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

THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

Gojira

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Jake Kobrin
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Listen to this album on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/54hM0G4arw529Jz5s6ytav

After school toady, I rushed to the store to grab my copy of this album. It is a fantastic album, but in my opinion not as good as From Mars to Sirius. The songs on the album are very similar, which is the main downfall. Gojira has a formula and they certainly use it. The material on this album falls somewhere in between the heaviness of The Link and the experimentation of From Mars to Sirius. Unfortunately, the Post-Metal influence detectable on FMtS is almost gone. But yet they use much more melodic vocals on this record. The music itself is heavier than anything they've done before and closest to The Link. They even use blast beats on several songs. The album begins with Oroborus which is probably the lightest song on the album. The CD then progresses into Toxic Garbage Island which is one of the heaviest tracks. The beginnings of the songs are really quite cool and clever. On The Art of Dying they begin the song with an African or Tiki style drum beat and didgeridoos. It's the same introduction used on their The Link Alive dvd. Other times they use some faded in guitar murmurs. All of the tracks are very groovy which is one of the things I love about Gojira. My favorite tracks (Thus Far) on the album are Wolf Down the Earth and The Art of Dying.

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Send comments to Jake Kobrin (BETA) | Report this review (#185794)
Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars French Tech/Death-metal act Gojira just keep on showing off more and more quality with each passing production it seems. After the masterful display of creative songwriting on From Mars to Sirius, Gojira are back with a new release that makes you wonder what other progressive bands of the genre are doing. Forget the polyrythmics and insane tempos of other progressive acts, Gojira's strength lies not in technicality or complex song structers, Gojira seems to build their entire musical foundation upon solid rock.

While being brilliantly played all through, and drummer Mario Duplantier underlining once more why he may be one of the foremost drummers on the metal stage at this time, the strength lies in the brutal simplicity that Gojira delivers it's package of mind blowing metal riffage. There's numerous amounts of really fingerbending details in the music, but it's delivered in such a tightly sealed package you'll never drift away from the almost carnal brutality of Gojira.

There's nothing much more to be said about the album, just get it, wheter you are interested in metal or not. This is the record to get 2008, another record in the discography of a band that will most likely soon be legendary.

5/5

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Send comments to Lezaza (BETA) | Report this review (#189672)
Posted Monday, November 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A powerful exhaustion of technical prowess and sludgy doom top off the next chapter in Gojira's line of great albums. Although they have a tendency to repeat themselves, so to speak, they never fail to amaze me. They use backtracking, pinch harmonics and their signature quick open strum of the strings to piece the album forward but still hold the softer points that keep your head from falling off altogether from the drivingly heavy and spectacular riffs. The vocals once again use growling ambiance and vocal melody (for an even balance) and cover the awesome instrumental oddities with a cocofany of entertaining splurges. At some points I am reminded of Lamb of God where at others I hear Gorgoroth or Opeth. I encourage all metal loving and prog loving people to Buy This Album!

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Send comments to bighugejake (BETA) | Report this review (#199401)
Posted Friday, January 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Green Metal.

Coming off their incredible third album, the near untoppable From Mars To Sirius, it's pretty safe to say that Gojira has done it again. With the release of The Way Of All Flesh, their fourth studio album, Gojira has proven that they are not limited to writing one magnificent album and then fading off into obscurity. While this album may not be quite the same ''heaviest matter in the universe'' as their previous two albums have been, but they've added more depth, more intelligence and more elements to their music - which has decidedly been a very good decision. This is not just metal, this is incredibly well crafted and well thought out metal that maintains everything that there is to like about the band while it explores new grounds.

It's pretty safe to say by now that Christian Andreu is probably the world's next Tonny Iommi. This guy knows how to work a well thought out riff, which are once again the main draw of a song as they were on From Mars To Sirius. Right off the bat with the excellent Orobous the riffs come heavy and pressing. They're repeated in a way that you'll remember them, but never be annoyed by the same riff going on and on, or think that they band simply doesn't know how to write a change in chord. Many of the songs experience at least one major change during the course of a song, and this is especially present in the standout Toxic Garbage Island, which features some of the most cruching riffing this side of Led Zeppelin. This carries on throughout the album, and like albums by the band to come before it, the first thing that you'll probably identify with with the album on the third or fourth listen is going to be the use of the riffs.

One of the things that makes this album so good is the use of the new elements that the band decided to work into the album. Once again the first evidence of this is provided in the opener Orobous as the harmonized vocals come in off the top and make you wonder why more metal bands aren't using them. More light an airy parts come in sometime later to make the heavy parts seem all that much more heavy. The near electronic introduction A Sight To Behold features some very impressive drumming and eventually turns into more heavy metal madness. Likely the best song on the album is the lengthiest (yes, trust a prog website to publish that remark...), The Art Of Dying is absolutely magnificent. It goes through the epic song structure with ease in it's 10-minute duration from the purely percussion introduction until the time when the guitars explode into motion. Highly impressive riffs throughout change and reprise over one another turning this track into a progressive megalodon which is sure to impress anyone who has the chance to hear it.

And for those out there who actually care about messages, the band seems to be quite the green advocate. With songs on From Mars To Sirius like Global Warming it was pretty obvious that the band was not afraid to voice their opinion on the subject, but apparently they want to do so even more on this album. Take for example the lyrics on... well, just about any song. A Sight To Behold talks about the ''exhausted realm of nature'' - but the lyrics are not really intrusive, and while some of the more ''metal'' metal heads may not think that it's ''metal'' to talk about nature in your music it's just one more kudos towards Gojira for putting a worthwhile message in their music.

If you have any appreciation for the heavier side of progressive metal in the modern age then this album is an absolute must for your collection. While it definitely takes about 4 or 5 listens to really grow on you it's one that will kick its way into your heart after a while and stay there for good. Not for the faint of heart, that's for sure, but neither is most of the tech/extreme subgenre. 5 stars out of 5 for a perfect album, let's just hope that Gojira can carry on with this classic era that they've started.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#202850)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another insane, seeming flawless album. Heavy, Brutal, technical, complex, melodic, gritty, rifts what more could you need, chops, and insane skill, really great album for drummers, Mario Duplantier is one of my new favorite metal drummers. He makes such original syncopated drum grooves and tom fills, it feels so natural, he is also amazing because he does not do the repetitive blast beats on every song and really spices up the music.

Again the whole album is 5 starred in my itunes. Which really is a rarity for me because most albums have that one song that you don't like. CHECK IT OUT!!!! If your big metal head.

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Send comments to hawkcwg (BETA) | Report this review (#209048)
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Monster album!! This is a true masterpiece, there's no mistakin.

While "From Mars to Sirius", though extremely good, was kind of derivative as to its style, with clear references to the usual suspects Meshuggah and Atheist and more than a hint to Devin Townsend, especially in the vocal lines, in this "The way of all flesh" Gojira have managed to better define their style, sounding more personal and incredibly modern. The thick wall of guitars, with their amazingly heavy yet very enjoyable riffs, is still there, along with the telluric drums and bass, while the singing has become more growled and less screamed, sounding less like Hevy Devy on a bad, bad day. The result is a damned heavy monolyth of extreme music, yet astonishingly very accessible, thanks to the extensive (and succesful) use of effects and the quality of the melodies.

This is a complex album with complex music and every prog fan who is not afraid of heavyness will find lots of candy here. Should I say Gojira's "the way of all flesh" is the most important heavy metal album of the last years? Well there, I've said it. There's currently no other band that sounds this heavy and still manages to be this modern and experimental. Gojira have all the qualities you could ask from a heavy metal band of the new millenium: heavy as a really heavy thing (quoting Devin), great musicianship, complex songs and a modern feel. It can't (and doesn't) get much better than this.

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Send comments to hawkmoon666 (BETA) | Report this review (#218334)
Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars If one fact remains evident, it is that Gojira have always managed to top their fellow « modern » counterparts with their characteristic sound ; thumping, sludgy riffs accompanied by seething, unpredictable disharmony, yet characterized by an unorthodox groovy attribute, polyrhythmic and violent percussions a-la Meshuggah, and roaring, fractured vocals (courtesy of Joe Duplantier, leading vocalist/guitarist). Another fact that cannot be denied is the way Gojira approach death metal ; a metal sub-genre which is and always will be about gore, death, torture, nihilism, etc. In other words, violence. I am not trying to deny, nor complain about this. I like my death metal vicious and simply unforgiving. Nevertheless, if you want to pull a "Cannibal Corpse" on each album, it is becoming more and more uninteresting and outmoded when you do the same thing over and over again on each album. Gojira have a different ethical background that might scare the elitists out there.

Like I mentioned, instead of speaking about the joys of ripping and destroying a human being, who is being reduced to nothing more than tiny bits of scattered, decomposed flesh, Gojira denounces the environmental crisis that faces us in our dying world. They are more known to speak about the untimely demise of our poor nature. Hell, they could even be death metal's own activists, a "Greenpeace" subordinate of heavy metal if you will, not to the point of smoking pot, but you get the picture.

From Mars to Sirius (2005) captivated that message in an astounding manner, reaching forward-thinking territory with the progressive leanings in "Flying Whales", "Ocean Planet", "World to Come" and the hypnotic juggling displayed in "Global Warming" which ends with the phrase : "We will see our children growing?" All Gojira wanted to do with this album is spread out a "positive" message to all of us, even though it's hidden under death metal's unenthusiastic clutches.

The Way of All Flesh is not only Gojira's adventure into darker territory, but also a more contemptuous and pessimistic brother of From Mars to Sirius. Let me explain by proving this thesis in three different aspects : the lyrical content, the sound and the atmosphere.

First of all, the lyrical content is, how should I put this, cynical, simply put cynical. Of course, the message is still a "positive" one. But, Joe Duplantier's songwriting is a therapeutic method of getting all the rage out about what surrounds him, especially in the song "Toxic Garbage Island" which speaks about pollution displayed in inspiring metaphors. A part of its lyrics surprised me the most :

Take this pestilent destruction out of my way The great pacific garbage patch is exhausting And the world is sliding away in a vortex of floating refuse With the sacred one you have lost

Plastic bag in the sea

Other examples could be found in the songs "A Sight to Behold" with its face-to-face philosophical approach on society's lack of interest about nature and the environment, "Adoration for None" with some help from Lamb of God's vocalist, Randy Blythe, being nothing more than a direct assault and a symbolized form of disgrace of what society has become and "Vacuity", offering itself as a meditative journey on what surrounds us. On the other hand, you have the optimistic side of the coin that can easily be recognizable in the lyrical content with "Oroborus", being a mythical renaissance of ourselves, "Esoteric Surgery", self-healing even in frantic times, offering us hope and salvation, and "The Way of all Flesh", a triumph over the fear of death, being a more suitable preview of what is to come at the end of our lives. Here is a part of it :

Anything that has a shape will crumble away, disappear We belong to the circle life of all creation We crawl and deny ourselves, refuse this evidence that we project our greatest fears on death and forget our power I want to live my life in close touch with the sacred Pacify the disturbances of the mind I face my own death

If you think about it, each song is a logical progression of what is going through our - and society's - minds when it comes to destroying our world with never-ending pollution and ineffective conflicts. Gojira have done an extremely good job on this aspect.

Second of all, the sound hasn't changed that much, but it is probably more brutal and sinister than before. But, you can't help but acknowledge the fact that the band isn't trying to become the next "Deicide". All of the contrary, their style of playing has never been this cleaner nor better, without being on the summit of the spatial force projected on From Mars to Sirius. If you put the thumping, gargantuan steps taken on "Yama's Messengers", "All the Tears" and "Adoration for None" aside, you can notice some experimental tendencies on the album ; "A Sight to Behold" being a contender for the next "techno/industrial/death" hit with its robotic voices coming from Cynic's grave and its simplistic, yet pop-influenced simplicity, "Oroborus" containing impressive tapping-style licks that can mesmerize even the most sceptical metalhead and "The Art of Dying", the album's best track in my opinion, with its burning, consuming falls and polyrhythmic mayhem taken from Meshuggah's book.

Third of all, the atmosphere is as tribal and primitive as before. The entire album is forcing you to believe what you are witnessing in front of you. Like I said before in this review, Gojira are activists. They will do anything to convince you of the crisis which is happening right now. "The Art of Dying" and "The Way of All Flesh" are the best examples of that atmosphere, which is slow, relaxing yet highly ear-splitting and agonizing nevertheless.

To conclude, Gojira have not quite managed to top From Mars to Sirius's beauty. However, we cannot deny that the band is evolving and reaching unknown frontiers here. This is probably one of their best up to date and it might get the band more and more recognition for years to come. One thing we have to get out of all this is that nature is dying. Gojira are the best to cultivate that fragile aspect and make us realize how little time there is left.

Standout tracks : Oroborus, Toxic Garbage Island, The Art of Dying, Esoteric Surgery and The Way of All Flesh

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Send comments to Kenosis_Theorician (BETA) | Report this review (#227579)
Posted Sunday, July 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Gojira seems to progress and flourish with every album.

Well, the Link and Terra Icognita were good, but they definitely had they're flaws. I especially saw problems in the production department in particular. From Mars to Sirius was their big breakthrough in terms of songwriting and development in their music. So now we come to this album, the anticipated successor, and I must say that the anticipation was definitely worth it.

1. Orborus: Great opening track. It has a good sense of groove to it. This is a great preparation for the other tracks finely woven withn. 4/5

2. Toxic Garbage Island: A total change. It goes from something very melodic to something absolutely technical and brutal. Drummer Mario Duplantier keeps his rhythm very nicely. 4.5/5

3. A Sight to Behold: Hmm. Not the best track here. Gojira isn't the best with groove metal. it's still a good song. Yet in particular, I got a bit tired with the whiny vocals and the repetitive songwriting. 6/10

4. Yama's Messengers: Much better than the last. This starts out as a bit of a sludge song, but of course with more prog. Then it starts using blastbeats to a large extent. Good track. 8/10

5. Silver Cord: Just an ambient instrumental. Nothing too special.

6. Adoration for None: Randy Blythe of Lamb of God fame does voacls in this one. His vocals add a nice touch to the extreme metal added. 9/10

7. All the Tears: A good progressive headbanger. Not much to say except that it's another good track by them. 8/10

8. Art of Dying: Best track here. This is pretty much the centerpiece of the album, with many progressive passages and melodic extreme metal, making this one a classic. 10/10

9. Esoteric Surgery: This one switches tempos a lot, yet is also pretty straightforward. Vocalist Joe Duplantier has a good range in this one. 8.5/10

10. Vacuity: A bit bland and more straightforward, but nonetheless a good track. It usually maintains the same slow tempo overall. 7/10

11. Wolf Down the Earth: This song has a good heavy riff. The slower part can remind one of "Death of Me" from the Link. Good song. 7.5/10

12. Way of All Flesh: The epic title track. The only real gripe I have on this one is the fact that they stop at 6:40, and then have 5 mins. of silence, and then have a bunch of noise. Overall, though, it's a very well-made track. 9.5/10

Overall, this was a giant leap for Gojira, one that has propelled as one of the more elite prog groups right now.

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Send comments to pinkpork (BETA) | Report this review (#228832)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album was highly rated by many so I thought that I should listen to it. The first tones were quite encouraging but as the listening was going on then a grimace of disappointment and wonder was created in my face. For which reason was this album hailed? Quite boring with bad vocals and nothing so innovative in the playing. If you want to hear something really commendable in this genre then listen to Opeth,Cynic,Atheist,Spastik Ink,Pestilence etc. Of course this album has some nice moments like Uroborus(this word comes from Greek and means something that eats its tail and it was a symbol in some organizations which I do not know and represented a snake eating its tail),The Art of Dying or The Way Of All Flesh.Apart from these,a very mediocre effort which I cannot rate with more than 2 stars.

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Send comments to mel from hell (BETA) | Report this review (#229386)
Posted Saturday, August 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Way of All Flesh is the fourth full-length studio album by French progressive extreme metal act Gojira. The band had great success with their third studio release From Mars to Sirius (2005) and became a household name in metal circles ( and progressive metal circles) because of that album. So there´s been great expectations to what The Way of All Flesh would sound like.

To my ears the music actually hasn´t changed that much since From Mars to Sirius. It´s still crushingly heavy, slightly complex metal with some really great aggressive yet somehow melodic singing. The pace varies both within songs and between them so you get everything from slow to really fast-paced parts. The music is mostly mid-paced though. The structure of the songs, while having relatively accessible vers/ chorus parts, does go beyond that format which is part of the reason why this music can be labelled progressive. The musicians technical level is excellent but this is not really what I would call overtly technical. The focus is more on the compositions than on playing impossible parts which is honourable in a genre that spawns one technical monster after another.

The songs are all excellent examples of how fresh progressive extreme metal can sound. Gojira have elements from both thrash metal, death metal and progressive metal in their sound and it´s how they mix those genres that works wonders. The opening song Oroborus is a favorite of mine but songs like the brutal Adoration for None and the 9:54 minute long The Art of Dying also receives praise from me. But then again all songs are of high quality.

The production is clean and sharp. A professional and well sounding production.

The Way of All Flesh is an excellent album by Gojira and I have but one complaint. The album simply sounds too much like From Mars to Sirius. As such it´s not a problem this time but Gojira better come up with something a bit different next time around because one more album that sounds almost exactly like it´s two predecessors will not please me. Yes I know I´m a bit demanding but being progressive also means developing your sound doesn´t it? 4 stars are fully deserved for The Way of All Flesh though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#231182)
Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I was afraid I was not going to like GOJIRA after reading a few comments about the kind of music the band makes. I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.

GOJIRA plays aggressive, very original metal. While it's difficult to assign a label to the music the band creates, I'm quite comfortable calling it a blend of death metal with some technical elements and some minor metalcore influence. The songs are mostly completely riff-driven, which is probably one of GOJIRA's strongest points: they really are a riff machine, creating original rhythmic attacks for almost every one of their songs, which differentiates the band from other tech/extreme acts: their songs never sound the same, it's easy to tell one song from the other thanks to the brilliance of the riffs and the somewhat surprising presence of melody in the tracks.

Yes, GOJIRA leaves some room for melody in their music. Not really mellow, subtle melody, but phrases of enough tuneful significance that make every one of their songs memorable enough in the mind of the listener. The vocals, while not perfect (and my minor gripe with the band), are very effective, and manage to convey feeling and emotions, something usually difficult for death metal voices.

GOJIRA makes songs, they take time to make coherent propositions using aggressive means. The riff, the dna this music is made of, is not piled one upon the other but it is given time to grow, to be effective, to endure. While at times it reminds us of Sweden-style Gothenburg melodic death metal, at times it takes us to the most extreme examples of today's metal bands. Some riffs even sound positively dark and fantastic in their eclecticness, like the one that informs "Esoteric Surgery", a song that tastes like black metal, has a riff of pure black metal inspiration, but feels like a mix between death metal and something from even further down the earth. One of the highlights in the album, as well as "Wolf down the earth".

The album is not perfect and at moments, especially around the middle, tends to lose a little bit of interest, only to regain it again near the end. A great record by a talented band that has surprised me and probably will amaze any metal fan with an open mind.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#239294)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars GOJIRA are a very talented Extreme Metal band from France. They really do put a lot of thought into the lyrics, but lets face it this is all about the heavy riffs and Death Metal vocals. A similar sound to their previous album but maybe not as heavy. Truth is you know who it is right away, they have their own sound. Again another very long album at well over 70 minutes. I do like this a little better than the last one. It's the same lyrical theme about how we're destroying the earth with pollution.

"Oroborus" is a song I liked right away. It just sounds really good with that heavy sound and catchy riffs. Very spacey to end it. "Toxic Garbage Island" opens aggressively.The vocals come growling in spitting out the lyrics. I like how it slows down some. The tempo continues to shift back and forth. A tirade at how were polluting out earth."It's a plastic bag in the sea !!!" "A Sight To Behold" is an interesting sounding song that's quite catchy. That changes before 3 minutes as it turns heavy and the vocals get more brutal. Changes back after 4 minutes to the original melody. Cool tune. "Yama's Messengers" is doom-like as it's fairly slow but heavy as vocals come in screaming. Check out the drumming ! The lyrics are so condemning. "The Silver Cord" is a 2 1/2 minute instrumental. It's fairly laid back. I like it. "All The Tears" opens heavily with guitars and drums. Vocals cry out. Riff-city right here. "Adoration For None" is the most extreme vocally. I'm reminded of ZERO HOUR with the lead guitar. A calm after 2 1/2 minutes then it kicks in more uptempo than ever.

"The Art Of Dying" opens with percussion and a humming sound. More percussion joins in. It kicks in heavily after a minute. Love the drumming. Amazing sound before the vocals come in before 2 1/2 minutes spilling his venom. It calms down late. Drums pound it out relentlessly to open "Esoteric Surgery". Vocals then a heavier sound. Catchy stuff. "Vacuity" has such a good beat to it as vocals join in. A great headbanger. One of my favs. "Wolf Down The Earth" opens with some killer guitar then the riffs flood the soundscape. The lyrics are brilliant. Kind of an eerie ending. "The Way Of All Flesh" is the 17 minute closer. It opens with drums and riffs galore. Silence before 7 minutes until 12 1/2 minutes. I hate when bands do this. Over 5 minutes of nothing. Anyway the rest is mostly guitar sounds.

I must admit those extreme vocals really keep me from enjoying it the way i'd like to. If your into those type of vocals you'll love this album. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#242563)
Posted Friday, October 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Easily the best album of 2008!!

As time flies my music taste changes and I tend to listen to only a few metal bands nowadays and Gojira is among them. I loved both "The Link" and "From Sirius To Mars" but this is the first album that deserves five stars. The music hadn't changed that much since the previous album it's still death metal that's pretty slow and "mechanic" with a couple of folk influences, what's new here are the blasts on the drum in the faster moments and also the songwriting is much more interesting, the song structures are very complex now and I love it. As usual Mario's drumming draws attention and is the highlight of this album - this guy is along, Brann Dailor of Mastodon and Danny Walker of Intronaut, one of the best young drummers in the world, he's very innovative. The vocals have improved very much since the previous album, they are now full of life and aggression. But the greatest improvement I think is the production, the sound is heavy, full, rich and spacious and shows everything Gojira has to offer.

This is a must have for all tech/extreme prog fans

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Send comments to Wolf Spider (BETA) | Report this review (#278377)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Staying roughly within the same vain as their last offering 'From Mars To Sirius', The Way Of All Flesh, kinda...sorta starts where the last leaves off the very very heavy guitars are still there and its still very powerfull, the one thing i didnt really like about this album was that it just sounded like a band craving commercial success (example being the addition of Lamb Of God's singer Randy Blythe in the song ALL THE TEARS) but brushing that wee glitch aside its a decent effort most of the songs are very solid with the exception of maybe 2 or 3 sounding very similar. The opening track OROBORUS is fantastic displaying an awsome tapping riff and some really cool open string ideas that are quite original, the awsomeness does indeed continue for the next 2 or 3 songs through to THE SILVER CORD then i think it starts to slightly go downhill as a lot of the songs just start sounding to alike, although i love the song THE ART OF DYING, ESOTERIC SURGERY and WOLF DOWN THE EARTH. Again the production of this album is amazing if not even better than their last effort and again a A for their musicanship, this is just a real solid record, plain and simple;

Oroborus - 10/10 Toxic Garbage Island - 10/10 A Sight to Behold - 10/10 Yama's Messengers - 10/10 The Silver Cord - 9/10 All the Tears - 7/10 Adoration for None - 8/10 The Art of Dying- 10/10 Esoteric Surgery - 9/10 Vacuity - 8/10 Wolf Down the Earth - 9/10 The Way of All Flesh - 9/10

MY CONCLUSION? another great effort form Gojira, this French band have really grown into be something to look out for with future albums, but for now id suggest checking this one out, its great :)

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Send comments to FarBeyondProg (BETA) | Report this review (#289873)
Posted Saturday, July 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#403128)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars The way I see things is so simple...

...original tech/extreme prog metal of high quality. This, in a nutshell describes Gojira's latest (at the time of writing) album. Within the 75 minutes of the album (65min of pure music), Gojira manage to present a solid, brutal style encompassing virtually all the sides of the extreme sound (death, thrash, black, hardcore and the list goes on), executed with memorable musicianship and definite "character".

The chaotic vocals blend nicely with the sound and are counteracted with clean melodic ones when needed. The speeds vary from slow, crawling patterns (e.g. Yama's Messengers) to black metallish blast beats (Adoration for None). There are times when the sound turns to industrial/hardcore as in Toxic Garbage Island and times when the riffs resemble to the big bands of the Swedish Death Metal scene (i.e. At The Gates) - particularly towards the end of the album (Esoteric surgery, Wolf Down the Earth). Among these connections, influences from Slayer/Machine Head and Meshuggah/Death can be observed: the former concerning the slow-to-medium speed passages and the latter the more technically challenging riffs (e.g. title track opening).

The complex arrangements are however built beyond mere influences and exert a tone of originality. The same applies to the guitar techniques: especially the "tapping" and "picking" techniques, used in the opening track and reappearing here and there during the course of the album, raise the interest of the listener. In addition to the above, the band is able to produce catchy tunes (A Sight to Behold) and also introduces more melodic parts to bring the album to a balance (The Silver Cord, second half of The Art of Dying).

I am always sceptical about long records but in this case the quality of the recordings is so high that I overcome my reservations. Truly this is a top-notch album of the extreme genre and can grow on you with every listen. This should only be avoided by those "allergic" to brutal vocals and extreme aspects of metal.

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#415260)
Posted Sunday, March 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 7/10

"The Way Of All Flesh" is a ferocious grip, fast-paced like no other album by the band.

Gojira's fourth album is the first one after the seminal "From Mars To Sirius", and shows that they still are a strong band that can release solid efforts. While not as well developed and written as the previous album, "The Way Of All Flesh" is nevertheless an album enjoyable from beginning to end, with only very few, slight bumps during the ride.

This last effort is a somewhat return to the band's older days: a more thrashy, groove metal influenced take on Death Metal, with extremely tight compositions and a high level of technicality. Joe Duplianter's vocals are, as usual, perfect growls, strong, powerful, and mighty, and give yet another touch of violence to the sounds. The production is top notch, better than ever before, with almost flawless mixing (some moments I wish the vocals were louder).

With more than an hour of music and with twelve, average-length pieces, "The Way Of All Flesh" keeps the entertainment rate high, starting with the first two tracks, "Ouroboros" and "Toxic Garbage Island", this last one definitely the best, most brutally technical song of the record. Then, we have songs like the energetic, quasi-metalcore feeling of "All The Tears", "Vacuity", the tribal "The Art of Dying", or the mighty title track that boasts amazing performances by all the musicians. Some songs like "Wolf Down to Earth" or " A Sight To Behold" are little too plain and don't add much to the album, same for "Yama's Messenger", a plain, destructive episode that simply doesn't add anything at all.

Despite the few flaws "The Way of all Flesh" is another extremely impressive piece of work from Gojira, a band that so far has shown immense talent and absolutely worthy of their reputation.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#733211)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
SoundsofSeasons
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A headbanging, cheek clenching, horn-throwing beast of an album.. bogged down somewhat by an overly long clock-in time, freikin' amazing and pretty-good mixed bag of songs, and ideas that work better than one would dream in most songs.. and fail to hold attention in a few.

.What i wrote above sums up this album, quite simply. No need to read on.. however if you must..

Highlight: the songs. I dont usually mention my favorite songs, but because this particular album looses its 'essential' rating almost solely by the fact that it should have removed the middle part of the album, and 15 minutes off its final running time, i will list the best songs... the ones that MAKE this album.

. However on a side note i would like to highlight that the mathmatically brutal drums drive this band (and as a drummer myself this is a must listen album) with guitars matching every herta and sixteenth/thirty-second note played by the kick drums. So drummers take note.. these kick drum patterns can be your daily practices

Yes. i am going to just copy and paste.

1. Oroborus (5:21) 2. Toxic Garbage Island (4:06) ***** if you are to buy one song from Gojira. This is IT. 3. A Sight to Behold (5:09) 4. Yama's Messengers (4:03)

5. The Silver Cord (2:31) ... pretty much to catch your breath, which i think is important in an album such as this where you can develop auditorial overload and end up tuning out half way through.

8. The Art of Dying (9:54) 9. Esoteric Surgery (5:44)

11. Wolf Down the Earth (6:25) 12. The Way of All Flesh (17:03)

.. so thats 9 songs maybe 8, that are absolutely amazing... and 3 that just weren't on par.

4 stars. If you are a fan of Extreme/ Prog Metal genre add a half-star. If you answered yes to the previous statement, consider this essential, and the band for that matter very much worth your time.

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Send comments to SoundsofSeasons (BETA) | Report this review (#787533)
Posted Saturday, July 14, 2012 | Review Permalink

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