Released: Oct 13, 2008
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
'The Way Of All Flesh' is the sort of thing Gojira needed to release to justify their status as an established professional act.
The Way Of All Flesh
UG Team, on october 16, 2008 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Like a whale skydiving, Gojira left a colossal dent in the metal scene in 2005 with the overwhelmingly well received From Mars To Sirius'. After backing their new-found acclaim with a successful string of tours -- bringing their bombastic brand of death-thrash-whatever to ever widening audiences -- they kind of fell off the face of the earth. However, all of a sudden, looming over the horizon with a sadistic grin, we have The Way Of All Flesh', their newest disc. Straight off the bat there's that infectious ride-cymbal groove that we all know and love, courtesy of Mario Duplantier, and the warm, welcoming sound of a Joe Duplantier riff.
I'll be honest with you all; I did not care for From Mars To Sirius', or the Frenchmen's 2003 effort The Link', but that notorious tightness' finally got the best of me with this one. In fact, the screws are turned ever tighter here, as even the sludgy outbursts of From Mars... ' are condensed into razor-sharp rhythmic poundings, finalising Gojira's transition from band to part-cyborg riff machine. It is disturbingly easy to get sucked into the power behind it all, and as soon as you become comfortable, they pull something entirely new out of the bag. For example, after opening with Oroborus' and Toxic Garbage Island', two standard heavy tracks, we move on to A Sight To Behold', a bizarre creature based around a simple synth line and vocoded vocals which writhes in anticipation, without ever seemingly reaching that all-important climax point. Still, an exercise like this is entirely satisfying to the listener. Considering From Mars To Sirius' was a quagmire that wore you out long before it should have, ... All Flesh' is mixed impressively well. A crisper sound is adopted this time, giving every instrument some room to breathe, which can only be a good thing. // 8
Lyrics: For the more environmentally conscious death metaller in all of us, Gojira provide some food for thought about life, our planet and existence itself. Just what we all need, Greenpeace in our metal. Seriously though, for all the merit behind JoeDuplantier's messages, they can be difficult to follow as often full songs are scribed from very simple ideas and extracting a meaning from them can be a daunting task. Let's face it though; accessibility is not Gojira's game, so the eloquence is appreciated regardless. As with each album, Duplantier's distinctive vocal style comes closer to being one with the other instruments, and thankfully all traces of the grating inflections of The Link' are now nowhere to be seen. As a frontman and band leader Duplantier really gets the job done, co-writing all music with his brother Mario as well as handling vocals, guitars, production and even artwork to a slick standard. // 7
Overall Impression: For the moderate experimentation and progression they've made, Gojira circa 2008 still feels like the same brick-in-the-face Gojira that they always have been. The difference is that this time everything is more streamlined and the fat has been cut so that even the 9 minute The Art Of Dying', Gojira's longest song to date, feels neat and tidy, the while continuing to strike you with the proverbial brick. Even the marginy duff The Tears' and Wolf Down The Earth' have some way of working in the grand scheme of things. The flow of the album's songs is worth noting, with a good running order and segues between songs varying from an extended ambient break to mere nanoseconds before the next pummelling. in , a real classy album, the sort of thing Gojira needed to release to justify their status as an established professional act. Hell, just listen to Vacuity'. You don't wanna f--k with that. // 8
The Way Of All Flesh
serpent_sun, on july 23, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: During the hype prior to this record's release, one thing kept me pumped and eager for this one to drop, and that was the promise that Gojira was coming back even darker, heavier, and more pissed off than ever. After repeatedly spinning The Way Of All Flesh into the ground to satisfy my hunger for more Gojira, it's clear to me that this promise has held its weight. Gojira's staple sound is still very much intact, only filtered through an even more cynical and fatal lens of environmental destruction.
From second number one, Oroborous hooks the listener with it's off-kilter melody, chugging riffs, and even some pleasant clean vocals from Joe Duplantier. However, the true brutality doesn't kick in until track 2 when Toxic Garbage Island knocks you on your ass with the most convoluted, squeel-ladden groove in recent memory that is sure to get the head pumping. Yama's Messengers sounds like the bastard child of Ocean Planet and Backbone, with it's tortured mid-tempo triplet riffs, and a pulverizing breakdown where the band cuts loose and fells all in its path like a harvester clear-cutting a forest. I half-expected Esoteric Surgery to be some kind of tribute to Carcass, but the track juxtaposes lumbering rhythms with the swooning melody the band is so good at delivering. // 9
Lyrics: With that said, there are a few curve balls thrown in to keep the band's style from stagnating. A Sight To Behold is perhaps the album's tamest number, resembling a hybrid of electronica and funk, with an almost Cephalic Carnage vibe, if it weren't so heart-felt and anguished. The nearly ten minute long The Art Of Dying opens with catchy tribal drums, before launching headfirst into a dense typhoon of pulsing rhythms, cacophonic walls of guitar, and Duplantier's soaring screams as it progresses organically from section to section, making it a glorious example of the band's next leap in songwriting. Lead single Vacuity relies on simple grooves and an anthemic, headbanging chorus to bring the track home, and though the ultra-cool breakdown sounds suspiciously close to the one on Backbone, it still elevates the song, making it one hell of a ride.
Other highlights include the tempo change to bone-crushing sludge halfway through Wolf Down The Earth, as well as the unparalleled aggression of the title track as it rabidly storms out of the gate, only to close with a hypnotic chanting outro. Adoration For None simply sounds f--king evil and shiver-inducing as it transitions from a pounding black-hole of noise, to an emotional, soaring effigy, to a drawn-out and discordant outro. The track is so heavy and bleak that it effectively paints the future of our planet to the listener, and therefore embodies all the themes prevalent on the record. Having Randy Blythe guest-starring on the track also doesn't hurt, and will hopefully garner the group lots more well-deserved attention. // 8
Overall Impression: After From Mars To Sirius, I was sure this album would be strong, though I was sceptical as to whether it would surpass. For all intents and purposes Gojira has delivered a more concise and elemental record than its predecessor (which was as phenomenal as it was drawn out). It manages to progress, yet retains all the qualities that made the band great in the first place. It's exceeded my every expectation, and at this point there should be only one question on everyone's brain: With an effort this strong, where on earth do they go from here. // 9
The Way Of All Flesh
madbasslover, on february 27, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Way of All Flesh is Gojira's 4th foray into the world of music, and to their legions of fans who would proudly proclaim them the "it" band and the black sheep of the modern metal scene, it is no disappointment. The Way of All Flesh, in a nutshell, is the same tried and true Gojira we have come to know and love, albeit more refined and possibly even tighter than ever before. It really is quite impressive that a band that seemed to start out at the top of their game with very little room to grow could improve their cohesiveness as a unit in the way that Gojira has. Despite Gojira's improvements as a band, however, their most recent effort is not without it's shortcomings.
Like it's extremely successful, breakthrough predecessor, The Way of All Flesh can be compared to a candy with a sweet outer shell and a sour center. The Way of All Flesh begins powerfully, delivering fantastic melodies and crushing grooves all in one precise, musically tight package before firmly planting it's feet in the sandbox every time it tries to swing.
Delivering drab, uninspired tracks like "All the Tears" and the ill-advised collaboration "Adoration For None," the center of the CD moves like the old lady going 40 in the fast lane and often leaves the listener tempted to give up altogether. Fortunately, the pace is restored with "The Art of Dying," Gojira's longest song to date and one of my personal favorites. All is smooth sailing from that point, the out of place "Wolf Down the Earth" notwithstanding.
Aside from the filler on the cd, the only other problem -- a subjective one, I might add -- is the production. The production is immaculate and the music is polished to perfection. A little too polished, if you ask me. Some of the trademark heaviness and raw power backing Gojira's behemoth sound has been polished right out of the music. It is not a deal breaker by any means, but it would have been nice to hear some of Gojira's signature crushing riffery in all it's glory. // 7
Lyrics: Gojira's lyrics have always dealt largely with mankind's treatment of the environment and the destruction of the place we call home. The lyrics have always been enjoyably vague in their message without skimping on the quality of the delivery.
The lyrics on The Way of All Flesh continue that message and Joe Duplantier screams them out as well as he always has, but the overall quality of the lyrics has slipped a little. Where previous efforts cryptically hinted at man's role in the poisoning of the planet, The Way of All Flesh bluntly points fingers. The lyrics are still well-written, albeit not on par with their previous works, but the obscure nature that made them as enjoyable as they were open for interpretation is absent here. Undermining the overall quality of the writing, the lyrics are often excessively preachy and so blunt that the message turns around on itself and becomes quite silly. Don't believe me? Just listen to "Toxic Garbage Island." // 7
Overall Impression: The Way of All Flesh is not a bad CD by any means. On the contrary, it's a very accessible effort that manages to deliver to the long time Gojira fans as well as those who are just getting their feet wet, a daunting task that many bands fail to perform successfully. Despite it's ever-present pitfalls, The Way of All Flesh is a worthy effort to follow up the immense success of it's predecessor. Where it stumbles over itself, it makes up for the lost time with tracks like "Toxic Garbage Island," "Vacuity," and "The Art of Dying." If you like Gojira, you'll find something to love here even if it means sifting through preachy lyrics and tired musical clichs. // 8