Sound — 10
There is a definite, noticeable change in tone and atmosphere when you first hear the songs on The Link, having already listened to Terra Incognita first. The guitars sound more crispy in some songs and the drums sound superb in every song. Very clear, precise drumming makes a nice interplay with the note-picking parts. The first track, "The Link" starts out with some ethereal, tribal-esque didgeridoo sound that gives off an ominous vibe and sets you up for the neanderthal-inspired lyrics and brutal disregard for the standard song structure. "Death of Me" sports an unusual pattern of sound that gives the feeling of uneasiness and discordance in the beginning but it turns into an alternate picking rampage. There is an interesting instrumental called "Connected" that is the more natural sounding counterpart to Terra Incognita's "5988 Trillions de Tonnes". "Connected" flows right into the heaviest track on the album, "Remembrance" which blows you away the instant it starts. The growls in the beginning set you up for an awesome display of Gojira's impeccable timing and rhythm, matching words with the snare drum, throwing in high pitched, short chords after heavy riffs, the breakdown in the middle of "Remembrance" is destructive. And it has to be mentioned that the end of that track is a rhythmic masterpiece. "Torii" is a break from the intense beginning of the album; a nice, peaceful tune with some bass thrown in and ambient sounds of glasses being moved and what sounds like someone digging some dirt. "Torii" ends on a low note to lead you into Gojira's homage to the Native Americans. "Indians" is very heavy, having a steady, straightforward beat up until the faster, more intense "chorus" (if it can be called so) where Joseph Duplantier screams in time with all the instruments to convey the emotion and energy behind the lyrics. The track ends with a lot of energy and Gojira wastes no time getting right into the next track, "Embrace the World". It starts with a timing exercise by drummer Mario Duplantier for a few seconds. The breakdown in this track will remind you of the one in "Remembrance". Overall a pretty straightforward song, having a repetitive trance-like part near the end that will make you play your air-drums, ending in high energy like other tracks. The next track is very deceiving. It sounds like a slow, melancholy ballad of some sort, but surprises you when you least expect it with heavy, crunchy, intense alternate picking and some excellent drumming. The track ends in a chaotic display of power and emotion similar to "Embrace the World". "Over the Flows" is a respite from the intensity but not as much as "Torii" was. It sports some clean, clear notes and really splashy drumming at some points, and Joseph sings in a voice that reminds you of "Satan Is A Lawyer". But don't rest easy yet the most brutal, heavy track of the album is up next: "Wisdom Comes". If you're not into really heavy thrash, don't skip this track. It starts out with something like a Cannibal Corpse or Slayer-ish riff but then some high note picking, some screaming and background chords set you up for the breakdown which will make you love Gojira if you already don't. The track ends much the same way it begins. The end of the album ends with an epic instrumental called "Dawn", which is a story without words, ending with the sounds of birds chirping.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrical content of The Link is based heavily on spiritual and natural elements. There is a theme of finding one's self and discovering lost things in many of the songs. The mixture of screaming, and singing melodically is a great catalyst for the emotion implied or rather forced onto the listener. It is as though Duplantier is a different person when he sings. The way he expresses what he feels makes you feel it as well. The ideas of dealing with death, exploring one's inner self, resisting influence from outside sources and driving yourself to higher states of consciousness and/or enlightenment by your own will and volition are all expressed through Duplantier's lyrics. Some(and i mean SOME) lyrics might not make sense but the idea and concept are there for those who look closely.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is severely underrated in some circles and in others its regarded most high. Whatever your opinion of this album and its content you cannot deny the skill, emotion, dedication, precision put into these tracks and the magnitude of them. There are no other albums that sound anything like The Link. I personally love every track on this album and every one of Gojira's albums, but it takes persistence to sit down, listen to each track and get personal with it. Only then can you truly decide whether or not you like this album.