Gojira
The Way of All Flesh


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (132 Reviews)
August 20th, 2016 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Refined brutality.

Gojira have always been quite an anomaly in modern metal. Where the hell do they even fit in comparison to other bands in extreme metal today? Do they cater to the progressive metal crowd? The death metal crowd? Groove metal? Thrash metal? The answer is that all of the above are core components in the French outfit's sound, and yet Gojira are still distinctly Gojira. In spite of their influences, they've given such fresh spins on the death metal genre that it's hard not to appreciate their existing contributions. Whether it's the oddly tribal atmosphere of The Link, the thick layers of distortion permeating From Mars to Sirius, or the group's growing knack for making thoughtful lyrical observations about the environment and the human condition, Gojira aren't afraid to experiment with different sounds and redefine them in their own musical mold.

However, when The Way of All Flesh was released, it came out at a time in which the band genuinely had something to prove. From Mars to Sirius was the band's first album that really bubbled up on the metal world's collective radar, garnering critical acclaim and essentially being their breakthrough record. Luckily, in a very logical progression, Gojira managed to utilize a much darker and more melancholic sound on Way of All Flesh; it's also very different from a production standpoint, abandoning the sludgy and murky feel of From Mars to Sirius for something a bit more mechanical and cold. That may almost sound like an insult, but it works perfectly with the overall atmosphere. It also gives heavier songs like "Toxic Garbage Island" and "All the Tears" a lot of punch, especially in regards to Mario Duplantier's drumming. But the melodies are more prominently featured here (something that would apply to their subsequent albums as well), and while some older Gojira fans may be turned off by this, I believe it was the right move for the quartet. The brutality is still present in full force, but simply adorned with more focused songwriting and tighter compositions.

As one would expect with each subsequent Gojira album, there are plenty of interesting musical experiments to sink your teeth into here. Between the melodic guitar tapping in "Oroborus," the highly-layered clean vocal segment in the title track, and the absurd Meshuggah-esque drum part underneath the main riff in "The Art of Dying," the band expand upon their sound in all the right ways. Balls-out metal tracks are still as heavy and punchy as they've ever been, but the more adventurous songs are what seem to win out here. In fact, I'm pretty sure many Gojira fans were shocked when they first heard the electronic elements and vocoder singing in "A Sight to Behold"! But of course, the song still goes into a groove-death metal frenzy during the energetic bridge section. What makes The Way of All Flesh such a quality album is the balance between variety and straight-up intensity; if there was anything I'd criticize about its predecessor From Mars to Sirius, it was that the heaviness and distortion seemed to overpower the album's other features a bit too frequently. The songs are a bit more well-rounded, and much of fat (in this case, sheer song length) was trimmed for leaner songwriting. Sure, the ending of "Adoration for None" may go on for a bit to long (being the same riff with little variation), and the silence at the end of the title track was completely unnecessary, but moments like these aren't overly frequent. And it's not like the longer songs are bad by any means; "Art of Dying" is probably one of Gojira's best songs to date because of how well a simple one-note guitar riff can build up such an epic piece of progressive death metal. Speaking of progressive, the prog elements are much more pronounced here as well. The ambient interlude "The Silver Cord" is a beautifully-played guitar piece that sets up "All the Tears" perfectly, while "Toxic Garbage Island" packs a staggering amount of variation and intricacy in just 4 minutes.

I'll wrap things up by saying the atmosphere is also wonderfully on-point in The Way of All Flesh. The whole experience is dark and brooding, but in a subtle way that allows for a lot of reflection when hearing the poetic lyrics. Frontman Joe Duplantier said the album was supposed to be the band's meditation on death, and the powerful feeling of immersion ensures that he isn't kidding around. The Way of All Flesh is progressive, brutal, poetic, distorted, and magnificently written. If any of those qualities catch your eye (or your ear), get this near-masterpiece if you haven't yet.



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user ratings (1930)
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • EndlessClockwork (4.5)
    A heavy and defining metal album...the best Gojira has to offer....

    fr33convict (4.5)
    The Way of All Flesh is a technical metal masterpiece that I would recommend to any metal ...

    Necrotica (4.5)
    Gojira proves that they can create a very competent metal album and improve on songwriting...

    demon of surveillance (4.5)
    Creating a unique sound, Gojira fuse several genres and generate a relentlessly heavy extr...

  • Altmer (3.5)
    French high IQ-metallers Gojira release another competent album that pushes the envelope o...

    Fillifax (5)
    I once heard someone review this album with the sentence "Gojira is so heavy it will kill ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DivergentThinking
August 20th 2016


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought I'd rewrite the very first review I ever submitted on this site. I can't believe that was all the way back in 2009... time flies :]

Sevengill
August 20th 2016


9495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love your descriptions. Good move to rewrite it and I look forward to more. Pooooos.

FullOfSounds
August 20th 2016


15772 Comments


I should give this album another chance...

DivergentThinking
August 20th 2016


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, Sevengill :] I'm thinking of rewriting a few more of my old ones, especially my really shitty Journey reviews



@FullOfSounds: It's a good one for sure. I always found this to be one of Gojira's best, although my favorite is still The Link

Rastapunk
August 20th 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review kinda ends brutally but it's was a good read! Pos'd!

DivergentThinking
August 21st 2016


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks dude, I'll modify it soon :]

DivergentThinking
February 3rd 2018


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album still kicks ass

JeetJeet
February 3rd 2018


7845 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The quintessential Gojira album. Great review.

Digging: Don Toliver - Heaven Or Hell

DivergentThinking
February 3rd 2018


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. This literally just became the flagged review, lol

DarkSideOfLucca
February 3rd 2018


14979 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oroborous is the coolest opener ever

DivergentThinking
February 3rd 2018


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta love those melodic taps

BigPleb
February 3rd 2018


60377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review man, one of the most well produced albums of the past few years.

DarkSideOfLucca
February 3rd 2018


14979 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Agreed with Pleb

DivergentThinking
February 3rd 2018


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. I can't believe this review's from a few years ago already :O

KingdomOfTyrant
March 3rd 2018


704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dat avg

DDDeftoneDDD
March 3rd 2018


11140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hey guys. im getting a lot of Gojira vibes listening to the new Slugdge - Esoteric Malacology. If you like this you ll prob get as thrilled as i am right now.



https://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=273923

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

parksungjoon
March 31st 2018


16468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the way i see things



is so simple

Digging: Armoured Angel - Angel of the Sixth Order

DDDeftoneDDD
April 29th 2018


11140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSCcRhHyvjo

TundraL5Z
April 29th 2018


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Crazy how this album is 10 years old and i have never heard about this band until early last year

BenThatsMyJamin
April 29th 2018


2838 Comments


O shit has this average gone up?



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