GOJIRA - The Way Of All Flesh
December 5, 2008, 11 years ago
It’s been consistently clear that Gojira presents nothing but the fiercely cutting edge, as this French band writes in ways most groups probably feel too esoteric or unmanageable. But Gojira’s made it work, both artistically and commercially, and the collective resides in that coveted “buzz band with cred” zone, a grey area that is cool, unbelievably inventive and disarmingly intellectual. What it comes down to is this: The Way Of All Flesh is very heavy - massive riffs piled upon massive riffs - and Joe Duplantier and his brothers in arms are obviously and ferociously vying for the listener’s sense of visceral satisfaction. However, what takes Gojira far beyond the realm of “heavy band” is the group’s overwhelmingly smart delivery and execution, these songs all brimming with vitality, the depths of hell and that intangible quality all the best records possess. Every track on The Way Of All Flesh is a testament to a desire for excellence, these dark hymns moving forward in unexpected but rewarding ways and, as mentioned, the riffs and ideas (and lyrics) here are probably the smartest and most forward-thinking we’ve heard all year, on par with (but very much removed and different from) the new Enslaved. A friend once relayed an old adage to me which still resonates, though the miserable situation is long over: When you stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss eventually begins to stare back at you. That’s this record.