Sonic progression: a necessary part of growing as a band, or a real good way for your favorite acts to lose you as a fan? In heavy music, bands changing their sound is a considerable crapshoot. On the one hand, making one’s music polished and listenable can allow underground acts to rise to new levels of global acclaim (looking at you, Black Album). On the other, it can also alienate their diehard listeners, who realize that the albums they’ve been loving were just stepping stones to becoming yet another bland rock star. All of this begs the question: how far should a band go in terms of altering their signature sound?
On this week’s episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words, hosts Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast), and Zeena Koda (Everything’s Political Podcast) discuss what happens when a band with a sterling legacy in heavy metal decides to change up their sound. The album which they’re specifically referencing is arguably 2021’s biggest new release thus far: Fortitude, the new record by French experimental groove metallers Gojira.
“I kind of put it this way,” says Doc. “If you were to look at the best metal band in the world or most important metal band in the world at any given time, I look at it like a championship belt. And only one band can have it at any given time. And I feel like [Gojira] distinctly have the belt right now, and they kind of set the tone right now, for the rest of the bands who are trying to make their mark…I’ve been listening to the songs as they come out, and it’s my record of the year, even though it’s very early in the year. I’m a superfan.”
Check out the full episode below:
And if this doesn’t have you getting ‘DUPLANTIER’ tattooed on the inside of your lower lip, check out the uncensored podcast version of the show below:
Words by Chris Krovatin