Gojira plays a technical and rhythmic style of heavy metal with precision drumming, unusual rhythm patterns, and start-and-stop riffs. Gojira has also been known to incorporate textured atmospheric elements and instrumental songs into their music, whilst employing progressive and uncommon song structures rather than standard verse, chorus, verse songwriting. The vocal style is varied, ranging from the screamed style often employed in extreme metal, with the death growl style predominantly used in death metal, in addition to clean vocals and higher screams. At times, death metal growls and clean vocals are mixed to create an aggressive but melodic effect. Lyrically, they have a strong environmental theme, centred on man's reckless disregard for nature and its potentially apocalyptic consequences, as well as a rather spiritual approach of death.
Their style has gradually evolved from Technical Death Metal to an increasingly melodic and atmospheric approach, creating their own distinct brand of extreme metal that's pretty hard to classify.
They also delve into political causes outside of their music, such as supporting the NGO Sea Shepherd against whaling or raising funds for the indigenous people of Amazonia; Joe is also a proud vegan.
The Duplantier brothers also had a more wacky side project called Empalot in the late nineties and early noughties, with Joe singing in French.
- Joe Duplantier (vocals, rhythm guitar)
- Mario Duplantier (drums)
- Christian Andreu (lead guitar)
- Jean-Michel Labadie (bass)
- Terra Incognita (2001)
- The Link (2003)
- Maciste AllInferno (2003)note
- From Mars To Sirius (2005)
- The Way of All Flesh (2008)
- L'Enfant Sauvage (2012)
- Magma (2016)
- Fortitude (2021)
Tropes For One Thing:
- Album Title Drop: The Way of All Flesh has one within the first 40 seconds of "Adoration for None.""Destined to rule my life, and go the way of all flesh."
- Animated Music Video: "All the Tears", "Born in Winter" and "Another World."
- Bilingual Bonus: The first verse of "Low Lands."
- "Tell me what you see / In the afterlife / Par-delà le ciel / Par-delà le soleil ("Beyond the sky / Beyond the sun")
- But Not Too Foreign: While they were born and grew up in France, Mario and Joe's mother was American, and they both have double nationality.
- The Cameo
- Devin Townsend and Fredrik Thordendal had guest appearances on the track "Of Blood and Salt."
- Randy Blythe did vocals on "Adoration for None" off The Way of All Flesh.
- The entire band did guest vocals on The Atlas Moth's "Blood Will Tell."
- Joe has also done guest work with bands like Apocalyptica and Trepalium.
- Death Metal
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Mario, back in the band's early days, looked quite feminine.
- Early Installment Weirdness: "Terra Incognita" is noticably heavier and more inspired by traditional death metal than the rest of their works. The Godzilla demos are even stranger as they have little to no prog influence and consist of death metal à la Death.
- Epic Rocking: Though most of their songs sit somewhere between four to six minutes, their first four studio albums each have at least one track that breaks seven minutes: "In the Forest" from Terra Incognita is 12 minutes and 16 seconds long, "Dawn" on The Link is 8 minutes 39 seconds, and "Flying Whales" on From Mars to Sirius is 7:44. The Way of All Flesh, meanwhile, gets two: "The Art of Dying" is 9:53, and the titular track is 17:03.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble
- Phlegmatic: Joe
- Choleric: Mario
- Sanguine: Jean-Michel
- Melancholic: Christian
- Genre-Busting: While leaning towards tech death, they have been associated with thrash metal, progressive metal and groove metal. The progressive elements have generally increased on each album they have released, to the point where L'Enfant Sauvage is probably more prog than tech. Magma throws in some ambient elements too.
- Green Aesop: Their main lyrical focus.
- Instrumentals: At least one per album.
- "04" and "5988 Trillions de Tonnes" from Terra Incognita
- "Torii," "Connected," and "Dawn" from The Link
- "Unicorn" from From Mars to Sirius
- "The Silver Cord" from The Way of All Flesh
- "The Wild Healer" from L'Enfant Sauvage
- "Liberation" and "The Yellow Stone" from Magma
- The title track from Fortitude, which serves as an introduction to "The Chant". While it features vocals, it has no lyrics.
- Lighter and Softer: Magma. See New Sound Album below.
- Long Runner Lineup: The band's lineup hasn't changed at all ever since they took the name "Gojira", with only the bassist Alex Cornillon being replaced just before they recorded Terra Incognita.
- Loudness War: It's modern death metal. This is pretty much expected. It's far from the worst example of the trope in modern death metal, but The Way of All Flesh comes in at DR6 and is somewhat clipped, for example. The vinyl edition of at least The Way of All Flesh is better, apparently being separately mastered and not suffering from very much, if any, clipping.
- Metal Scream: Joe is keen on using Type 1's and 2's, although he's been using almost exclusively Type 1's in the later works.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally a standard 9, sometimes an 8 or a 10, though some passages of their songs go noticeably lower. Magma drops down to a very hard 7 for the most part, while Fortitude largely goes back to a hard 8.
- New Sound Album: Magma, while keeping death metal elements, is generally less aggressive and more accessible (though still quite heavy), has more clean vocals, and even has an acoustic instrumental as the final track. Also, most songs have choruses, which were almost non-existent in their previous albums. Both Mario and Joe have clearly said in interviews that they were no longer a death metal band.
- Precision F-Strike: In a strange deviation from the rest of their work, "Blow Me Away You(niverse)" from Terra Incognita has one, making it the only song in the band's catalog to have any instance of a profanity."Watch out! Hang out! Fuck off!"
- Power Ballad: "Global Warming," "Born in Winter," "The Shooting Star," "Low Lands" and "The Chant" are these compared to the rest of Gojira's work. The last one particularly stands out, as it is the only song in their catalogue to feature a guitar solo.
- The Quiet One: Christian is the most discreet band member and interviews of him are very few.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Magma was inspired by the death of Joe and Mario's mother, and so has a much more somber and personal sound than past records.
- Sibling Team: Joe and Mario Duplantier are brothers.
- Signature Style: Rhythmic Technical Death Metal songs featuring heavy use tremolo picking, Nu Metal influences and double-kick triplets that sing about ecological themes.
- Space Whale: "Flying Whales" from From Mars to Sirius is about these, and the album features one on the cover.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Liberation" is a quiet acoustic lullaby that's as different as can be from their usual sound.
- Surreal Music Video: "Born in Winter" and "Silvera," due to its bizarre imagery.
- Those Two Guys: Everyone knows Mario and Joe. Jean-Michel and Christian are just "the other two". Understandable considering the brothers handle pretty much all of the songwriting.