Last night: Gojira at the Marquis

Last night: Gojira at the Marquis
Krallice as seen through the lens of Tom Murphy

Gojira, Krallice and Wolves in the Throne Room
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Marquis Theater, Denver
Better Than:
A nationalist rather than socially conscious black metal show.

Krallice opened the show. A four-piece whose membership includes Mick Barr, one of Marnie Stern's primary influences, the outfit at first sounded like a progressive metal band, but went on to showcase guitar work that was a little too weird and outside the lines to fit strictly into designation. Instead, as Barr and bassist Nick McMaster shared vocal duties throughout the act's three-song set, a black metal sound emerged, infused with more conventional melodies, driven by grindcore blast beats and brutally textured rhythms.

Last night: Gojira at the Marquis
Gojira by Tom Murphy (click to enlarge)

Gojira came as a bit of a surprise. A good, technical metal/death metal band from France, the outfit had a social/spiritual agenda in its songwriting but that agenda never compromised the music, and beyond being incredibly gracious with the audience, Joe Duplantier and his bandmates delivered not only great jackhammer-percussion driven thrash, but also sonically experimental touches like a vocoder on Duplantier's voice during "A Sight to Behold." When the band wasn't pummeling us with its relentless usual sound, it had interesting atmospherics and truly creative and subtle effective dynamics. The set ended with "The Way of All Flesh," but the wildly enthusiastic crowd got Gorjira up for an encore.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I recently heard a Wolves in the Throne Room track on a compilation and loved it.
Random Detail: One of the stage staff at the Marquis had on a Cephalic Carnage hoodie.
By the Way: This show was more animated yet less violent than most metal and punk shows I've been to lately.

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