Aug 062020


Two old favorites released new singles yesterday, and not just bands who’ve been personal favorites for a very long time but bands whose music has continually evolved, which added a big curiosity factor to the experience. I’m beginning the round-up with those two tracks. As we’re want to do around here, I’m then moving into music from bands I’d never heard of before yesterday, bands whose profiles are buried far deeper in the underground than the first two.


The beautiful animated video for Gojira’s new song is sufficiently engrossing that it pulled my focus away from the song when I first saw it. I definitely had impressions of the music, but needed to listen to it again without watching the video to better appreciate what the band were doing. The video is indebted to a certain work by the French author Pierre Boulle, but it’s especially haunting because of the perils of our current existence. Continue reading »

Jun 262018


Given what I’ve planned to write for the site today, I don’t have time to compile the kind of typically large SEEN AND HEARD round-up I’d like to assemble, but enough time to do something shorter. And so I’ve resorted once again to the QUICK HITS concept that ran almost every day for a week not too long ago. Better than nothing, right?


In August 2010 one of the people who started this site with me, but hasn’t been involved since 2011, wrote a post with this title: “Why Gojira Is the Best Metal Band in the World“. Almost eight years later, I’m pretty sure he still believes that. And after almost eight years that post still gets hits; in terms of traffic, it’s in the all-time Top 5 pages visited on our site.

Eight years ago, that writer was trying to draw more attention to a band that had only toured the U.S. once, as a support band for In Flames, and not even principal support — that position went to All That Remains. Now, of course, Gojira are a global phenomenon, and still have a soul. And In Flames and All That Remains? The less said about them in their current musical incarnations, the better. Continue reading »

Jan 072017


Here’s Part 6 of this evolving list, in which I’m adding two more songs, one that I would guess will be well-known to most readers and one that may have been overlooked by most, or possibly forgotten because it appeared relatively early in 2016. Apart from the fun of running back through lots of good music over the last year, I entertain myself in putting this list together by deciding how to group songs for each of its Parts. I discovered some interesting similarities in these two songs that I thought would make them a good pairing.

To see the other selections for the list so far, as well as an explanation of what criteria were used in making it, go here.


We received hundreds upon hundreds of reader suggestions for this list. I aggregated and alphabetized all of them, and that master list revealed that Gojira’s album Magma was the source of more reader recommendations than anything else released last year (narrowly edging Anaal Nathrakh).  But the recommendations were split almost evenly between two songs:  “Silvera” and “Stranded”, with one vote cast in favor of combining “Magma” and “Pray” into a single selection. Continue reading »

Jul 092016



If you’re reading this, it means you survived another week. Congratulations. That seems like good cause for celebration, since about 155,000 people die every day on average.

To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of new music I sifted from the never-ending torrent of new metal over the last 48 hours, presented in alphabetical order by band name.


The Italian death metal band ADE, whom we last mentioned in these pages almost four years ago, have a new album headed our way on July 15 via Spain’s Xtreem Music. Like its predecessors, Carthago Delenda Est again draws upon themes from ancient Roman history, and the title suggests that its focus is on Rome’s efforts to destroy the North African city-state of Carthage in the Punic Wars. The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us: Continue reading »

Jun 032016


(Andy Synn reviews the hotly anticipated new album by Gojira.)

Although we often don’t bother with some of the “big” releases here at NCS (mainly because these artists will be getting more than enough coverage and promotion as it is), there are certain albums like Magma that it’s just impossible for us to ignore.

As you will probably have gathered by now, this album presents a very different side of the band than you might be used to. Oh, they’ve always had their proggy and more melodic inclinations, but they’ve never before expressed them as boldly and prominently as they do on their sixth album.

Make no mistake about it, this is the French foursome’s own Crack The Skye moment, a full-on embracing and shameless expression of their progressive proclivities which also just happens to be their most streamlined, emotional, and, yes, accessible album yet.

You needn’t fear that the band have gone soft on you, of course, or “sold out” (though I can already hear those cries of consternation emanating from certain corners of the Metal world), as there are still multiple moments of the quartet’s signature biomechanical bombardment to be found across the length and breadth of the album’s ten tracks.

However, Magma is definitely a step outside of the band’s established comfort zone (which was in danger of becoming a rut at times on L’Enfant Sauvage) and sees them plying some unfamiliar, though ultimately very rewarding, waters. Continue reading »

May 202016



I haven’t heard Gojira’s new album Magma, but my comrade Andy Synn has. And last night he alerted me to the fact that Gojira would begin streaming a new song today — a song he described as “one of the really good ones” on Magma. And so they have. And so it is — really good, I mean.

The name of the song is “Silvera”, and it’s presented through a video directed by Drew Cox. The music is powerful and jolting, with a swirling Eastern-influenced melody that’s urgent and intense. It’s unmistakably a Gojira song, bursting with passion and displaying many of the band’s hallmark ingredients — yet it also differs from their past output, featuring more clean vocals (which will evidently be a hallmark of this new album) and coming to a close in a way that might seem premature in comparison with the band’s older work. Continue reading »

Apr 212016



In late March, when I read Rolling Stone’s interview/listening-session (here) with the Duplantier brothers about Gojira’s new album Magma, I became increasingly uneasy. Reading Kory Grow’s descriptions of some of the songs that he heard while talking with the brothers in their New York City studio made me fear that Gojira had morphed into a French variant of Mastodon, making a big sweeping turn into radio-friendly rock.

He wrote that “the band has taken a different route with the album compared to past riff-fests”, and referred to “almost-industrial rhythm[s]”, “brittle guitar line[s]”, “almost gothier riff[s]”, “Joe singing a monk-like chant”,  “sorrowful, gothy vocals”, flutes and cowbells, and lots of four-minute songs because “people’s attentions are shorter now” (Joe’s words). In the final paragraph, Grow wrote, “they’re eager to show a different side of themselves on the new record and see how their fans react to it”.

Well, now we have some actual music, because within the last two hours, the band debuted a music video for the new album’s first advance track, “Stranded”. Continue reading »

Mar 312016

Gojira 2016-photo by Travis Shinn
photo credit: Travis Shinn

When names as big as Gojira and Katatonia both release new music on the same day, if you wait more than a few hours to write about it, the odds are that almost everyone who cares about those bands has already been clued in by someone else. But I’m writing about these developments anyway because “Half-Assed” is my middle name and I feel compelled to live up to it. And I’ll throw in a few other new developments that have been somewhat less pervasively recognized across the web.


As I read Rolling Stone’s interview/listening-session (here) with the Duplantier brothers that appeared yesterday, I became increasingly uneasy. Reading Kory Grow’s descriptions of some of the songs from Gojira’s forthcoming new album that he heard while talking with the brothers in their New York City studio made me fear that Gojira have become a French variant of Mastodon, making a big sweeping turn into radio-friendly rock. Will their first video for the album include twerking? Continue reading »

Jul 072014

Here are two North American tours announced this morning that are worth mentioning.


In our first post this morning I included a report from Metal Hammer based on an interview with Gojira’s frontman Joe Duplantier that the Gojira would be touring with Mastodon this October. There were no further details then, but there are now.

In addition to the pairing of Mastodon and Gojira, the tour will also include Norway’s Kvelertak and it will include dates in both the U.S. and Canada. A pre-sale for tickets and a limited number of VIP packages will become available this Wednesday, July 9, at 10 a.m. local venue time. General sales will begin on July 11.

Here’s the schedule (sadly for me, they’re skipping Seattle this time): Continue reading »

Jul 072014

I spotted some news items over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing, and the following four happened to all come from France, so I’m bundling them together here. There’s some new music at the end, too.


According to a brief interview with Joe Duplantier backstage at the Sonisphere festival reported by Metal Hammer yesterday, Gojira will be embarking on a tour with Mastodon in October and will then be going straight into the studio to begin recording their sixth album for release in 2015. To listen to the audio of the brief interview, go here.

UPDATE: The Mastodon-Gojira North American tour has now been confirmed. Norway’s Kvelertak will also be on the tour, and the schedule can be found here.

And then, about an hour ago, Gojira began streaming a video on YouTube called “Summer Fest Part 1” with clips from some of their European festival appearances so far this summer, set to some slow, quasi-psychedelic instrumental music. Watch that next. Continue reading »