It is with GREAT excitement that I report that I have found yet another Grail List item from my list! I KNOW!
For the longest time, Gojira’s first album was silly expensive (most go for well over $100). So it was on my Grail List in the hopes someone would find a copy somewhere where they didn’t know what they had…
Anyway, let us all hail Listenable Records for re-releasing this monster of a record, remastered and re-packaged! With bonus tracks! And at a much more affordable price.
On release day, I went to Amazon to order, and they were already sold out! So I ordered from a UK secondary seller, cheaper than Amazon would have been even with the added shipping charge. It arrived here yesterday, and let me report that to finally have a copy of it in my hands is so very satisfying!
And the album itself? Holy crap, folks, this thing is a monster. As of this writing, there are exacty three reviews of it on Amazon. They read thusly:
“This album will make your ears bleed, but it’s worth it.”
“Heaviest thing ever from France.”
Surely more reviews will come as the remaster sells, but I think it’s all already been said in these three statements. I honestly cannot argue with any of these. WHAT A RECORD! It’s moody, atmospheric, and absolutely fucking HEAVY. It almost sounds like a different band than the one I know from L’Enfant Sauvage and Magma. It’s all growly vocals and technically punishing black metal at its elemental, evil and crushing best. Those buzzsaw guitars, the intricate, pounding drums… it’s trying to push you through the wall with every track, and damn near succeeding.
Even the lighter bits, where they tease that they might not be all doom and gloom, don’t last very long before they crash back into the abyss again. Even something like 1990 Quadrillions De Tonnes is slightly lighter, but still contains four minutes of people just screaming. And the end of In The Forest does sort of metal-jazz us out, but there’s that throbbing bass and it’s still creepy as hell. Whoa.
The sound here is huge and beautiful. I haven’t ever heard an original copy, but this remaster is glorious. I played it through the good headphones and it is built to be very loud and clear as it lays waste to everything around you.
Tacked onto the end, there are three well-produced album tracks performed live in Antwerp, 2006-02-11. They give a sense of what it would like to stand in a room with these players as they blast you into oblivion. Wow!
Phenomenal. Fully recommended.
Tracks: Clone / Lizard Skin / Satan Is A Lawyer / 04 / Blow Me Away You(Niverse) / 5988 Trillions De Tonnes / Deliverance / Space Time / On The B.O.T.A. / Rise / Fire Is Everything / Love / 1990 Quatrillions De Tonnes / In The Forest
Bonus Live Tracks: Clone / Love / Space Time
PS: If anyone finds an old original copy at a reasonable, regular used CD price, I still wants it!
If you can believe it, totally not communicating at all, Deke and I have planned reviews of this album to post one day apart! We totally should have done a dual review. Ah well. GO READ DEKE’S AWESOME TAKE RIGHT HERE!!!
The New Hotness Series, Part 5: Gojira – Magma
I’m a big Gojira fan, late to the game after seeing them live on the L’Enfant Sauvage tour and being blown away by their presence and their awesome metal. I’m on the hunt for all their stuff now! Found this CD while we were at the cottage a few weeks ago, which pleased me because nowhere in my town seemed to be stocking it…
The Shooting Star starts us off with a satisfying chug, complete with that ethereal Gojira-ness that’s so pleasing. Silvera^ ramps us up into the Gojira we’re more used to, that heavy crush and crunch, with wicked-slick drumming and those melodic assassin guitars, often times almost classical in approach! This one would slay crowds, live, especially with their light show! The Cell blasts us even faster, machine gun-style before dropping into an absolutely menacing riff built to crush your head. And then back again! Yeahhhhh!!!
Stranded^ is the single, and it’s a punishing track, that guitar line and that huge anthemic riff, and again those drums and time signatures… Oh man, this one owns! Yes! Following on its heels is Yellow Stone, a slithering stomping instrumental interlude. I liked it! The title track, Magma, keeps the pace slower, but there’s those guitars again, writhing over top of the heavy bottom end. Then the chug roars in and away we go, a chant-like quality to it… like Ghost, honestly. It’s a good thing!
We intro into Pray, atmospheric while the guitars pound away machine-like, and the the drums haha whoa what an intro! This rules! There’s a spooky sound underneath, possibly a carry-over from the title track. Again with the chant-like bit, these two must be companion tracks. Come chorus time, however, it’s full on Gojira assault hahaha yes! Oh man, nobody crushes quite like these guys! And the outro rules! Only Pain brings back that guitar from Stranded, and the track growl stomps your brain into a fresh pulp. Fuck yes! It ends damned abruptly, though!
Low Lands does more of that inimitable Gojira menacing skittering through the intro, the vocals droning over top. Then it’s lift-off again, barely controlled chaos straining to get out and dominate everything. And finally, Liberation, which starts off with an almost guqin-like sound, before taking off into acoustic guitar noodling over bongo drums. Every once in a while there’s a bit of a rumble in the background, but it could just be mic noise I picked up through the good headphones – it never amounts to anything else. After the crush of the album, this feels like a track recorded for shits and giggles during studio downtime, and probably wasn’t a necessary inclusion. An odd way to end the album!
It’s simple – Gojira rules! I like this record tons. It’s very different from L’Enfant Sauvage, all over the map as only they can do it, and still sounds like only they can sound. But it kicks all sorts of ass, and has a real feel to it. GOJIRA!
^ This song was a single.
Mastodon, Gojira, Kvelertak Tour Sampler 2014
Still on hiatus here, but just had to pop in and share my thrill at finding this 3-song tour sampler. As you’ll recall, I was fortunate to see this show in Toronto last year (2014-05-10, Sound Academy). I still talk about it now, so awesome.
I hadn’t known this CD existed until I was digging around online recently and stumbled upon it. There’s one song for each band, all live recordings. The sound quality is great, and this is a super keepsake of the tour!
1) Mastodon – Curl Of The Burl (live)
2) Gojira – Gift Of Guilt (live)
3) Kvelertak – Kvelertak (live)
YEAH! \m/ \m/
Grail List Addition For Aaron
Yup, I’m at it again, folks. This time it’s a request for everyone to keep your eyes peeled for Gojira – Terra Incognita (2000). It’s their first album (under the name Gojira, they’d been Godzilla before but had to change for obvious reasons). Discogs lists one new copy available, €200 ($278.49 CDN)! Our Canadian Amazon also lists a couple of them, starting at $185.75 for a used copy! So what we’re looking for, here, is a shop/someone who doesn’t know/care what they have and are selling it off at normal CD prices! Thanks folks!
And don’t forget, if you already have your list up and need to make changes, or if you’ve not yet submitted your list and want to do so, let us know and we’ll make it happen. The Master list can be found at the top of the page, on the left.
KMA Community! GIVE ‘ER!!
Ten Great Late Night Albums, Pt.5 (41-50)
When the kids are in bed just down the hall, what music best fills the hours before the grown-ups finally crash for the night? Here are 10 records (in no particular order) that I will (and have!) put on later at night…
Ella Fitzgerald – Day Dream: Best Of The Duke Ellington Songbook
St. Germain – Tourist
Vic Chesnutt – About To Choke
Leonard Cohen – Songs From A Room
Julie Doiron – Désmorais
Great Lake Swimmers – Ongiara
Keb’ Mo’ – Keb’ Mo’
Anjani – Blue Alert
John Prine – S/T
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Novillero – The Brindleford Follies
Delightful pop-rock with tight instrumentations and fun lyrics. Something very Brit-pop about the whole thing… must just be all those jangly guitars and lovely melodies. Also, this has the greatest song title I’ve seen in ages: The Day The Trumpet Player Fell In Love, And Learned To Hate Men. Haha awesome. Highly enjoyable, light good times.
Marilyn Manson – Eat Me, Drink Me
I’m far more familiar with old Manson, up to (and including) Antichrist Superstar, then I drifted off. This still sounds like him, but it has lost a bit of its edge somehow. He’s still writing and saying things that no one else ever quite manages in the way he manages it. Even though some of it is pretty much 80s new wave, it’s still somehow as creepy as the old stuff.
Various – Current Vision
Lots of songs we know, here, and enough new stuff to make it fun (track list pic below). The highlight track for me was Chris Isaak’s Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing, a cool blues with those inimitable vocals. This is a cool mix of artists and songs.
I don’t get out too much. I get to a concert in the city (roughly) once a year. Last year, Wilf and I saw Bad Religion on Easter Sunday (awesome). This year, Craig and I got our metal on. We were pummeled.
We bombed down to Toronto, unsure of how it’d go (the Gardiner Expressway is a mess. Is it ever not?). We checked into the hotel, had a couple of beers in the lobby, then hit a restaurant on the Esplanade for a $25 wagyu beef burger and a dark chocolate stout. It was getting later (the web had said show’s start was 6:30pm) and I figured we’d missed the opening act, Kvelertak). We cabbed over to the Sound Academy and got ready to rock.
The line was long but moved quickly. Security said no one had played yet – they were running behind so we hadn’t missed anything! I had never been to the Sound Academy before. It’s a small, narrow hall with a balcony around top – we apparently had balcony ‘seats’ but we weren’t going up there – the floor is the place to be. Reviews of this show online (after the fact) seem to universally hate this venue. Myself, I didn’t find it too bad, but then again, I don’t get out too often. At the crushing volume with which we were hammered this night, it hardly mattered anyway.
The place was fairly jammed with people when we got in, and it only filled up more as the night went on. Everywhere we saw black t-shirts proclaiming the wearer’s favourite metal band. I rocked my button-down plaid old man’s shirt – ironically, of course. The bar service was quick and friendly. The line-up for merch precluded even trying to get near it to have a look-see.
[*click photo to enlarge*]
Kvelertak took stage and immediately began to try to destroy us. Their sound is big, with three guitars and bass lined across the stage like an army. The lead singer came onstage in a weird mask with wings for the intro, then discarded that and just went batshit for the whole set. He screamed, raised his arms, stomped menacingly… he did this thing where he’d spit straight up into the air and then catch it with his hand. Why? I dunno, it’s fucking metal! The music itself was really, really good. They had excellent energy, and they did exactly what an opening act on a three-band bill is supposed to do: work the crowd into a frenzy. They did just that, with aplomb. Having not heard a note of their music before the show, I was impressed. I wonder if the CD is as good!
*As of this posting, no setlist for Kvelertak could be found online.*
When they finished, I hit the head. This is not news, but it’s a truth of the Universal that beer goes right through me. Really, I only rent beer. And I only mention any of this because there was a dude in the john whose job, it seemed, was to be handing out towels, hoping for tips. He was shouting strangely hilarious things over and over, like “Once you touch your cock you wash your hands!” and “I love pussy!” I didn’t tip him. It was the strangest public washroom experience I’ve (maybe) ever had.
[*click photo to enlarge*]
The room filled to the brim and Gojira took the stage. Folks, I have seen a lot of shows in my years on this planet, and I have seen many excellent acts, and I can say without question (in my humble opinion) that this band was fucking AWESOME. I’ll admit, I was here to see Mastodon (I love that band), and I was very excited to see Gojira. They’d come around with Slayer, well, half of Slayer, last fall but I’d balked at the $90 ticket price. My buddy Wilf said it was gonna be great. But holy fuck. They are HUGE. This band, I swear. The sound was just massive, the musicianship was stunning, the stage presence was incredible. I would see this band again anytime, anywhere. I was not just impressed, I was BLOWN AWAY. What a fucking show! Two metal horns all the way up for the mighty fucking Gojira!!
2.The Heaviest Matter of the Universe
6.Toxic Garbage Island
7.In the Forest
Honestly, if Mastodon wasn’t due next, I might have left, and happily. We’d already seen metal at its finest, it was already a complete concert. Gojira is truly a headlining act worthy of their own show. But I came for Mastodon, I would stay for Mastodon, and I was not disppointed. They were in fine, flying form indeed. Are they ever not? OF COURSE NOT.
[*click photo to enlarge*]
Craig and I saw Mastodon 2011-11-25 in Toronto, at the Kool Haus on The Hunter tour. I reviewed that show right here. The short version of the review at that link is that that concert was essentially my introduction to the band and they blew me away. I count myself lucky to have had their crushing live show be the first time I’d heard many of their songs. Since then, I’ve bought all their records and I spin them regularly. I love ‘em. The chance to see them again, on this tour, was a no-brainer.
If you’ve ever seen Mastodon live, you’ll know exactly what we witnessed. If not, just know that this was (yet again) a stellar set by a band playing at its prime and killing it for every track. They leave nothing out, their entire beings bleed onto the stage. Troy Saunders leans into his playing like a man possessed; Brent Hinds howls and rocks his guitar like a fiend; Bill Kelliher goes about his business with punishing professionalism and zero bullshit, and Brann Dailor… well, Brann Dailor on drums is a fucking monster. What a drummer!! Anyone in the room who has ever lifted a drum stick and tried making music on a kit just got taken to school by the performance of this guy. Holy shit, what a band!!
They played 18 songs overall, though it was very early on indeed that they’d proven they were worthy of our undying devotion. They played a couple of songs from their upcoming album, which fit into the setlist of older stuff seamlessly. They played a lot of heavy rockers. They played several slower, droning yet brutally heavy songs too. The light show was excellent. This show was a total trip. They left nothing to chance, they never once faltered, they rocked it fully. My first impression of this band way back when was bang-on – they deserve every accolade. I cannot wait for the new record.
MASTODON!!! FUCK YEAH!! \m/ \m/
14.Chimes at Midnight
When we stumbled out of the venue and into the warm May night, stealing a cab from a fare that never showed up, I knew we had been in the presence of greatness on this evening. Kvelertak proved more than worthy. Gojira fucking stomped us completely. And Mastodon was the heavy metal coup de grâce.
I have seen many great shows, but this one… it was one of the greatest. Both metal horns raised all the way!
Thank you Craig, for everything!
PS: Please note that I have included, for the purposes of this review, shitty and blurry photos of each band that I took with my crappy HTC cell phone. I was a paying customer at the show and I am a metal fan. These photos are not posted for any monetary gain or advertising purposes (or any other nefarious reason your litigious mind can envision). I just thought it would add to the experience to show everyone a little of what we saw. If, for any reason, it’s legitimately against some actual rule (of which I’m truly unaware) for me to post these (I doubt it, but one never knows), drop a comment or email me, prove you’re an authority who can enforce it, and I’ll take the photos down immediately. No harm or ill intent was intended in posting these photos. Much love and power to the bands. A.
My buddy Craig texted this morning to confirm that WE HAVE TICKETS to a show that fills me with massive excitement!
Saturday May 10, 2014 @ Sound Academy in Toronto.
Announced acts are (as of right now), as follows…
Opening Act: KVELERTAK
Opening Act: GOJIRA
Main Act: MASTODON!!
This will be our second time seeing Mastodon, and in the same venue, too!! There’s even rumour of a new Mastodon album, dropping right around the time we’ll be seeing them…
I CANNOT WAIT!!!!