Gojira Band Review

Gojira live in 2006

So, Out of all the new metal bands and its sub-genres, the few bands that, in my opinion, that are any good, are the old metal bands from the 70s to the 80s. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, the list is continuous. But, what about today’s metal? Well, from the 90s – Today, will be what I base my reviews on for Guitar riffs and then the band as a whole. There will be two ratings thus given.  My reviews will be starting at the band’s recent song/album, then working backward to affect the ratings.

Bridget’s Gojira Band Review

The first band for this brand new and exciting website/blog, is Gojira. They are a French electronic death/thrash/groove/progressive metal. The style of electronic, or technical enhancements are focusing on the Singer’s voice, and so far that does not sound too good. But then the guitars kick in and it is amazing, especially when the vocals finally start growling. The first song to judge is the “Born in Winter” off of their latest CD L’enfant Sauvage  2012, (The Wild Child).

The Song starts off with drums and guitar, my two favorite instruments together. The guitar is nice a calm and highly relaxing. It is paired quite nicely with the drums about three or so seconds after the guitars are started, giving a mood pick and urgency to the guitars. This is where the progressive part of the band comes in, it because boring due to the length of time it is played. The the crappy electronic vocals kick in. Now, I do love tech/electro but this specific style picked out for the vocals leave little to be desired. SO the over used guitar and drums go on until about 1;50, then the drums pick up first and the band finally starts to actually do something different. At 2:19, you get to hear how awesome the guitarist is. Riding with the guitar is the singer’s long growl and heavy drums, but they are done in a way to not overshadow the guitarist while actually emphasizing the different chords the guitarist is playing, mainly the scream, which goes along side to the main notes you can hear in the riff.

Unfortunately, the boring part kicks back in, the song has a rating of 3/10. The guitarist has 10/10. It, however, would not be fair is I only just rated that one song. So I then listened to the song of the same name, “L’enfant Sauvage”, and immediately a smile had crossed my face, the guitarist had come in heavy, angry, loud! The drums smashed right with the guitarist in the same “I hate the world and I don’t give a fuck” attitude which immediately gave me a sudden chill which fueled a need and desire to mosh and break faces. Then the crappy electro/tech vocals kicked in, and then the no change in guitar nor the  drums, giving me that boring dragging of the progressive metal. At least I can say the riff is a little bit better. The reason why I kept listening, is because at 1:10 the singer takes of the voice effects and screams, the guitar riffs change and the drums change and everything is once again incredible. Then around 1:25, the melody increases and they prove that they are very groovy, I wanted to dance and then towards the ending they repeat the boring beginning but briefly before they go into a riff and musical frenzy, adding a much needed change. The coolest part for the guitars is the slide between 2:26-2:28.

the screaming during the 2:00 mark is remarkable, the guitarist is just insane and incredible, the drums are epic, and then, the stupid electro/tech vocals kick in again and then you get a nice chill piece of instrumentals at 3:45 where the guitar is impeccable because of how soft and melodic the chord arrangement is. This song is 8/10 and the guitarist is again 10/10, it made me want to know his name; Christian Andreu

I will say this, I will listen to the rest of this CD but based on these two songs, they will follow a pattern of interesting > boring > amazing>back to the original boring> and something totally different than started with. So, the CD, knowing the singer will not change the effect of his voice, and knowing prog metal, I will rate 6/10 as the guitarist and the drummer save the band. I would only see Gojira live because of the guitarist and drummer, they make an excellent team.

The band’s rating as a whole, after I went back to the previous CDs, I have to say, the older stuff is a lot better, guitar wise, riff wise, even drum wise. the song “Rise” from the first CD is amazing!!!!!! the guitar, drums, and vocals are pure, effortless, angry, evil, neck breaking, ear shattering goodness. All that is holy of the music Gods, this song from their first CD Terra Incognita is the best recent death metal I’ve heard besides the other very obvious metal bands that make any headbanger say:  “Well duh, of course [that band’s name here]”

“Go back! To the source!” I found myself singing to “Rise”

Then I listened to “Love” the first emotion I am filled with is this mellow, calm, empty longing. It is a great day when a guitarist and bassist can make you feel emotions through their talents. Then the drums get heavier with the guitarist’s riffs. The singer is amazing, why did he even bother adding in the tech/electro aspect to the band? There is a hint of it in “Love” but it isn’t overdone, and it is a different vocal filter. Immediately as it is used, it is gone and filled with his amazing guttural growling. The guitarist begs you to headbang, the drummer makes your body sway, this CD is this band’s first and best. Filled with passion from all members. I can now tell you, that with the added prog metal aspect and tech/electro, the guitarist is not doing half the decent job as in this CD compared to their latest. So, after I went to the From Mars to Sirius CD and to the song “Flying Whales”. It is then I can hear the prog metal genre sneak its way into their music.

Thus, leaving me bored, even with the intro’s grooviness.The song is little over seven minutes. I love my lengthy music, I love classical too, duh, however, with prog metal, it is very hit or miss, you can’t take something repetitive and call it good. Nor can you make a seven minute song that repetitive and boring and expect people to like it. Yes, I realize there are prog metal fans, and I apologize; Seriously, even classical music is not this repetitive. at 2:28 in the song, the guitarist and drummer change beats and melodies (finally) but then you get the tech/electro on the vocals… WTF guys, wtf happened! And yes, the guitarist saved them, yet again, but his talent cannot stifle the amount of boring this song has. He has extreme talent, but the amount of time each little thing he changes, goes on for a long period of time. And from 5:01 -5:38 they go back to what the first CD had, but a little bit more well produced. and then back into the majority of what this song has.

I am afraid to go back the the CD before Sirius and to even listen to the other songs. I am however, giving the band a 7/10 because I know what they can do, from the first CD, which I will hold dearly to my chest and scream “WHY?!?!?!?!” as I cry to the fact they are wasting their talent. Well, thanks for reading and I will write another review in a week!

Ratings:

CDs overall: 4/10

(due to hit or miss within the same song of any given CD after the first CD)

Guitarist overall: 10/10

Band overall 6/10

(if the first CD was anything like the newer ones, it would be 3/10, the first CD saved them)


Review by Bridget.
Bridget duh-guitars.com music reviews Gojira Band Review

Bridget is a professional writer. Her hobbies include guns, knives, and archery.

Image of Bridget used by Bridget’s permission. Image of Gorija shot by Jarkko Iso-Heiko on July 2, 2006 and has the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

How to get a Killer Metal Tone

How to get a Killer Metal Guitar Tone

I’m going to give you some pointers on getting a killer Metal guitar tone. Now keep in mind, guitar tone is subjective. What might be music to one’s ears may be noise to another. But for Metal, the majority of guitarists with over a decade experience will agree with at least half of what I say for a reason.

The honest truth is tone is about half technique, half equipment. You can have a guitarist with the best equipment, but if she’s a shitty guitarist, she’ll get a shitty guitar tone. I’m not talking about performance here, I’m talking straight up tone. Now, take a technically proficient guitarist with mediocre equipment, and she’s getting some pretty good tones out of what she has to work with. So first off, work on your technique. Equipment is secondary.

Guitar tone depends on several physical things – the guitar’s body, the guitar’s pickups, and the amps. There are even minor things that will affect your tone, like old dirty strings will sound like old, dirty strings. And of course, a bad chord will make the worst sounds at the worst possible moments.

But assuming you have decent, relatively new strings and working chords, you want a heavier guitar. Heavier guitars tend to have better sustain and they are less likely to have muddy sounds.

tube amps help considerably in how to get a killer Metal guitar toneThe second thing you want is a tube amp. We could argue until we’re blue in the face which tube amp is best for Metal, but 9 out of 10 Metal guitarists who have been playing for awhile will go with getting a tube amp over a solid state one. Now, you can get good sounds from a solid state modeling amp. You don’t absolutely need a tube amp to get a killer Metal tone. But solid state amps break up at higher volumes, whereas when you push a tube amp to its limit, that’s when it sounds great. And, I’m assuming you’ll be playing in clubs or recording in a real studio. So you’ll want to turn it up.

And lastly you need good pickups. I used to be a Seymour Duncan fan boy. I love the pickups Randy Rhoads used. But I have one guitar with DiMarzio’s and you know what? They’re just as good. Pickups are another thing that we can argue until we’re blue in the face on which pickups help you get that killer Metal tone, but once again, it’s subjective. Don’t cut corners here though, because 9 out of 10 Metal guitarists who have been playing for awhile will agree that cheap pickups are cheap for a reason – they tend to suck.

Now, all that said, assuming your technique is really good, for some odd reason, some amps don’t work well with some guitars and some pickups don’t sound good with some guitars. You absolutely have to bring your favorite guitar into the guitar shop and try her with different amps. This is a MUST. You’ll have to find a combination that fits together.

Lastly, this is my personal opinion. I do not like using too many effects. I prefer to go guitar straight into the amp 90%+ of the time. That’s just me though. The more you cut the signal, the more you affect the tone.

And one last thing – I don’t like active pickups. I just don’t like them. Yes, there are absolutely awesome guitarists out there who use active pickups. Not denying that. I’m just saying that I don’t like them.

If you actually want to hear my playing, go here. For these songs, I used various tube amps. Each amp is different, but generally for rhythm tones, I have the bass around 80%, the mid-range around 40%, and the treble around 90%. For lead tones, I generally have them all around 60%. But keep in mind, like I said for getting a killer Metal tone, there are a lot of factors. Each setup is different and you’ll have to adjust accordingly. Keep fiddling around with the knobs until you find something you like.

-Roman (the guitarist from Astral Eyes)

Roman Astral Eyes guitarist composer

Roman is a Classically trained Composer. He plays Guitar and Piano for Astral Eyes. He’s also an amateur historian, a gun nut, and a fan of the Green Bay Packers who still has a soft spot for Brett Favre, despite the harsh breakup.


Article and image reprinted by from astraleyes.com by permission from both Vampiress Records and Astral Eyes

Photograph of amp tube by Olli Niemitalo. Photographer licensed this image for public domain. Thanks Olli!