L’Enfant Sauvage 

In a twist of reality I’ve gone from the Portuguese underdogs of Prayers of Sanity, to quite possibly the biggest band in France, if not Europe at this moment in time, and one currently riding high on the crest of a wave – Gojira.

I’ve never really given the Bayonne band a chance, their brand of  progressive death metal has always seemed to come across a bit to self indulgent for my liking, but I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about their latest release Magma so I’ll end up giving that a blast at some point.

I’ve seen the band five times since 2007 when they supported Trivium and Annihilatorin Wolverhampton.  The most recent time being on the Lock Up stage at the Leeds festival last year. One of those five performances was in 2012 supporting Metallica in the stadium where tonight’s European final is being held, Paris’ Stade de France.

They played the main stage at this years Hellfest to what has been reported as a particularly huge and partisan crowd, but instead of making it a sixth time I opted to see Brazilian crossover punks Ratos de Porão on the Warzone stage, a band I’d never seen live. I’m unlikely to catch them at the Bloodstock festival next month, so that sixth time could be on November’s and 2016’s most bizarre  line up where they are on a bill headlined by Alter Bridge with VolBeat also playing.

The track L’Enfant Sauvage is taken from the 2012 album of the same name. Until Magma erupted last month, L’Enfant Sauvage was their most commercially successful release, but the new one has outdone it’s predecessor in every country that it has charted in. Maybe it’s time for me to jump on the Gojira train?

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Antisocial

Right time to get ready for this evenings second semi final match. Tonight are footballing heavy weights France, the tournament hosts, vs Germany. First up today for the blog representing Les Bleus are Parisians Trust.

Apparently they were pretty big in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but my only connection to the band is the two covers that Anthrax have recorded. Les Sects that can be found on the Penikufesin 12″ and this track, Antisocial, which was featured on their Persistence of Time album. Both songs were featured in the French bands 1980 album Répression.

Since Anthrax recorded the track in 1990 it has, annoyingly, been a staple in their live set. It’s OK dusting it off every couple of tour cycles, but in the 20 plus times of seeing them live I think I’ve only not seen them perform it once, and that was during their first of two sets at Sonisphere 2014 when they did an Among The Living special set. I have at least another two dates with Anthrax in 2016 so luckily for me I get to see them do this twice more. This song is such an oxymoron for me, It’s a great live sing-a-long song and goes down a storm in every country I’ve seen them play it live, but constantly for nearly a quarter of a century gets frustrating.

There is also a link between Trust and Iron Maiden. Nicko McBrain played for the band between 1980 and 1982 and recorded Marche Ou Crève and Savage with the band. When he was offered the gig with Maiden Trust replaced him with out going Maiden drummer Clive Burr for a year and he recorded a further two albums with them. It was such a different time back then when bands churned out an album almost annually, sometimes two in a year.

Sorry for rambling on about two other bands, but I really don’t know anything else about Trust. Enjoy the French take on the British New Wave of Heavy Metal sound.

Prince Of Fire


Half time in tonight’s football and it’s looking like host nation France are easily going to do what England couldn’t do! So time to delve into something from Les Bleus.

There was a bit more choice with Europe’s third largest country, but for me it’s never been a country with a rich musical heritage – or bands that I’ve really liked.

Hailing from the Côte d’Azur Agressor were one of the countries first thrash / death metal bands, forming in the mid 1980’s. With their take on the early German style of thrash (think Kreator and Sodom) they were supposedly the first French band to sign to an international label.

I had a copy of debut release Neverending Destiny via my tape trading days. For some reason I never got into the record at the time or follow up effort Towards Beyond. I remember the album artwork of the debut more than the music.

They were long forgotten as a band to me until earlier this year when I noticed the name on the Hellfest line up. There have been several bands with the Agressor or Aggressor moniker over the years, so when I checked out which one this was I was more than surprised to see it was the French version who I first heard more than a quarter of a century ago. I was even more astounded to discover that they’ve got a back catalogue with five albums and a few EP’s and still going, even if it is only vocalist and guitarist Alex keeping the fire burning from back in the day.

Using modern technology I tracked down the debut album and gave it another go and on its “second chance” I was pleasantly surprised.

Going through the festival itinerary Agressor were one of the bands I highlighted as a must see. Unfortunately for me they took to the stage at 11:40am on the Sunday. Of course the bus had to run late on that morning, and obviously it was the only day we encountered traffic problems around the village of Clisson. And the queues to get in…. Needless to say I missed them.