It has always been hard to put a tag on GOJIRA, one of France’s most extreme bands the country’s musical pallet has ever known. But then again, the band has never really sought out such a tag, instead letting the music do the talking, preferring introspection and intelligence over preconceived notions and preexisting tags. Ever since the 1996 formation in town of Bayonne in the southwest of France, GOJIRA has been an ever- evolving experiment in extreme metal ultimately built upon a worldly, ever-conscious outlook with roots firmly-planted both in the hippie movement and an environmentally-conscious, new age mentality. This time, with The Way of All Flesh, GOJIRA harnesses a spiritual consciousness as well, but still culminates in a sound wholly heavy.
Originally dubbed Godzilla, after the scaly, green film star with an equally huge reputation as the newfound band’s sound, the brothers Duplantier – guitarist/vocalist Joe and drummer Mario – and fellow Frenchmen Jean Michel Labadie on bass and Christian Andreu on guitar, quickly released several demos, ultimately changing the band’s name and independently releasing the first GOJIRA album, Terra Incognita, in 2001, offering up a brief glimpse into the giant GOJIRA would eventually become through persistent hard work and years of toiling in the metal underground.
After the 2003 release of the band’s follow-up, The Link, throughout Europe and the subsequent live DVD release the next year, of the aptly-titled The Link Alive, 2005 brought the release of From Mars To Sirius, the band’s breakthrough release, garnering high praise and a North American release through Prosthetic Records in 2006. Fans of not only heavy, extreme music took notice, but so did the intellectual world, thanks to Sirius’ thoughtful and expansive inner examination of the world at hand and the consequences of humanity’s struggle to coexist without harm. The metal world was amused and amazed: much of it hadn’t yet seen an equally intelligent and pummelingly heavy release that was as expansive and open as it was dense and concise.
Following the immense praise of From Mars To Sirius and recurring trips across the Atlantic for North American touring alongside the likes of Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, and Behemoth among others, GOJIRA established its stranglehold on the extreme metal spectrum with a linguist’s touch, a lyricist’s finesse, and a
crushingly heavy live show that left audiences astounded, establishing the band’s live performance as a spot-on recreation of the band’s increasingly adept and intelligent studio output.
While 2007 wrapped with GOJIRA again touring North America on the Radio Rebellion Tour alongside Behemoth to the best reaction yet, the dawn of 2008 saw a nearly 10 month wait for while the band assembled The Way of All Flesh, one of the year’s most anticipated records. This time revolving around the undeniable dilemma of a mortal demise, GOJIRA’s soundtrack to the situation seems fitting. Shifting ever-so-slightly from the eco-friendly orchestra of impending doom on From Mars To Sirius to the band’s new message of the equally uncontrollable inevitability of death, The Way of All Flesh melds the open and airy progressive passages GOJIRA has become famous for with the sonically dense sounds and bludgeoningly heavy rhythms that makes the band an equally intelligent force as it is unmatchably heavy.
Featuring a guest vocal spot on “Adoration For None” from Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe – one of GOJIRA’s most vocal supporters from their first moment making an impression in the Americas – and the now familiar Morbid Angel-isms of The Way Of All Flesh’s title track join the angular riffing more akin to Meshuggah on “Esoteric Surgery” and the epic, artful plodding of the nearly 10-minute “The Art of Dying,” showing that GOJIRA have indeed opened a new bag of tricks for The Way Of All Flesh, while not abandoning the sound that first showed a massive promise of potential on Sirius.
“It’s more inventive than From Mars To Sirius and at the same time more straight to the point,” GOJIRA frontman Joe Duplantier says of The Way of All Flesh. “The whole album is about death, death is like a step on the path of the soul. The mystery surrounding this phenomenon is just so inspiring, and death is the most common thing on earth.”
“This album is also a ‘requiem’ for our planet,” Duplantier continues. “We don't want to be negative or cynical about the fate of humanity, but the situation on Earth is growing critical, and the way humans behave is so catastrophic that we really need to express our exasperation about it. It's not fear, but anger. But we still believe that consciousness can make a difference and that we can change things as human beings.”

TORCHE are a band consisting of four dudes playing the loudest and heaviest hard rock on the planet. Formed by vocalist and guitarist Steve Brooks in 2004 after the dissolution of cult sludge and stoner metal pioneers Floor, the group introduced the world to a refreshingly unique version of rock n’ roll flavored with stoner and sludgy sensibilities. Originally from Miami, Florida, but now peppered across the country, TORCHE have spent the last 10 years shattering eardrums and captivating crowds with their infectiously original compositions and soaring, harmonic vocals.
Over the course of the band’s ten year existence, TORCHE have released three critically acclaimed full-lengths as well as a series of EPs and splits with such revered labels as Hydra Head, Robotic Empire, Volcom, and Amensian. Their 2008 breakthrough Meanderthal was described by Pitchfork as “an absolutely killer rock record” and was declared the #1 album of the year by Decibel Magazine. 2012’s follow-up Harmonicraft was called “a true gamechanger” by the BBC and “a pure fountain of instant gratification” by Spin.
Despite the praised they’ve received for their recorded works, TORCHE are known even more for their tremendous live performance and have toured the world relentlessly with a diverse pool of acts including Clutch, Mogwai, Hot Water Music, The Sword, Isis, and many more. In early 2014, the band signed with renowned label Relapse Records, and selfrecorded their fourth fulllength record Restarter. Full of what the band describes as some of their “heaviest songs to date,” the record was produced by TORCHE guitarist Jonathan Nunez and mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou and was once again a masterful display of topnotch songwriting, this time pitting stomach- churning lower end against the band’s characteristically highflying vocals. Restarter’s reception was as good as any the band have seen in the past, with Pitchfork calling it “their most compelling record since Meanderthal,” and New Noise Magazine deeming TORCHE “one of the best metal bands active today.”TORCHE are here to prove that they are heavier, louder and more humable than anyone else, and right now, nobody dares to stand in their way.
TORCHE are:
Steve Brooks Guitar/Vocals
Rick Smith Drums
Jonathan Nuñez Bass
Andrew Elstner Guitar/Vocals

Nothing lasts forever. All things decay, all things change. The mightiest empires crumble to dust as their kings bleed. Forever, it would seem, is unobtainable.

Code Orange, with their new studio album, seek to obtain the unobtainable; pushing against every boundary, shedding every label. The band has grown immensely, and yet still retains the distinct edge and harshness that has become their caustic calling card. Ever defiant, Code Orange breaks any mold and refuses to be easily defined.

Recorded with producers Will Yip at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA and Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studios in Salem, MA, FOREVER is an album without limits. Jami Morgan (Drums / Vocals), Eric Balderose (Guitar / Vocals), Reba Meyers (Guitar / Vocals) and Joe Goldman (Bass) pushed themselves to create something wholly unique and startling. “We don’t just jam out and make an album. It’s meticulous. It’s hard. It’s a lot of hours. It’s a lot of frustration,” Morgan remarked of the experience. “It took a lot of effort, but we wanted to create something that, when I put it on my headphones, I just knew. There was no doubt that this was it. If there was doubt, we’d scrap it and we’d do it again. It was tough getting it all to fit together, but when it did it was beautiful.”

The easy route would have been for Code Orange to simply make another record like their 2014 breakthrough, I AM KING. It would have been easy to just enter the studio and churn out the same old thing, but for Code Orange, easy is never an option. “We aren’t just making records to make records. When you start doing that, you’re everyone else,” Morgan said. “We’re built on not doing the same old shit. When you put on a Code Orange record, you don’t know what you’re gonna get. You know it’s gonna be painful, that’s it.”

The contrast between beauty and pain is prevalent throughout FOREVER. The album’s title track is a sludge-fueled nightmare that pummels the listener; it’s Code Orange at their heaviest. Moments later, melody and hints of gracefulness enter with Meyers’ striking vocals on the song “Bleeding in the Blur,” only to be ripped away a track later during the electronic hellscape of “The Mud.” FOREVER is consistent only in its willingness to change and shift.

“We just take it further, but keep it brief,” Morgan stated of the record’s more transcendent moments. Beauty and grace leak through, but are crushed under the weight of the band’s sonic assault. “We want to keep it painful, because we’re not post. We’re not post anything. We’re current. We’re now.”

Of the new album, Rolling Stone said, “FOREVER captures some of the most punishing noise the band has recorded to date, featuring songs rife with sudden transitions to still-harsher textures.” The Nerdist added, “There’s growth here, for sure, but that unmistakable Code Orange sound is still present and pounding you into submission.”

Nothing lasts forever, so Code Orange is content to live in the moment. All they want is to challenge themselves and those around them. To push every button they can. To cause some mayhem and see some blood.

“For us, it’s about reinforcing that we are the four. We’re Code Orange,” Morgan declared. “We’ve been Code Orange since we were fourteen years old.”

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