Brendan Schroer

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Last Active 12-23-22 6:13 pm
Joined 04-27-15

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I HAVE TO RANK THE WHALES!!! (Gojira ranked: worst to best)

The title says it all, really. Enjoy!

I'll have to keep giving this more listens and see if my opinion eventually changes, but Fortitude still stands as my least favorite Gojira album. It's not bad, but simply offers no surprises. Many of the riffs are lazily recycled from past albums, and while the material is at least more energetic than Magma, I don't find it nearly as well-written. With that said, there are still plenty of good songs to be found if you dig deep enough; highlights include the beautifully dark "Into the Storm", the intense drum workouts of "Grind", the infectious grooves of "Sphinx", and the understated melodicism of "The Trails". 3/5
Terra Incognita

As I've stated before, the only reason I have this one so low is because of how inconsistent and filler-y it is at times. However, it still serves as a great launching pad for the band's career. One thing that works well in its favor is that it - along with The Link - represents the most experimental period for Gojira. You'll find everything from straightforward death metal to progressive metal to metalcore to even a little bit of rap/nu metal here and there. And while not all of it hits a bullseye - and a little more focus could have helped the album overall - the level of experimentation has to be admired. 3.5/5
L'Enfant Sauvage

As much as I still enjoy this album, I do see it as a pretty sizeable step down from the band's previous three records up to that point. The songwriting is very consistent, but also suffers from being a lot more monochromatic as a result; the riffs had already begun to be dumbed down at this point, and more epic 7+-minute tracks were replaced with much more average-length numbers. Still, there are a lot of good songs here; "Explosia", "Liquid Fire", "Planned Obsolescence", "Mouth of Kala", "The Gift of Guilt", and "Born in Winter" are all songs I still return to quite a bit. The other songs are just kinda "ok". 3.8/5

And now we reach possibly the most contentious pick of the list. I understand that this is where many Gojira fans starting swearing off the band, but I still have a lot of affection for it to this day. It's the softest album they've put out, but also possibly the most emotional; the Duplantiers were dealing with the grief of their mother's death, so a more subdued and somber atmosphere is perfectly understandable. There are still bangers on here like "Silvera" and "The Cell", but I find that my favorite songs are the most atmospheric and moody ones, such as the title track, "The Shooting Star", and "Low Lands". The latter track still ranks as one of my all-time favorite Gojira songs to this day. 4/5
The Link

The Link is what I consider Terra Incognita fully realized. It takes the experimental ideas and aggressive riffing of that album and consolidates it into a more cohesive and well-organized package. The highlights here are too many to count: the tribal drumming of the atmospheric opening title track, the crazy twin tremolo riffs found in "Wisdom Comes", the amazing closing breakdown of "Remembrance", the crazy tempo shifts of "Inward Movement"... there's so much good stuff to dig into here. And it was the last time that Gojira would be this adventurous, as they'd move toward new conceptual and musical heights with their next two records. 4.3/5
From Mars to Sirius

What can I really say here? It's one of the most acclaimed modern metal albums, constantly being praised by fans and critics alike as one of the band's best if not THE best. "Flying Whales" has become Gojira's signature tune, packing a ridiculous amount of mood, tempo, and volume shifts within one single 7 1/2-minute track while making whales the unofficial flagship mascot for the group. Meanwhile, songs like "Heaviest Matter of the Universe", "In the Wilderness", and "From the Sky" demonstrate just how heavy the band's music could be; rarely has standard-D tuning ever sounded so brutal. On top of all this, I just love the environmental concept and how the band link it to mortality itself... something they'd perfect on the next album. 4.7/5
The Way of All Flesh

Almost 13 years after my first listen, I still consider this the band's peak. It's basically what would happen if they took the From Mars to Sirius sound and made it darker and even more expansive. Joe Duplantier has made it no secret that the record is about his views on death and the afterlife, a concept that's brilliantly executed on cuts like multi-part epic "The Art of Dying" and the intensely emotional title track. The band themselves are on-point here as well, with the album featuring some of the strongest playing in their career. The infectious tapping licks on "Oroborus", the chemistry between Randy Blythe and Joe on the vicious "Adoration for None", the crazy tempo and rhythm shifts of "Toxic Garbage Island", Mario's ridiculous 45/16-time drumming on the main riff of "The Art of Dying", the instantly catchy chugs and melodies of "Vacuity", and so much more. The perfect Gojira album, as far as I'm concerned. 5/5
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