The walls of the O2 Academy are literally shaking as Car Bomb bring their set to a brutal, face-melting finale. Coming across like a grindcore version of tech-metal behemoths, Meshuggah, Car Bomb have certainly set the fuse for the rest of the night.
Code Orange are up next and simply take the bar raised by Car Bomb and shift it up a level or two. Mixing the sludgy grind of a band like Will Haven with the grinding chaos of Converge, Code Orange batter through their set with all the grace of an out of control juggernaut. Even with a singing drummer, their performance teeters on the edge of out of control with bassist Joe Goldman lurching around the stage joining his bandmates to smash through tracks like “Kill The Creator” from their punishing Forever album.
However good the support bands have been, Gojira are in a different league tonight, as the French band always are. They may come across as nice guys on and off stage but, as they demonstrated tonight, once the music kicks in all bets are off. One of the classiest acts in the extreme metal scene, tonight sees Gojira at their very top of their game. Blending a retina-burning backdrop into their progressive thrash, the French outfit are note perfect from the moment they hit the stage with opener “Only Pain”.
The thousand or so punters packed into the Academy know the drill and immerse themselves fully into the Gojira live experience soaking up every visual and sonic morsel the band throw out. A mix of different shades, the French outfit know how to rein in the rage by injecting calmer moments when needs must but, give them the chance to open up the throttle and the band can just thrash through tracks like “L’Enfant Sauvage” with consummate ease and, judging by the smiles on their collective faces, they enjoyed every minute of this as much as we did.