Gojira is Returning to Colombia with The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023

Alex de Borba

Alex de Borba

Gojira, along with Mastodon, is set to return to Colombia, adding to an already rich program for the second half of the concert schedule in the country. Following the announcement of the lineup for the Cordillera Festival 2023, the next significant news is the performance of these two leading heavy metal bands in recent history. They will perform at the Movistar Arena in Bogotá on November 23rd, 2023, as part of The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023.

After successful performances in Europe and North America, Gojira and Mastodon confirmed their Latin American tour dates on May 19th through their social media platforms. In addition to Colombia, which will be the final stop of the tour with production by Move Concerts, performances in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile were also confirmed.

Emerging from the picturesque town of Bayonne in France, Gojira has etched an indelible mark in the global music tapestry since its formation in 1996. Celebrated for their unique amalgamation of technical dexterity, thematic profundity, and environmental activism, the band has captivated a dedicated international following.

Gojira was brought to life by the shared vision of brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier, Christian Andreu, and Alexandre Cornillon, who was later succeeded by Jean-Michel Labadie. Initially christened Godzilla, the band transitioned to the name Gojira, the Japanese equivalent, in 2001. Their formative years were characterized by a unique fusion of death metal and progressive elements, with their debut album ‘Terra Incognita’ (2001) serving as a testament to their raw dynamism and technical virtuosity.

Over the years, Gojira’s music has undergone significant metamorphosis, absorbing elements from various subgenres of metal and beyond. Their early work was heavily influenced by death metal, characterized by aggressive, palm-muted guitar riffs, complex drumming patterns, and guttural vocals. However, they also incorporated elements of progressive metal, including unusual time signatures, complex song structures, and atmospheric elements.

The band’s genre-blending approach is a reflection of the broader trends in the heavy metal scene. According to a study by Weinstein published in 2000, heavy metal has evolved from a working-class subculture into a more diverse and inclusive genre. This evolution is reflected in Gojira’s music, which has broadened to include elements of progressive metal, groove metal, and even post-metal. Their music is characterized by a balance between aggression and melody, complexity and accessibility, tradition and innovation.

Gojira’s music transcends the auditory realm, serving as a platform for socio-political commentary. Their environmental advocacy challenges the status quo and invites listeners to reflect on their relationship with nature. Moreover, their exploration of existential themes provides a critique of modern society’s alienation and spiritual emptiness.

Gojira’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of music. Their fusion of technical mastery and profound thematic depth has not only redefined the boundaries of progressive metal but also underscored the potential of music as a vehicle for social change. As we continue to grapple with environmental crises and existential questions, Gojira’s music remains a beacon of consciousness and a call to action.

The paper ‘The Song Remains the Same: A Replication and Extension of the MUSIC Model’ provides an interesting perspective on how musical preferences are formed. It suggests that preferences are not necessarily tied to specific genres, but rather to certain musical properties and psychological attributes.

The research introduces the MUSIC model, which conceptualizes musical preferences in terms of five dimensions: Mellow, Unpretentious, Sophisticated, Intense, and Contemporary. These dimensions are defined by specific musical attributes. For instance, the “Intense” dimension, which could be relevant to progressive metal, is characterized by music that is distorted, loud, aggressive, and not relaxing.

Applying this to Gojira, we can see how their music might appeal to listeners who prefer the “Intense” and “Sophisticated” dimensions. Gojira’s music is often characterized by its technical complexity and aggressive sound, aligning with these dimensions. However, their thematic depth and exploration of existential and environmental themes might also appeal to listeners who value sophistication and thought-provoking content in music.

This perspective can help us understand why Gojira, which, while firmly rooted in the progressive metal genre, transcends traditional genre boundaries. This is in line with the findings of Andy Bennett’s paper, ‘Towards a cultural sociology of popular music,’ which suggests that musical taste is not merely a product of social circumstances but a reflexively derived form of expression. In other words, individuals actively construct their identity, lifestyle, and even sense of place through their musical preferences.

Their music is often characterized by its technical complexity, aggressive sound, and thematic depth, appeals to listeners who value both intensity and sophistication in music. Their exploration of existential and environmental themes provides a critique of modern society’s alienation and spiritual emptiness, inviting listeners to reflect on their relationship with nature and their place in the world.

Bennett’s paper also introduces the concept of “taste cultures,” which refers to the process whereby individuals acquire tastes in music and cohere into social groups based on shared tastes. This concept can be applied to understand the dedicated international following that Gojira has garnered.

Gojira’s debut album, ‘Terra Incognita,’ was released on March 19th, 2001, under Listenable Records. The album showcased the band’s raw energy and technical prowess, blending elements of death metal and progressive metal. Critics appreciated the band’s innovative approach, marking them as a promising new act in the metal scene.

Their sophomore album, ‘The Link,’ released on April 18th, 2003, saw the band further refining their sound. The album was noted for its increased technicality and the incorporation of more atmospheric elements. Critics praised the band’s growth and the album’s cohesive sound.

From Mars to Sirius,’ released on September 27th, 2005, is often considered Gojira’s breakthrough album. The album’s narrative about a planet on the brink of ecological disaster and the journey to find a new home resonated with listeners. Critics lauded the band’s thematic depth and their seamless blend of aggression and melody.

On October 13th, 2008, Gojira released ‘The Way of All Flesh.’ The album continued the band’s exploration of environmental themes and showcased their technical evolution. Critics praised the album’s complex song structures and the band’s ability to balance intensity with musicality.

L’Enfant Sauvage,’ released on June 26th, 2012, marked Gojira’s first release under the Roadrunner Records. The album was lauded for its thematic exploration of freedom and constraint and its continued musical innovation. Critics appreciated the band’s consistent evolution and their ability to convey profound themes through their music.

Magma,’ released on June 17th, 2016, saw Gojira further expanding their sound, incorporating more melodic elements and experimenting with song structures. The album received widespread critical acclaim, with critics praising its emotional depth and the band’s willingness to push their musical boundaries.

Their seventh studio album, ‘Fortitude,’ released on April 30th, 2021, further exemplifies Gojira’s commitment to pushing musical boundaries and their dedication to environmental activism. The album was met with widespread critical acclaim, with critics praising its innovative sound and the band’s continued exploration of environmental themes.

While Gojira’s musical journey is marked by their determination to innovate and advocate for the environment, the individual talents within the band add another layer of depth to their artistic expression. Take, for instance, Mario Duplantier. Renowned as the drummer of the French progressive metal band, his contribution is not only defined by his rhythmical prowess but also by his visual artistry. Besides his musical excellence, Duplantier is an accomplished visual artist, his creative expressions gracing Gojira’s album covers and merchandise, adding a distinct touch to the band’s identity.

Duplantier’s visual art is characterized by its abstract and surreal imagery. His work often explores themes similar to those found in Gojira’s music, including environmental issues and existential questions. His style is versatile, ranging from intricate line drawings to bold, expressive paintings.

Duplantier’s artwork is a testament to his unique artistic vision. His pieces often feature a dynamic interplay of light and shadow, creating a sense of depth and movement. His use of color is also noteworthy, with vibrant hues juxtaposed against darker tones to create striking contrasts.

Duplantier’s artwork has been showcased in various exhibitions, garnering recognition for his unique artistic style. His art has been featured in galleries and art shows, and he has collaborated with various organizations and brands to create custom artwork.

In addition to his exhibitions, Duplantier’s artwork is also available for purchase online. His pieces are often sold as limited edition prints, allowing fans of his music and art to own a piece of his creative output.

Continuing to celebrate the transformative power of art, particularly through the likes of artists like Mario Duplantier, who consistently redefine the boundaries of artistic expression, it is events like the upcoming concert that provide the perfect platform for such talents.

The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023

For those wanting to experience such a powerful artistic display, tickets for the concert can be procured via Tu Boleta, and will be made available in three distinct phases. Exclusive early access begins for Movistar customers on May 27th, extending until the late hours of May 28th, or until stocks last. Banco Aval customers are up next with their special phase commencing at 9:00 a.m. on May 29th. This opportunity lasts until supplies are exhausted or until the morning of May 31st, when the general public will gain access to the remaining tickets.

Both Gojira and Mastodon, the stars of The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023, have performed in Colombia in the past. Gojira, in particular, performed for the first time less than a year ago at the Movistar Arena on September 4th, 2022. On that occasion, the French band led by singer and guitarist Joe Duplantier presented their 2021 album, ‘Fortitude,’ coming close to selling out the venue.

With a repertoire of 16 songs, the quartet demonstrated their instrumental prowess and live energy, which led them to include Colombia once again in their concert schedule. They will be presenting their latest studio album in the country once more.

The Mega-Monsters Tour 2023, featuring Gojira and Mastodon, promises to be a significant event in Colombia’s heavy metal scene. The return of these leading bands underscores the growing popularity and influence of heavy metal in the country. As the concert schedule continues to fill up, fans can look forward to a rich and diverse musical experience in the second half of 2023.

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