Gojira
From Mars to Sirius


2.0
poor

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
December 31st, 2006 | 438 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Heavy, beastly, but unoriginal, and tedious at 66 minutes long.

Just looking at the cover art and the naming of the album and songs explains a lot about this album. The cover features a whale floating among a planet, presumably Mars, and and a satellite, presumably Sirius. Already invoked is Mastodon's 2004 album Leviathan who's cover was dominated by a giant whale. In the background are planetary structures, which brings to mind tons of imagery from Cave In albums. Similarly the song titles have that similar spacey motif that is used heavily by Cave In. "Ocean Planet" or "From Mars to Sirius" could be lifted from any Cave In album, metal or alternative. Gojira would love to have you think that they're a little bit spacey and open, and a little bit beastly and huge, but I doubt they'd go as far as cite Mastodon and Cave In themselves as the specific teats they're milking. So, what do we have on our hands musically? It seems that in a lot of ways From Mars to Sirius is just one part Mastodon, one part Cave In, like judging the book by its cover implies. The songs shift from being fast, quickly changing, with some good shredding a la Mastodon, and at other times take their time and have effect-pedal-filtered, big-sounding chords resounding over a slower beat in the vein of Cave In's older "alt" metal from Until Your Heart Stops. So maybe Gojira isn't "[f]iendishly original and disgustingly heavy" and "everything that a metal band should be" with a 4/5 rating like the sticker on the cover of the album would lead me to believe. But short of just instantly discounting Kerrang's 4 star ranking on the virtue of the influences, let's look at this further.

First, the positives. When Gojira wants to be powerfully heavy, they do so. Gojira alternates between thick, resounding chords, and really quickly chunked out power chords. This alternation can yields some pretty brutal results when coupled with pounding drums. Part of this heaviness is their use of noise. There are some really cool pick scrapes and cymbal strikes that are distorted in a particular way that yield an unusual and noisy result that suits the sound very well. Also, there are some songs on this album that are great. "Flying Whales" begins with an eerie, albeit, cheesy sampling of a whale song, while beginning a very ambient opening, building up to the heavy meat of the song, which last for the last five minutes of the song, excepting the sweet bridge that allows the crushing weight of the ending metal section. "World to Come" operates in a similar way, building in an almost maudlin of the Well-like fashion with weird vocal melodies and harmonic choices, only to prompt another savage metallic ending. I really like the pairing of the songs "From Mars" and "To Sirius." They remind of "Phoenix in Flight" and "Phoenix in Flames" from Converge's Jane Doe, by having a particular building section and then a really heavy, chaotic breakdown of the initial gesture. "Global Warming" is a cool song too and the tapping in the verses represents an anomalous moment for Gojira who prefer to sit on heavier, thicker sounds for most of the album. Overall, there are a few keepers on this album.

However, with about 66 minutes of content, and influences being warn rather outwardly on the sleeve, From Mars to Sirius is more tedious than anything else. The heaviness, yes, is quite heavy, and satisfying if only at a meatheaded level. The problem is that Gojira tend to feel like a one trick pony by employing this heaviness without rest. It completely saturates the album such that it's hard to appreciate their power. They don't really earn it at all. Think of the emotional impact of Isis, building a theme over a few minutes and them using their trademark heaviness to ram the motifs of the song home. They really earn it. Gojira doesn't. Instead, they just deploy their brutality and it saturates the whole album, leading to an overall mushy feel. This feel of course is broken later on in the album with more interesting harmonies and guitar techniques, but by then, it's too little, too late.

Fiendishly original? Not so much. Disgustingly heavy? Hell yea. But that's not enough. Overall, Gojira's From Mars to Sirius feels too one-dimensional and too derivative to satisfy anybody other than the most desperate, 14-year old metalhead, or alt-metal bandwagon jumper. It's one of those albums that pains the listener with its mediocrity. It's not terrible. They're biting off of bands that themselves are fairly original and interesting so they're not bad, but they just missed the mark, and their synthesis of styles is lesser than the sum of its parts.



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user ratings (1212)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Brendan Schroer (3)
Intimidating, heavy as hell, and way too lengthy....

itachi1452 (4.5)
Brutal, heavy, diverse, and definitely a good indication towards the future of metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
CoRpSeSlAyEr
December 31st 2006


855 Comments


I saw these guys when they were opening for Amon Amarth and Children of Bodom. They weren't that good. People seemed to really like them. I don't know why.

ohcleverhansyou
December 31st 2006


885 Comments


I saw them for that too, my friends fell asleep. I think they're acceptable when you're in the pit, not actually listening to the music.

publicastration
December 31st 2006


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How dare you give this album such a low rating.

Thor
December 31st 2006


10192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

...

Tarantino's Tarantulas
December 31st 2006


819 Comments


[QUOTE] Yeah my friend told me these guys were awful at the Bodom/Amon Amarth concert. And in addition to this review, I will not be checking these guys out. {/QUOTE]

Ive only heard the first 2 tracks, but I thought they were fairly enjoyable, so Id at least give them a listen before dismissing them.


Shattered_Future
December 31st 2006


1540 Comments


From the listen I had from them, I didn't think they were TERRIBLE. Sure, they rip off Meshuggah and Mastodon wholesale, but they filled that little void in my heart for about 5 minutes with their heaviness. I wouldn't listen to them personally, but I wouldn't write them off as bad. They're just generic.

northerncomfort
December 31st 2006


106 Comments


Good review. Hate bands that rely solely on being heavy.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 31st 2006


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

[quote=luc]How dare you give this album such a low rating.[/quote]

But whyyyyy

Confessed2005
January 1st 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually quite enjoy this album.

djtrousse
January 1st 2007


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe I'm a bit subjective because of my french nationality, but Gojira is worth a listen, really.

Zoo
January 1st 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not bad. I would probably give them a 2.5. It is just that their vocalist reminds me of Bjorn Strid from Soilwork and, by comparing the vocals and the instrumentals between the bands (Soilwork is much more melodic, yet more fast-paced as well), Soilwork is the clear winner.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 6th 2007


7926 Comments


Soilwork sucks.

To be honest, I had this album and it was glitchy, but only a few songs.

I didn't redownload it, and that's saying something.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 13th 2007


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is not death metal.

Surely one of the better releases in a somewhat weak decade.


You don't leave the dungeon much do you?

amcmillon
January 20th 2007


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also saw them open for AA and COB....and they blew me out of the water. I had already checked out this album and thought it was great. Then I saw 'em live and it made me love this band way more. I actually thought they were better than COB... not amon though =).

Duplantier doesn't sound anything like Strid by the way, Soilwork sucks....Gojira doesn't.

This Message Edited On 01.20.07

Cravinov13
January 23rd 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This rating is sheer blasphemy! This album is an amazingly original work of art! The band infuses Isis, Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, Mastodon, and a bit of their own touch to make a behemoth of pot-metal/prog death/ thrash album. Rating maybe a 4.5 or 4 at the least.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 23rd 2007


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Dude. You have given over 100 5-star rankings and among them the only ones that aren't for metal bands are one for Co and Ca and one for The Calling. I think it's fair to say that your 5 isn't worth much, especially when regarding metal.

Also,

This album is an amazingly original work of art!


This quote contradicts the following one.

The band infuses Isis, Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, Mastodon, and a bit of their own touch


If they're so original then why are they infus[ing] (sic) Isis, etc.

Cravinov13
January 24th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So your saying a band can't be influenced by something? Just because they take their influences from those bands and bring their own style doesn't mean they are not original.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 24th 2007


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

No, I'm saying you need to reign in your hyperbole and quit being a partisan metal jerking slave.

But seriously, do you really honestly think all of those CDs are 5/5s?

jrowa001
January 25th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i kinda like this album. still growing on me

Cravinov13
January 27th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

To DFelon, no I don't. A lot of the ratings I gave are old and need to be changed. If there was a way I could literally erase every rating I made since I've been on Sputnik, trust me, I would make much better ones. I just don't have time to go and change all the ratings I've made.



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