In 7th grade, my pal Bill’s older brother played some music from a band I’d never heard of before. The cover of the EP looked like yet another metal band, trying to out-devil the others. This was probably the plateau of the fully-realized metal culture, where the outfits were pretty similar and the songs were basically pop with distorted guitars. Eventually, things would plane off and just kind of repeat.
So, I saw this EP cover and expected yet another crap sandwich of leather and screamed lyrics. Instead, I heard an operatic soprano over super-precise, very heavy rock and roll. Sure, there was still quite a bit of pageantry, but that stuff seemed incidental. I was floored, and that band went on to become pretty famous (Queensryche) and probably a parody of themselves later on.
That’s a long way around to explain that the feeling I got that first time listening to Queensryche popped right back into my head the first time I heard Oroborus by Gojira. The first song I heard by the French power metal group was “All The Tears” – and that one got my attention, for sure. But, Oroborus caught me off guard. I mean, I realized a minute into it that I had been banging my head. I’m fairly stoic listening to music, but it was an involuntary response. Turning the volume up was voluntary. See for yourself:
I have a hard time believing that this video wasn’t overdubbed. That’s superhuman precision, but it also somehow has soul. Here’s All The Tears and its crazy video to back up my claims:
Come on. That kick drum flurry at the end. I quit.