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Music

HAWXX – Interview with Hannah Staphnill!

We had the pleasure of interviewing Hannah Staphnill, guitarist of HAWXX – an amazing all-female up and coming band!

Named after the bird of prey, with the double XX symbolising the double XX female chromosome. HAWXX write songs that reflect the lies of our current political climate, about self empowerment and how love’s a bitch.

Read the interview below and make sure you check out their new single ‘Deadlands‘!

 

How are you? How are you dealing with isolation and social distancing?

We’re missing each other! Getting very jealous of bands where members live together. We want to play and eat and drink together again!
Other than that, a mixture of fine and terrible.

 

When quarantine is over, who’s the first person you want to hug, first place you want to visit and first band you want to see live?

We want to hug each other, IN A PUB, and then get on stage!

 

How did it feel to win the PRS Women Make Music Award?

Genuinely screamed when we found out – it’s such an honour and amazing to think they see that potential in us – their support means a lot.

 

You’ve recently released your latest single ‘Deadlands’, what has the response to it been like so far?

It’s been great! It’s probably had the biggest number of streams within the first couple of weeks than any other track. Seems to have really resonated with our Israeli fanbase as the last I checked we had 1k listeners in Israel alone! It’s been great to see people connecting with the track.

 

Which of your latest singles is your favourite and why?

I guess we shouldn’t really have favourites as good song parents!

 

Does the band have any musical influences?

The band has so many influences! We are all lovers of all things heavy like Gojira, Deftones, Meshuggah and Tool but there is also a big influence from singer songwriters/poets in terms of lyrics and melody like Kate Tempest, PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi and Patti Smith.

We also all come from very different musical backgrounds – I come from a classical music background, Anna comes from a Greek folk/ classical music background and Jess and Iman come from a jazz background.

 

What bands/artists have you been listening to the most while in isolation?

Karnivool, Bjork, Kate Tempest, Code Orange, Deftones, Meshuggah, PJ Harvey, Angel Olsen, King Crimson

 

If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be and what would you do?

I mean..if we didnt do something about Corona, we’d be dicks. Anti-viral Girls?

 

Do you have any favourite TV series that you could recommend to us?

I’m watching John Oliver‘s Last Week Tonight weekly, catching up on Walking Dead. Not a TV Series but I’ve just completed Lifers podcast with Ed Gamble on Spotify – he talks to musicians about their lives in the metal world and would def recommend that- really interesting.

 

Are any of you gamers? If so, which games do you play?

I’m in to my retro games on my Raspberry Pi – did a whole evening of drinking and Street Fighter recently. I’m from the school of mashing the buttons until something happens.

 

What can we expect from Hawxx in 2020?

A lot of social media action! We’ve been coming up with creative ways of getting HAWXX out there now that we’re not gigging so do follow us! (@hawxxmusic)

You can also expect a few more singles and hopefully an EP launch on October 8th at The Black Heart, Camden.

Music

Tool – Fear Inoculum Album Review

I knew reviewing a Tool album, especially one that’s been anticipated for so long, would be difficult but I decided to take on the daunting challenge in order to fully rationalise my own thoughts on the album and hopefully share sentiments on it that will resonate with others. However, I fully welcome contrasting opinions as I firmly believe that music is subjective and album reviews should never sway anyone into viewing a record as intrinsically good or bad. Album reviews are opinions, and mine is that the new Tool album rocks!

I didn’t think so right away – it took a few listens to come to that conclusion. As with every Tool album, and most progressive rock/metal records, repeated listens are required to fully absorb the intricacies and for the hooks to sink in.

My initial opinion after my first listen was that it was an interesting album with some spectacular moments but it didn’t stand out enough from the rest of their catalogue and didn’t fully warrant the hype given their reported meticulous approach to writing the songs. I remembered listening to 10,000 Days (their last album) for the first time and noticing a clear evolution in sound from Lateralus (the album before it). In this case I felt that the typical Tool tropes, picking patterns and chord progressions felt slightly too familiar despite being extremely well executed and jaw-droppingly technical.

That naturally started to change as the album called me back for second, third and fourth listens. The way the songs swell, crawl and contort is extremely compelling. Despite the songs being centred around particular motifs, new elements are frequently introduced in unexpected places which creep up on the listener and take the songs in exciting new directions. Yes, it is all done in a way that sounds unmistakably like Tool but to be honest that’s not a bad thing! In an age where so many popular bands follow trends and imitate each other, Tool should be applauded for finding a sound that listeners immediately recognise as belonging to them. It’s not easy to take a singer, guitar, bass and drums and find a sound which is distinct from the thousands of artists who have used those instruments to make music before you.

Although I do still believe that 10,000 Days was a stronger evolution in sound from Lateralus than Fear Inoculum is from 10,000 Days, I feel that Fear Inoculum introduces enough new ideas to keep it fresh. Also, I was only 16 when 10,000 Days came out and wasn’t as familiar with Tool’s discography as I am now – context is important kids!

The new elements I am referring to include EVEN longer songs than usual, synths, bass chugs, a drum solo (!) and a vocal timbre and delivery employed by Maynard which he usually reserves for his other band A Perfect Circle. Although each member is a master of his craft and they all get moments to shine, Danny Carey’s drumming is particularly impressive. His drum solo on the track Chocolate Chip Trip is a personal highlight and the range of techniques he uses is astounding – there’s even drumming on the track 7empest which wouldn’t sound out of place on a metalcore song!

7empest, which recalls the fury of their earlier material, is probably my favourite track from the album, followed closely by Invincible and Pneuma. 7empest closes the album on an epic note and contains the album’s most memorable and climactic moments. However, this brings me to one of my few gripes with the album. Some of the crescendos on this album, of which there are many, don’t fully deliver at their peaks and that’s primarily due to the guitar tone. To put it bluntly, the heavy parts don’t sound heavy enough! In all the other parts of the songs, the guitar tones are stellar, but the more abrasive riffs don’t have enough grit to do them justice.

The same can be said for most other Tool albums though. The guitar tones are just Tool being Tool and I feel like that’s a good way of summarising the album. I get the impression that this is exactly the album that Tool wanted to make and they haven’t been pressured by outside influences into compromising on any front.

Tool are pioneers and I’m glad they’re still around today. They created a compelling blend of brooding 90s alternative metal with psychedelic progressive rock, completely bereft of any of the cheesy qualities the genre is traditionally associated with, which is, in my opinion, extremely commendable. However to reiterate; just because I enjoy it that doesn’t mean I expect everyone else to as well. The technical nature of the music impresses and engages me but I can understand it being off-putting for other listeners.

I give the album an 8/10 and am keen to hear what other people think (as long as it’s something more thoughtful than ‘this band sucks’).

Check out our Tool merch here!

Written by Anthony Best

EMP, Music

We Came As Romans – Forever remembered in loving eyes

We came As Romans has always been in the top 5 of my favourite bands, I will go so far as to say that their album “Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be” is a metalcore masterpiece. That album does something cool that it got 12 tracks, the first 5 is very dark and negative and lead writer Joshua Moore talks about his own flaws as a human, the 6th track “A War Inside” is 5 minutes long and in the middle of the song almost down to the second there is a piano break and from that point the album switched themes to something positive and the next 5 songs is about overcoming mental illness, just spread love and be kind to each other, before ending with a reflection in the last song that also is the title track. I could honestly talk about that album and why its brilliant for hours. As you can probably tell I am a huge We Came As Romans fan and unfortunately for me the show sold out before I could get tickets so I panic-emailed their press contact hoping to get an interview and a guest list spot, and I luckily did!

I came to Underworld a normal May day, the sky was grey as is tradition in London and the temperature was fairly warm. The first band was hours away but already the queue almost went around the block, which is understandable with a brilliant line up consisting of Polaris, The Plot In You, Alazka, and of course We Came As Romans everything was in the cards that it would be a brilliant night!

I got a text from the tour-manager to meet him behind the venue and he would take me in the backdoor, the walls inside were covered in stickers, and I was just mesmerized by all the shows that had taken place in the venue. So much history on these prisonesque walls. After a short set of stairs, I was in the surprisingly big greenroom, all the bands were chilling with their stuff. Drinks were being consumed and Dave (unclean vocals WCAR) sat on his mac in the corner. I was meeting Josh (lead guitar) and David (drummer) but Josh had disappeared so while the TM was hunting him down I got to have a short talk with Kyle which in retrospect is something I will forever cherish. After Josh had been located we headed to the tour bus and had a 20 min talk you can check in this video.

The interview wrapped up and I headed inside to catch the show, and what a show! Every band completely knocked it out of the park. I stood so close to barrier as I could and kept getting kicked in the back of my head by crowd surfers, which most of the time is a sure sign of a good show. The newcomers in the scene Polaris did put on a great show, and I am really convinced they are a band that we will see grow and grow. The Plot in You is a band I have enjoyed for a long time and was excited to see them Landon is an extremely strong vocalist and the emotion he conveys in his voice is second to none. Alazka the co-headliner was probably the band I was least familiar with, but after their set I would definitely call myself a fan.
We Came As Romans however, wow. What a set. They started off with Vultures With Clipped Wings and the second Dave screamed “I never found peace, but now I am fighting a war” people went insane and was just in awe song after song. David and Kyle did a duo thing in the middle of the set combining a drum solo with an EDM sound and even that made people jump. It was the first show in a long time I wish wouldn’t end but alas during their second to last song “Tracing Back Roots” I had to back down to the bar and get a million litres of water before dying of dehydration. The show ended with them playing “Hope” and even with aching bones and a ringing in my ears me and so many others went home with a smile on their faces.

 

But, to end this with the elephant in the room… After the production of this video finished We Came As Romans vocalist Kyle Pavone sadly passed away.

Because of that I was honestly struggling to write this blog. For weeks I stared at the screen trying to come up with what to say. If I wrote it just after the show I’d be fine, if I wrote it in July I’d be fine, if I wrote it August 24th I’d be fine, everything before August 25th would be fine, but since its currently October 1st I have to struggle to hold back the tears thinking back to seeing a show I absolutely loved and will never be able to see again. I remember when in 2016 Architects‘ guitarist Tom Searle died of cancer it hit me like a brick, then last year when Chester Bennington died I saw the article and had to go to the backroom of the 7/11 I worked at the time just to have a decent cry and listen to some Linkin Park. And now just over a month ago, I was on holiday in my home country (Norway) having a beer with some friends and having a good time before getting a text from a friend saying “Kyle Pavone is dead.”…

 

It felt like time stopped for a second, I refused to believe it, thinking it was a messed up joke. But at one point I had to accept the truth. I guess in the end you just have to appreciate the music we got from Kyle and try to take a lesson from him, mainly that life kinda suck, but that doesn’t mean we cannot make it a bit less shit by trying to spread love, make other people smile and live for each other. Rest in peace Kyle, in “Promise me” you worry about not being remembered after your passing, but I can assure you: you will be remembered in loving eyes.

Our thoughts go out to the band and Kyle’s family and friends. Please check out The Kyle Pavone Foundation that works to help people in the music community that are struggling with mental illness or addiction. https://kylepavonefoundation.org/

– Alex Dante

Check out We Came As Romans and more band merch here! 👉 emp.me/177Y

Music

Marilyn Manson – “Heaven Upside Down” Reviewed

Everyone’s favourite shock-rocker is back, with a clutch of new songs that will neither surprise nor disappoint long-term fans. Marilyn Manson’s latest album, Heaven Upside Down, was originally scheduled for release on Valentine’s Day earlier this year, so it’s been a long wait for those of us hungry for a new slice of industrially-tinged sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

After close to three decades of shocking parents and teachers, Marilyn (real name Brian Warner) shows no signs of settling down with a pair of slippers and a cup of tea quite yet. With his usual smudged eyeliner and oiled-back hair firmly in place, Manson snarls and hisses with the same mixture of sneering detachment and distaste for the mainstream throughout the ten new tracks. The good (or bad) news, depending on how you see it, is that not much has changed here. Manson still combines whispers, harsh and clean vocals more seamlessly than the countless copycats he’s spawned during his reign. The subject matter still encompasses sex, drugs, murder and anti-conventionalism, and the music still pulses with the bassline of an underground club and the riffs of a band that know how to meld metal and electronic music in their sleep.

None of that’s to say that things are getting boring, though. If you’re a Manson fan, there’s plenty to get your teeth into. ‘Say 10’ (the original title of the album) channels Nine Inch Nails for a whispery industrial track that creeps along at a slow and menacing pace towards a typically irreverent chorus that riffs off his image as a kind of tongue-in-cheek antichrist for the modern era. ‘Revelation 12’ brings in some faster and more aggressive guitars that leave you wondering whether to dance or smash things, whilst Manson’s trademark drawl receives a distorted overlay that threatens to bring the tune into EBM territory. My personal pick from the album.

As fans of classic Manson know, the band does danceable grooves just as well as it does buzzing, distorted riffs, as evidenced more than satisfactorily by ‘Tattooed in Reverse’ and the melodic yet creepy ‘Kill4Me’, slower yet no less catchy. Some of these songs will be stuck in your head by the time you’ve finished listening, just to warn you.

In his own words, Manson intended the album to ‘f*** sh** up’ rather than change the world, and this is pretty much the effect he has achieved. Over a long career, Manson has already said everything he needs to say, kicked over as many cultural icons as he possibly can and shocked everyone who needs to be shocked. Now it’s time not to sit back and relax but to bring together all the best bits of the band’s sound and enjoy the madness. A lot of the swearing, subversion and Satanic imagery are still there, but they’re more like a part of the scenery for one really f***ed up party. Marilyn Manson won’t ever go back to the heady heights of Antichrist Superstar or Mechanical Animals, but that’s no reason not to crank this one up and enjoy!

Marilyn Manson are supporting the album with an extensive Europe-wide tour, ending up in the UK in December despite Manson’s close encounter with a gun-shaped prop in a recent show, which he is said to be recovering well from.Check out the album, pick up some merch and we’ll see you at one of his shows in the near future!

Music

Heavy Music Awards 2017 – Winners, Backstage Photos and More…

We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t the odd hangover in the EMP London office after an incredible night at the first ever Heavy Music Awards at House of Vans, London last night (August 24).

The Heavy Music Awards were set up as a completely independent awards ceremony to honour the best in rock and metal – with fans voting for their favourite contenders for each award. EMP was proud to be the headline sponsor for the event, which featured a number of awards for everything from best breakthrough band – recognising the most talented new faces on the scene – to best album artwork and best international band.

The event kicked off with a high-energy set from up-and-coming punksters Dead!, followed up by Vukovi and Venom Prison.

Venom Prison are my personal tip for a band to look out for, with an unexpectedly fresh take on classic death metal, and an absolutely kick-ass female vocalist who could probably beat even Arch Enemy’s (ex vocalist) Angela Gossow in a screaming competition.

Cloven Hoof were on hand to get everyone in the mood with a healthy dose of spiced rum, and expectations were high for the mix of music and awards to come. The entire EMP London office came down to enjoy the evening at the iconic venue, which sits underneath the railway arches in Waterloo, and plays host to everything from an indoor skate-park to a cinema. Check it out, Vans fans!

Thanks to everyone who came to browse our merch and say hi.

On to the awards themselves. Ghost scooped the Best Album Artwork award for their ‘Popestar’ EP – If the Ghost-hype has somehow passed you by, you seriously need to get out there and see them live, as they put on a stellar live show. Best UK Band was picked up the by the one and only Black Sabbath. Whilst there are some other great homegrown bands out there, Sabbath are the undisputed kings of heavy metal, and credited for the birth of genres from stoner rock to doom. A very well-deserved Best International Band went to the mighty Gojira, who have gone from strength to strength in recent years, including being announced as headliners for next year’s (incredible-sounding) Bloodstock Festival. We can’t wait!

Finally EMP’s Mark and Elena had their five minutes of fame on stage as they got up to announce the winner of the EMP-sponsored Best Album award together with Enter Shikari.

Although I personally was rooting for Gojira, it was awesome to see the trophy handed over to Architects for their quite frankly marvellous 2015 release, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. The band dedicated their success to the sadly-missed Tom Searle. The guys are straight off from the HMAs to smash the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, so be sure to check them out if you’re going.

You can see a full list of the nominees and winners -> HERE.

The evening was rounded off by the headliners, newbie punk rockers Creeper, who have rocketed to fame since their inception in 2014 thanks to their vibrant and catchy songs and pretty much endless succession of hits.

For those for whom rocking out for a solid four hours wasn’t enough, there was of course the afterparty. It’s been an amazing night, so thanks to everyone who turned up.
Watch out for next year’s event, and be sure to vote for your favourite band to get the recognition they deserve!

Music

Mastodon – “Emperor of Sand” Reviewed

Mastodon’s long-awaited seventh studio album is now available on CD and vinyl. But what did we think of “Emperor of Sand”?

mastodon-emperor-of-sand-cover

Despite the hype that surrounded Mastodon around the time of the release of their second album, the epic concept piece Leviathan (available today from EMP on CD), it took me quite a while to jump on the bandwagon. The band’s sound in the early days still tended towards a heavy and discordant edge, which lacks the catchiness and melody that they discovered later on. However, everything changed when Crack the Skye (CD | CD & DVD | limited edition coloured vinyl) finally came along. I now consider Crack the Skye to be one of the finest metal albums ever produced, with a merciless sophistication to the songs from start to finish, without one single moment that fails to overawe the listener.

Fellow fans of the Crack the Skye era are in for a real treat with Mastodon’s latest release; Emperor of Sand might just be the Atlanta troupe’s finest creation since.

Whilst their previous two albums, The Hunter (CD | vinyl) and Once More ‘Round the Sun (CD | vinyl) played on the catchy and groovy side to the band that goes down extremely well at festivals, Emperor of Sand has delved back into the past and resurrected some of the more interesting parts of Crack the Skye and even Leviathan for our listening pleasure. I’d already venture to say that this is going to be one of the top albums of 2017 – it absolutely rocks from start to finish, bringing a spectacular maturity and polish to their style, which seamlessly combines grooves with heavy segments and gloriously catchy chorus structures.

The album opens as it means to continue with the first single “Sultan’s Curse”, which immediately sounds like something from Crack the Skye, with meticulously-crafted riffs which blend seamlessly into the doomy chorus. As usual, the variety of vocal styles here (each of the band members contributes their own unique vocals to the mix), turn this into something special, creating a mystical atmosphere, which is set to reappear at intervals throughout the LP. The upcoming second single “Show Yourself” doesn’t mess about either, with pretty much no foreplay before hitting you in the face with melodic vocals and groovy riffs. The clean(ish) melodic vocals feature heavily across the album, which may not sit so well with fans of the heavier early style, although generally speaking the album isn’t quite as radio-friendly rock-ish as parts of Once More ‘Round the Sun. Genuine, Leviathan-esque discordance reappears with a vengeance on “Andromeda”, reinforcing the band’s heavy credentials for those who tend towards seeing infectious catchiness as a failing, rather than a triumph. Nonetheless, the songs have gotten shorter and more self-contained. You’re not going to see any 12-minute conceptual epics here. Each song is its own perfectly-formed musical unit, which you can either see as evidence of selling out, or simply strap in and enjoy the ride. I recommend you do the latter.

Mastodon have returned to semi-conceptual territory here, with the album’s protagonist cast out into the desert, paving the way for a lot of sand-related metaphors for the passage of time. It’s also been noted by many that a series of personal tragedies in the band members’ lives form a backdrop to the album, lending weight and depth to the exploration of the theme of life and death. The inclusion of slower, darker and sludgier tracks like “Steambreather” to some extent counterbalances the faster and even poppier tracks like the much-maligned “Show Yourself”, which seems to have hit a sore spot with some traditionalists. However, heavier moments do lurk on tracks like “Roots Remain” and “Scorpion Breath” – albeit often so cleverly woven in with energetic rock and funky riffs that if you pause too long to admire the high-octane choruses you might miss them. It’s a sound that Mastodon have been crafting for years, which was perhaps over-refined on Once More ‘Round the Sun, but has found a real balance on Emperor of Sand. The band may have lost the more far-out progressive element and the harder side, but they’ve essentially perfected their formula for combining heavy metal, prog, stoner, doom and radio-friendly rock in a way that brings all the disparate elements together into something that sounds so cohesive you just can’t imagine it being any other way. I personally don’t think there are many bands out there right now who quite so noticeably at the top of their game. Give this one a spin, you won’t regret it.

Emperor of Sand is available to purchase now from EMP on CD and vinyl. Also available is a 61×91.5cm poster and a t-shirt of the album’s striking cover artwork – see our Mastodon merchandise and albums page for the full range!

Salva

Music

Reviewed: Gojira @ London Kentish Town Forum, 12/3/2017

Last Sunday, French death metallers Gojira kicked off their Magma Tour UK at the Kentish Town Forum in London. What did we think?

#Repost @peterageofficial ・・・ SOLD OUT The Forum in London, England! #gojira #tourlife

A post shared by Gojira Official (@gojiraofficial) on


It’s always kind of a shame when a gig is on a school night, as you end up rationing your drinks and keeping half an eye on the clock so you can catch the last Northern line train home. But it certainly didn’t stop the crowd getting into the moshpit spirit on Sunday night when Gojira took over the Kentish Town Forum.

The show was opened by New York mathcore thugs Car Bomb with an immediate blast of aggression that made it clear it was not going to be one of those quiet Sunday nights. Their discordant and extremely heavy style with a progressive edge is reminiscent of the godfathers of extreme djent (is that a genre? It should be!), Meshuggah. In fact, whilst I was musing on how much they obviously wanted to be Meshuggah, I noticed their guitarist wearing one of the Swedish band’s t-shirts. Case closed.

The punchy start was followed up in style by Code Orange – a Pittsburgh-based hardcore/metalcore troupe who came with a mission to destroy the venue. I hadn’t heard them before, but I can say for sure they picked up a legion of new fans throughout their tightly-coiled performance. A vein of serious groove ran through their set, despite the very hard edges to their sound. Whilst punk is ostensibly at the root of their sound, and shows in the rawness of the vocals, there’s something more sinister lying underneath the in-your-face punch of their aggressively bass-fuelled music. The aural assault was backed up by astounding energy on-stage, as their charismatic bassist high-kicked his way through proceedings. If other bands are metal, these guys were adamantium. One to watch.

It’s around my 4th time seeing Bayonne metallers Gojira, but it seems that in the time I’ve been following them they’ve exploded from being one of those great niche bands that opens the smaller stage at Sonisphere, to being genuine heavy-hitters in their own right – and rarely has a band deserved that as much as these guys. Fresh from releasing their latest LP, Magma, they’ve subtly evolved their sound in a direction that’s lost a tiny amount of the aggression, but gained a razor-sharp edge that’s bumped them up into the big-league of technical metallers. Whilst ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ was good, ‘Magma’ was truly great – a career-defining album that runs like a perfectly-oiled piece of machinery. Which is lucky really, as the band drew heavily on their new baby in their set, playing almost all of the 8 full-length tracks. ‘Only Pain’ kicked things off, but for me it was the arrival of the monumental ‘The Heaviest Matter of the Universe’ that really signaled the start of the evening. This aural juggernaut, one of my all-time favourites, is a guaranteed pit-starter, and the ensuing circle pit did not disappoint. Unless you were hoping to get out of there without having your feet stamped on and some guy’s elbow in your eye. In fact, there’s often a pit just a few rows back from the front, but here it expanded like an oil spill, engulfing the reticent along with the hardcore stompers. Which is quite a good explanation for how Gojira’s music works live – their maelstrom of rhythms pulls you in and turns the audience from a group of people into one unified organism.

The L’Enfant Sauvage and Magma hits-parade was popular, but for me it’s all about the classic behemoths from ‘From Mars to Sirius’ and the genre-defining ‘Way of All Flesh’. No Gojira show is complete without a hefty dose of space and whales, delivered with aplomb in the form of the musical leviathan, ‘Flying Whales’. Whilst other bands cling to the same old tired themes: love, death, drugs; Gojira have never shied away from writing a few songs about ocean-dwelling mammals. One of the many reasons I love them. ‘Backbone’ is always another guaranteed hit, with a riff that just calls for you to start throwing yourself into the nearest person. It’s these inherently moshable grooves that have allowed the band to carve their place as a festival legend, and the atmosphere carries over even in a smaller and stuffier indoor venue.

No evening would be complete, though, without a good ol’ drum solo. Sometimes bands throw these in as a bit of a filler, but in Gojira’s case, drummer Mario is approximately half of the band – his ear for unique syncopated rhythms is one of the undoubted cornerstones of their sound, and sometimes the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that elevates their best songs from great heavy metal to something almost stratospheric. No surprise then, that the crowd went wild to his playful 5 minutes of fame. It was also a clever way to segue into the tectonic ‘Toxic Garbage Island’, which opens with drums that speak for themselves. By the end, a whirlpool of sweaty humans was screaming together about the injustice of plastic bags in the sea. My kind of moment.

But all good things must come to an end. Although they’d saved some of the best for last, with a serious hard-hitter to close, in the form of ‘Vacuity’. They seem to play this live much less often than the other big tracks from ‘The Way of All Flesh’, although it’s a raw powerhouse of a song. Vacuity bottles the intensity of the human instinct to survive, and had me punching the air and screaming every word. Inspiring stuff.

Gojira fan? Check out EMP’s range of Gojira merchandise, CDs and vinyl today!

Salva