Monday, May 18, 2009
gojira - the way of all flesh (2008)
This was one of my favorite metal albums last year, although that came as a surprise to me, and I'm still very much getting to know it. I didn't really care for their previous album- 2005's From Mars to Sirius- despite the fact that I had read some fantastically positive reviews for it. The issue I took with that album (at the time) was that I felt it lack intensity and focus- it felt choppy and violent, but ultimately directionless. I don't know if I would still feel that way, if/when I go back and give that album another listen, but Gojira's new album seems more cohesive and even catchy in places. They sound really heavy, and they are "death" metal in the more earlier sense of the term- they aren't as harsh as some of their contemporaries, and are closer in spirit to bands like Cynic or even Metallica. The downtuned, chugging guitars and complex rhythms bring to mind a catchier version of Meshuggah's Nothing, or Strapping Young Lad, but the most obvious point of comparison for this band is maybe Sepultura. Both Gojira and Sepultura are from non-English speaking countries, both bands are composed of a guitar playing/singing brother and a drumming brother; both bands are politically left-leaning- in Gojira's case, the focus is on environmentalism. The similarities must not have been lost of the Calavera brothers (of Sepultura) because they invited Joe Duplantier (Gojira guitarist/vocalist) to be the bassist in their new band, Calavera Conspiracy, last year. Aside from the biographical coincidences, Gojira made me think of Sepultura in their down-tuned proto-nu metal phase on Roots. The Way of All Flesh sounds thick and supremely heavy, but at the same time very active and energetic. Also, "The Art of Dying" is AMAZING. I think that this album still loses steam in certain points, but when it all comes together, this is really technical, intense and supremely listenable metal.
Gojira - The Art of Dying