Four days into their first North American headlining tour, Gojira — one of the oldest, most stable French eco-prog-death metal bands (yes, there's more than one) — blew the mortar out of the bricks at Peabody's last night.
Supporting The Way of All Flesh, the Duplantier brothers (singer and guitarist Joe and drummer Mario), along with guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie, made good on their claim of being “King of the Heap."
Every song out-progged the next: “The Way of All Flesh,” “The Art of Dying,” “Oroborus.” Each time-signature change stopped the almost-mandatory head-banging until all the audience could do was stand in awe. Joe was audibly excited to play in front of a 300-strong crowd, even calling his soundman Lars an ardent Tribe fan.
The pit was kinda weak, but the action onstage more than made up for it. Proving they're no studio band, Gojira expertly reproduced the energy and angst of older classics “Love” and “Backbone.” Mario, with legs like super-charged Chevy LS9 pistons, beat out a rhythm that could cure (or kill) anyone with a heart murmur. He silenced the audience with a pair of stand-alone drum solos.
True to their ecological roots, Gojira blasted into “Flying Whales” and “Toxic Garbage Island” near the end of their set. An encore of "Vacuity" capped off a night of metal packed into a tight 85-minute show.
The Chariot opened, trying to retain some cred as a Christian metal band, but frontman Josh Scogin didn’t have the pipes to excite the crowd. Recently reformed with members from the Rein and I Hate Sally, the quintet hasn't quite gelled, and their message, whatever it is, was lost last night.
Car Bomb, with their mix of prog-metal and mathcore, washed away any bad taste left by Scogin and crew. —Gerard Nielsen