The O2 Academy in Birmingham was indeed the place to be this past Saturday as French metal titans Gojira tore it up with Code Orange and Car Bomb providing support.
As I finally got into the venue, Car Bomb  kicked off the show. Car Bomb are a progressive metal act from New York. Unlike the other bands on tonight, they weren’t lit up. Instead they played in shadows in front of a strobe light show. A visually impressive performance but not one for those of an epileptic disposition. Personally their style of music isn’t for me but a large portion of the crowd showed great appreciation.
After a brief changeover and a nightmare to get a Red Bull at the bar (hey, I don’t drink while I’m on business), it was the turn of Code Orange . This hardcore four piece were incredible. Again, a little out of my personal tastes, but their set was energetic and frenetic from start to finish. One thing I noticed about these guys as well, they all share the load in terms of work. With not one, not two but 3 members of the band sharing vocal duties (including the drummer). One of the guitarists also juggled playing guitar, keys and vocals at the same time. Impressive indeed. Their bassist was in his hardcore element throwing countless spin kicks. Code Orange are definitely one band to look out for.
After the final changeover, it was time for our main event of the evening: GOJIRA . They came out to a rapturous applause from the Birmingham crowd. The French masters of metal showed why the hype behind their music is real with the first half of their performance. Especially the third song of the set when they gave Birmingham an eargasm with arguably their most popular song to date, “Silvera”. For me, the second half of their set lacked a little, like they lost a bit of steam, however they were reinvigorated after most of the band departed the stage and the drummer performed a solo for a good few minutes. That solo was incredible. And it left the crowd wanting more with chants of “GO-JI-RA! GO-JI-RA!” echoing throughout the venue. To which Gojira obliged with a guitar solo that I got lost in, leading into “Oroborus” and “Vacuity”. Visually the set was stunning with a pale lighting background and a series of animated images projected behind them which only enhanced the beauty of their music. Other highlights from the set included “L’Enfant Sauvage”, “Only Pain”, “The Heaviest Matter In The Universe” and “Flying Whales”.
One of the first ever gigs I went to, I saw Gojira supporting Trivium in Wolverhampton 11 years ago. On this night I could truly see how in those 11 years, Gojira have evolved and improved to become one of this generations heavy metal masters.
Reviewed by DJ Scott
Host of The Sanctum (Wednesdays 9pm-11pm GMT)