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Gojira - The Way of All Flesh CD (album) cover

THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

Gojira

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 141 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'The Way Of All Flesh' - Gojira (9/10)

As with many others who have since become fans of Gojira, I was first introduced to this French extreme metal band through their third album 'From Mars To Sirius', which sounded very fresh at a time when metal was feeling all but a little too generic and tired. Instead of continue down the path they had developed with the third album however, Gojira decided to do what any truly great band; to reinvent themselves once again, while retaining their core elements. The final result is 'The Way Of All Flesh', a more challenging listen than its predecessor, more technical, and more dissonant. While it's clear from the beginning that the album demands a greater attention than 'From Mars To Sirius', it is also clear that this is the most profound musical achievement the band has created to date.

Lacking any atmospheric or mellow introduction to ease the listener into the album, 'Ouroboros' starts with a memorable and technical riff over the meticulous and complex drumming of percussionist extraordinaire Mario Duplantier. From this first song onwards, there are still familiar sounds for Gojira; the crushingly heavy guitars, distinctive growls, and a lyrical gravitation towards environmental plights. 'The Way Of All Flesh' takes a greater sense of distinction with the next two tracks however, bringing the music to the brink of technical dissonance, and odd electronic melodies, respectively.

Towards the middle of the album are quite a few tracks that would have easily fit in 'From Mars To Sirius', and are quite a bit less memorable than the songs that really show the band experimenting with their sound. However, although leaving quite a bit less of an impression, these are far from filler pieces. 'The Silver Cord' is a relatively sludgy, but mellow interlude piece, leading into two tracks of technicality and heaviness. The album's highlight then takes the form of the ten minute piece 'The Art Of Dying', which begins with a highly distinctive, meditative drum introduction that slowly builds with each repetition, bringing the listener to a feeling of great tension, regardless of how many times it's already been listened to. Then, just as a listener begins to be lulled into a sense of security, the guitars kick in, destroying the sense of tribal serenity with rhythmic experimentation and heaviness typically associated with Meshuggah.

Something besides the added heavy aspects of 'The Way Of All Flesh' that makes it a unique piece of work is the addition of atmospheric leitmotifs that appear throughout the album, towards the end of a few songs. These can either take the form of space electronic vibrations, or a sombre guitar picking played in reverse. In any case, while the couple of small mellow sections are used quite a few times, they only get more beautiful and introspective with time.

Although with a topic and subject matter slightly less gripping than the fantasy-leanings of 'The Way Of All Flesh', this album's darker and more experimental feel all contribute to give Gojira's first legitimate masterpiece in their careers.

Conor Fynes | 5/5 |

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