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Suprisingly good for such a small band at the time - 95%

thrashy, July 17th, 2009

I don't own a lot of live DVD's, most of the time the quality (either the sound or the overall performance and stage presence) disappoint me, and I end up wishing I stuck to the studio albums instead of watching the band live. In this case, I watched some of The Link alive at a friend's house, and I immediately decided I will buy it the next time I went to a music store.

Gojira are today one of France's best rising metal acts, yet back when this DVD was in the making, they were merely another groove/death metal band. After a successful "From Mars To Sirius" in 2005, the band got a lot of the recognition they deserve within the metal scene. And the more I think about it, the more it's sort of contradictory. The material played on this DVD is from their first two full lengths only, no "Flying Whales" and no "Vacuity" or "Art Of Dying". Not to say that Terra Incognita and The Link are of lesser quality than their later albums, but Gojira fans --especially the ones unfamiliar with their first two studio albums-- will find this highly entertaining: Terra Incognita and The Link are somewhat heavier than the later two albums, more focused on the rhythm and weight than on the catchy melodic parts. And for us who have listened to these guys since Possessed, this is probably as good as Gojira will ever get on stage!

First of all, a quick explanation of Gojira's music is needed. They play a breed of death and groove metal, that's very heavy, progressive, and with technicality. It sounds generic I know, and all those elements don't necessarily give a good product at the end, but Gojira set themselves apart from the rest of the death metal bands performing on stage with one thing: they work like robots, robots at perfection. The music is relatively very simple: the rhythm sections are extremely groovy and with very catchy time signatures and arrangements, but nothing out of the ordinary. The riffs are simple and solid, and the vocals strong and very well used: they're like melodic half screams half growls and they fit the music perfectly. The songs played live sound exactly like on the recordings, with an amazing sound quality, and the band members have all the stage presence you can think of. Duplantier constantly communicates with the crowd (in french), in his Chuck Schuldiner stance, precise guitar playing and overwhelmingly strong voice. The four guys are all very highly skilled and play their instruments with extreme precision, and this is what makes this DVD better than your average live show. The camera does a great job of capturing all the best moments of all four instruments, and seeing all these heavier Gojira songs played live feels very fulfilling

The track selection is very pleasant, I'm a big fan of Terra Incognita and I feel they played the best tracks from that album. "Blow Me Away You Niverse" and "Space Time" are my personal favorites and were just the same live, or maybe slightly more entertaining and more energetic. The Link was almost played in its entirety, although I kept waiting to hear "Dawn" at the end but it never came. Seeing the complete outro on "Remembrance" played with such precision and skill was almost unbelievable. Mario Duplantier is without a doubt one of the heaviest, most talented live drummers I've ever seen. He definitely reproduces the same intensity of the album's flawless drum work on stage. All in all, an outstanding 75 minutes of live metal performance, very few bands can pull this stuff off. I highly recommend this for all of you who enjoy watching metal masters at work. These guys are the best at what they do.