced magnificent paintings in driftwood, and on the other hand, a silent father, "workaholic", who could spend entire days on his gigantic drawings. in India ink, with an almost worrying rigor.

These two aspects of our education are found in Gojira, a mixture of discipline and something more outgoing, wacky and chaotic.

Gojira also cooperates with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to protect marine animals, especially dolphins, whales and sharks.

Members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are permitted to organize a merchandise stand during Gojira concerts.

In addition, Gojira is working on the Sea Shepherd EP with well-known musicians of the metal scene, including Devin Townsend and Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal.

All proceeds from the project go to the organization, although as of June 2016, the current status of this project is unknown.

 

GOJIRA - Hellfest 2019 : The full live

 

 

Gojira members

  • Joe Duplantier - lead vocals, rhythm guitar (since 1996)
  • Mario Duplantier - drums (1996-present)
  • Christian Andreu - solo guitar (1996-present)
  • Jean-Michel Labadie - bass (1998-present)

     

    Discography

    Studio albums

    • Terra Incognita (2001)
    • The Link (2003)
    • From Mars to Sirius (2005)
    • The Way of All Flesh (2008)
    • The Wild Child (2012)
    • Magma (2016)
    • Fortitude (2021)

     


     

    Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.

     

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