Alternative Metal, although somewhat a niche genre, was given life from bands such as Gojira. This is their fourth album release to date and although it is not categorized as straightforward music, let’s take a listen and see if it is any good regardless.
Oroborus starts this album, with some neat heavy guitar playing and some great backing instrumentation to boot. Before long, it goes into a chugging midsection that is wonderful to hear with some nasty sounding Metal sounding screamed vocals. The whole thing is excellent sounding, and is amazing to listen to. It is a loud, heavy and anthemic tune for those who dig Metal in a different way. There are some great sounds in the midsection, which are unforgettably good. This is not your average Metal band, this is a surreal and superb listening experience. It sounds really wonderful and excellent to hear. There is a spooky outro at the ending.
Toxic garbage island comes next with some awesome drop tuned sounds and heavy drumming. This is awesome, interesting and inspiring. Very much a great representation of postmodern Heavy Metal music, it goes into a quirky connecting bridge that is awesome. This is a great tune, and has some awesome double bass drumming and guitar riffery in it. This sounds quite like nothing else out there, just a superb and top notch listen. Great stuff. The screamed vocal in the outro is really excellent.
Next is A Sight To Behold which begins with some electronic sounds and processed drum beats. Some mixed vocals come in shortly after that, singing about said sight to behold. Next come some Heavy Metal guitars that sound great. This is interesting and has a whiff of intellectualism about it, a lot like Progressive Rock did in the early to mid 1970s. Still, this is a great piece of music and sounds definitely different, even for Metal. After a while, a chugging syncopated midsection comes along, showing the world of music what Gojira are about. This is superb and amazing, with many different sections and multi-sectioned parts that show that these guys have stayed power. Brilliant stuff. A great mixture of heavy sounds and melodicism.
Following is Yama’s Messengers which sounds super sludgy at the beginning of the track. This is an awesome listen, which sounds heavier than hell (no pun intended). This is obviously intelligent and well thought out, and just goes to show that Heavy Metal can indeed be intelligent. This is one of the better pieces from this album, and just goes to show how good Gojira are. In the middle, it gets frenetic and hectic, before screamed vocals return to make this track demonic. Brilliant work by Gojira. Towards the end, this piece becomes syncopated noise. Awesome listening experience, the climax at the end is freaky.
The silver cord is next, revealing a slow and heavy set of riffage at the beginning of the track. It is a warped sounding instrumental that goes for two and a half minutes. A moody and emotional pulsating piece, this is definitely different. It is a nice intermission song for this album.
All the tears begins with some crunchy and energetic riffs with some pounding drum beats to match. This is legendary, and the drumming in particular deserves full credit here, bringing this piece to the next level. This is quite a fast and powerful piece to hear, and the double kick drum sounds along with the guitar riffs and full on screaming are really amazing. This is very well thought out and borderline Screamo stuff, it just is amazing in terms of pure technical ability. Top stuff. Not bad for a three minute song.
Next is Adoration for none which is a much longer piece with some great guitar pinch harmonics on it. This goes between heavy and really really Heavy Metal music. The guitar riff that eventually kicks in is a really top sounding riff that is extraordinary, and drives this song along really well. This is super heavy music, very much in your face to listen to. It goes into a pummeling section of insane sounds and heavy riffs that are really top here. A load of heavily sustained riffs are towards the end here, making best use of those distortion pedals at hand. The outro is super long and quite melodic, this is decent Metal music mixed with great power and intelligence.
Following is The art of dying which is a super long track at nearly 10 minutes. It begins with a take on an Aboriginal Australian sort of performance, before going into a more basic and spare bit of instrumentation. Before long, drums and guitars enter to show the world the talent of Gojira. This is really superb and unique, and is great. After the super long intro, the song itself kicks in and sounds like warped music, from the depths of hell. It sounds really loud, energetic and amazing. In the middle of this song are some really weird backwards sounds, before going straight into a super fast midsection that is likely an anthem for death itself. Incredibly heavy sounding. The whole song is a great example of a more intellectual side of Heavy Metal. Great stuff. The outro is super long and spacey, with some backwards sounds added in for your pleasure. Nice.
Esoteric Surgery comes next, and fortunately is somewhat shorter in length. It has the ultra fast kick drums and catchy guitar riffs once again to summon you to Gojira’s cause. This album by this point seems to have a noticeable flaw. No, it is not lack of inspiration or anything like that, it is the length of the songs. Most of the songs on this album, although thoroughly enjoyable, are way too long. This is still an enjoyable tune, even if the album can seem like a drag to get through at times. Some drop tuned riffs that sound amazing are here though. There are some great guitar effects towards the end, which are brilliant.
Vacuity begins with a bass heavy sound, before launching into an okay song. This is by far the least impressive song on the album so far. It sounds honestly, like garbage. In a better situation, this album would have been better off without this piece on it. But, it’s here. Skip it if you wish, but apart from a good groove, nothing special is here to hear. The midsection is a tad more interesting, but garbage is still garbage, sadly. The second half is marginally better, but still apart from some energetic drumwork, is a bit much.
Next is Wolf down the earth which is a much better piece, beginning with a great guitar led intro as we approach the end of this album. This is really quite well done, and even though it is intellectual music, is somewhat catchy. It just goes to show that even obscure releases by obscure bands deserve merit. Superb track, and although six minutes long, is very good to hear. The guitar riffs sound almost quite like a Metal violin symphony. Great and interesting listening. The drumming sounds extremely energetic as well, must have been on a sugar high or something. Towards the end, more interesting backwards sounds are here to listen to.
Last is The way of all flesh which is the title song and is, get this, 17 minutes long! It consists of a two part piece, the first part being a loud and extremely heavy piece to listen to. It is loud, anthemic and powerful to listen to. Some more chugging riffs are here, along with other extreme musical touches. Some vocal samples about death are tripped out here, before going into a semi-Psychedelic midsection about said subject. There are numerous stereo panned sounds that really sound great here. The guitars sound amazing. After a five or so minute silence, we have part two of this track which begins with some more trippy guitar sounds that build up gradually. This is an interesting instrumental pastiche that definitely sounds different. Very NIN-esque, this sounds sonically amazing and warped. Nice way to end the album.
Overall, this album is a good album, yet falls short of being great as it is way too long. It’s not out there bad musically, far from it. The album just is a fairly ordinary listen that could have been a great one if edited heavily. Still, a good effort that is no doubt enjoyable once in a while. The way of all flesh refers to death itself, by the way.
Thinking person’s Heavy Metal.