The main difference between all the "Earth-friendly" artists that jumped on the Live Earth bandwagon (or flew to the concerts on fuel-guzzling private jets, in the case of the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and French death-metal band Gojira is that Gojira gives a crap whether it's fashionable or not. Since forming in 1996, the band that takes its moniker from the Japanese word for Godzilla has been singing songs about the environment. Its latest album, the profoundly heavy and atmospheric From Mars to Sirius, tells the story of a man who witnesses the end of the world, learns how to fly from some whales, then journeys to Sirius, where he learns how to restore life on Earth. If that sounds like some psychedelic pipe dream, so does Gojira's music. Though the band's backbone is a mixture of thrash and death metal, the songs are fleshed out with progressive timing changes, a variety of vocal styles (from screaming to growling to overdubbed harmonies), and reverberating guitars whose chords sound trapped somewhere between Meshuggah and Mastodon. Quite simply, in a genre that usually sounds crunchy and confined, Gojira sounds huge, like the conscientious monster it is.
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