Ghost, Gojira and The Defiled - O2 Academy, Glasgow, Tue 19 Mar, 2013
Thundering triple bill of industrial, thrash prog and classic metal
It’s easy to be cynical about sponsored gigs, but Jägermeister have nailed their colours to the mast: they love and support metal. And when they are providing line-ups this solid at just £5 in, you can forget all the corporate bullshit and admit it’s symbiotic relationship for bands, fans and the drinks brand.
Young UK industrialists The Defiled are out on their first big tour. The sound's a bit muddy but you can’t fault their enthusiasm, careening round the stage and igniting the first mosh pits of the night. The band start well but their live set needs more tightening up to avoid becoming an amorphous clatter of guitars, drums and synths.
However Gojira, like their cinematic name sake, crush all before them. The Frenchmen have hit that perfect mid point between precision and brutality, a huge slab of heavy thrash tempered by the complexity of prog. The O2 Academy’s lower level threatening to be swallowed whole in a swirling, seething circle pit. The barrage of strobes and blast beats (Mario Duplantier’s drumming is truly phenomenal) is crushingly heavy, but there are falls and rises, deeper levels of complex riffs to tune into. The spiralling descent of closer ‘The Gift of Guilt’ is the perfect example of their astounding levels of musicianship.
Even Ghost have trouble following the near perfection of Gojira’s power. The stage decked out like a derelict church, shrouded in fog, the Nameless Ghouls (clad in black masks and monk robes) emerge before we are granted an audience with the anti-pope, Papa Emeritus. Face painted as a grim skull in full cardinal’s regalia he’s a mesmerising frontman. It’s like a phantasmagorical set piece from an abandonded Hammer Horror rock opera. Their music nearly all centres on Satanism but it’s surprisingly upbeat, like a jaunty Black Sabbath. It’s a joyously dark communion, the crowd chanting along to ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ or ‘Satan Prayer’. It’s ridiculous, over the top and incredibly entertaining.
Three flavours of metal for a fiver. Bargain.