Saturday, May 12, 2012

Groove gods reaching a new height!

First of all, let me set the record straight. Many have compared Gojira to Meshuggah and I think that's not accurate. Sure I guess in the same heavy experimental odd time signatures and bizarre chord using way, you could call them similar. However what this album demonstrates is how far apart the two bands are and given time listening to this album, you forget about Meshuggah all together.

This is not metal for the simple minded and one quick listen won't do it justice. Gojira fans will be expecting this complexity and they will also tell you that's exactly what they love about them. Some bands chug along but Gojira kind of stutter along. This sounds quite bad but it's this stuttering that makes them so unique. Previous albums have impressed me but I think this album is where they really hit their straps. There is something about The Way Of All Flesh that is so familiar yet so fresh at the same time that after 30 or 40 listens you're still not bored.

"Oroborus" is an unusual opener. It starts with a strange riff of hammer-ons and pick-offs which sets the scene for the entire album because you know you're not going to listen to a straight forward metal album. Many songs from other bands have several ideas that change and progress as the song goes on. Yet on this track it seems Gojira have done the opposite, in fact keeping the same idea and vibe then adding and taking away from it. It's a technique Gojira has used many times before but I think this could well be the archetypal track.

They back up the incredible opener with "Toxic Garbage Island" which starts out with the stuttering along that I described earlier. That is until it gets to a moment of sheer power with the chorus. At mezzo tempo and with Joe growling "Pain is killing me", it's one of the highlight moments of the album. The whole track has a painful feel to it which seems to reinforce their deep belief in enviromental issues.

The album continues with many awesome tracks until it gets to "The Art Of Dying". This track is probably one of my favourite songs of 2008. Starting with a "The Link" feel of a deep groan underlining the snare tapping, it builds and builds until it explodes into a melee of drums bass and guitar fighting against each other until the drums bring it all together with a pounding beat. There are several breakdowns and change of directions in the song. The most notable is the second and final breakdown after which one of the most epic riffs of the 00's starts. It's so good they repeat it for nearly 3 minutes straight but it never gets boring. You can't help but bang your head everytime you hear it.

It's an all round incredible effort from the Frenchmen and I hope it's not a carrer peak. I'd like to see them get better and better with every release. I think they have it in them because even though all albums have common themes, no two are alike and that makes a perfect band. One that can release quality after quality.


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