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Gojira - From Mars to Sirius CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.05 | 227 ratings

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4 stars When listening to this album, my immediate thoughts revolve around this album's extremely heavy, groove metal style, amplified by the incredible production. Each song is packed with memorable riffs and a perfect blend of solid groove perfect for headbanging and furious transitions and climaxes, further improved by the production making everything sound even bigger and more spacious, providing a unique quality to them that I feel can't be replicated by many bands. From Mars To Sirius expands on the previous 2 albums by the band, toning down the extremely raw sound the debut brought forth, and the more atmospheric stuff found on The Link, making a more progressive, complex album that still maintains a lot of the previous qualities.

The intro to Ocean Planet conveys the album effectively, with ambient whale noises leading into heavy, droning guitar chords with intense, powerful drumming creating a wall of sound with the only semblance of melody coming from Joe Duplantier's vocals. I find the vocals to be really great in general, having the rough qualities of screaming while still being properly sung to allow some melody. Backbone manages to be even better, coming in with a simple, yet killer riff that keeps switching between groove and instrumental insanity, all culminating in an utter freakout after the first minute that just keeps going on and on, backed up with a solid blast beat. This is definitely one of the better songs on the album, as the main riff sounds so good, and the instrumental interludes are nothing short of incredible. The album continues in a similar fashion, having an extremely unified, groovy, spacey sound. Notable songs are From The Sky, which has a more powerful, epic feel to it, especially the epic chorus and Unicorn, which is absolutely beautiful and enjoyable despite being a minute long interlude.

The best songs on the album however are undoubtedly The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe and Flying Whales. The former starts off guns blazing with a downright labyrinthine riff that never seems to slow down, even when it becomes more traditional in nature, it's still absolutely brutal, all culminating into one of the few uses of clean vocals in the entire album, slowly building in intensity until it completely explodes, leading straight into what I consider to be one of the greatest extreme metal songs out there. Flying Whales begins with a simple, light, yet deeply atmospheric riff, using light guitar tones to set the stage for what's to come. The other elements are slowly introduced, a simple drumbeat combined with a light bassline and whale noises throughout. I love the way this continues for over two minutes, sounding incredible throughout, before it slows down, cuts out, and then a semblance of metal comes in the form of layered guitars in the back that then burst in with an incredibly heavy riff that you'd be very talented to not want to start headbanging to. Not a moment of this song feels wasted or misused, continuing the single riff for quite a while, only breaking it up with with a buildup to the explosion of "Now I can see the whales", all before it becomes chaotic, introducing riff after riff, each more impressive than the last, never letting the listener have a moment of reprieve until the very end, making an absolutely perfect song in every respect.

However, despite the near perfect first side of the album, past Flying Whales does drop off a bit, partially because the listener will be recovering from the rush that the song gave them, but also just because the album has a very set sound that never really varies too much. World To Come is definitely my least favourite song here, as their attempt to have a more melodic song here ends up missing its mark quite considerably and sounding very lifeless. Fortunately, the other attempt of making a more melodic song works absolute wonders, as Global Warming closes off the album in a breathtaking fashion, using a fadeout to absolutely amazing effect and being so emotional.

It's honestly quite unfortunate that the rest of the songs on this side, while definitely not being bad for the most part, just don't sound interesting after already listening to the previous 40 minutes of similar sounding music, leading to it becoming somewhat exhausting. Overall, while I really do love this album in many respects, I believe it should have been cut down by quite a bit. Despite this, the high points are undoubtedly incredible, and I would definitely recommend this album to those who like groove metal and incredibly atmospheric, spacey, ultimately gigantic sounding songs, and find this a good entry point into the band.

Best songs: Backbone, The Heaviest Matter of the Universe, Global Warming, FLying Whales (this one especially)

Weakest songs: World To Come

Verdict: I can't think of listening to an album quite so massive as this one. The majority of riffs are ewual parts spine crushing and awesome, and no matter how many times I listen to it, that production and overall sound is always what impresses me the most about the band. While it can drag in places, I have little doubt in my mind that this is an absolutely great album.

Kempokid | 4/5 |


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