Gojira
The Link


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (163 Reviews)
May 6th, 2021 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The most unusual Gojira album, and all the better for it.

Part II: Now Comes Fire, Left and Right Connected

Something I’ve always found a bit perplexing about The Link is that there’s not much backstory behind it. Gojira’s debut Terra Incognita has plenty of interesting tidbits to its name, such as how frontman Joe Duplantier lived in a secluded cabin for two years while coming up with inspiration for the record, or how the interlude “04” was intended by Joe and his brother Mario to be a birthday present for their mother. But The Link is… just The Link. Even the cover art - while indicative of the more tribal elements on the record (we’ll get to that) - is very unassuming. As such, its popularity and significance are often dwarfed by the records that sandwich it. Terra Incognita is the brutal and aggressive fan-favorite debut, and From Mars to Sirius is the breakthrough album that brought them significant acclaim in the wider metal community. But that doesn’t mean we should be forgetting about The Link.

Not in the slightest. On top of being a necessary stepping stone for Gojira’s progression, it’s also quite possibly the strangest and most experimental record of theirs to date. You’ll find the usual helping of groovy chugs and double bass worship, but it’s all topped off with the aforementioned tribal elements as well as a more “mystical” overall vibe. Right from the title track, you’re thrown into an otherworldly environment full of droning vocal inflections, hypnotic grooves, and wood block percussion; suddenly, the world crafted by Terra Incognita has expanded and become an even more diverse place to explore. Death metal sections are still present on The Link but they’re used much more sparingly this time around to make room for an expanding palette of influences. Whether it be the beautiful ambient interlude “Torii”, the doom metal-inspired riffs of “Inward Movement”, or the lengthy post-metal mini-epic that is “Dawn”, the unpredictability of The Link’s tracklist goes a long way in describing its appeal to anyone who’s a bit bored with the current iteration of the band’s sound.

Yet the surprise comes in just how well the songs flow into each other. You’d think so many disparate elements being put together would cause some massive consistency issues, but such is not the case with The Link. Even at this stage, Gojira were great at knowing what transitions and dynamics to use at the right times. A perfect example would be the one-two-three punch of “Connected”, “Remembrance”, and “Torii”. Technically, only one of these is a full-length song; however, all three of them flow into each other so well that you’d might as well treat it as one single eight-minute track. “Connected” opens up with some light tribal drumming that opens the gates for the death metal fury of “Remembrance”; in turn, the amazing breakdown of “Remembrance” fades out to set the stage for the lovely “Torii” to take place. Meanwhile, you can perceive “Wisdom Comes” as the band letting out their final blast of death metal aggression before the expansive and slow-moving “Dawn” moves in to bring The Link to a fitting close. While I’d argue From Mars to Sirius is even more well-constructed because it uses a concrete narrative to tie the songs together, this album is no slouch either.

As one would expect from a Gojira album, the performances here are absolutely stellar. Joe and lead guitarist Chrisian Andreu have wonderful chemistry together, especially on the heavier tunes. “Wisdom Comes” is especially noteworthy, as the duo perform dual tremolo-picked harmonies to create a sinister vibe that compliments the intense riffs nicely. Mario and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie are also perfectly locked-in on The Link, providing just the right balance of groove and technicality for those heavy songs while showing incredible restraint on the softer ones. In a 2005 interview with Hard ‘n’ Heavy Magazine, Mario said the sessions for the album represented “a period during which I wanted to play fast: I was starting to master well the grind parts and the double bass pedal”. This is definitely evident in fast cuts such as “Remembrance” and “Wisdom Comes”, which feature the most impressive double bass work and rapid-fire blastbeats that he’d ever played up to this point; the fact that the rest of the band could keep up and hold their own so well against his drumming is pretty damn impressive.

Admittedly, I’m quite tired of The Link being considered the red-headed stepchild of Gojira’s catalogue (well, according to the fanbase, it’s either this or Magma). It has a plethora of fantastic songs, a unique atmosphere, the most experimental writing of the band’s career, and some of their most technical and intricate playing to top it off. It set the stage perfectly for Gojira’s heyday, and it remains an incredible record in its own right.



Recent reviews by this author
Liz Phair SoberishSteely Dan Can't Buy a Thrill
Pan.Thy.Monium Khaooohs And Kon-Fus-IonGojira L'Enfant Sauvage
Joanna Newsom YsDodie Build a Problem
user ratings (892)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
webbtje (4)
Gojira produce a balanced and powerful extreme metal album....

TheRemnant (4)
Frequently surprising and fresh -- over a decade later....

Necrotica (4.5)
Possibly Gojira's most underrated album, The Link perfectly displays a fusion of the band's heavy br...



Comments:Add a Comment 
DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2021


9939 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really glad I finally got around to re-reviewing this one. I'm trying to finish up the band's discog… just got two more to go :]

LeddSledd
May 6th 2021


5289 Comments


the twink

Digging: Boris - Pink

LeddSledd
May 6th 2021


5289 Comments


mad props to the prolificness and consistency of your output, dude. that's a lot of dedication

normaloctagon
May 6th 2021


5856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

frickin pos'd

Digging: MF DOOM - Special Herbs 7,8

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2021


9939 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank guys!



@Ledd: Yeah, I don't really have a set timeline of when/what I review despite the contrib tag. Obviously I do review new stuff, but I generally review things on a whim. If it gets featured, cool! If not, then there's always next time :]

PumpBoffBag
May 6th 2021


1005 Comments


Love it. Death Of Me is the ultimate earworm

SteakByrnes
May 6th 2021


23796 Comments


This is my favorite Gojira probably

Digging: Future Foundation - Trinity

DaveT0738
May 6th 2021


2672 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Man, nice work ! you really did justice for this overlooked gem m/

Digging: Dead World Reclamation - Aura of Iniquity

DaveT0738
May 6th 2021


2672 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Love it. Death Of Me is the ultimate earworm"



Absolutely, that song never fails to literally make me smile after i finish it, so intricate, groovy and catchy, that breakdown near the end is just m/m/m/!!!



DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2021


9939 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man! It’s crazy how there’s no review of this below a 4 and yet the avg is still 3.6 to this day

Tundra
May 6th 2021


6076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3.6 is not a bad average by any means, but see what u mean I guess

parksungjoon
May 6th 2021


32249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

>such as how frontman Joe Duplantier lived in a secluded cabin for two years while coming up with inspiration for the record



never knew this



have u heard the version of wisdom comes from the demo of the same title?

DaveT0738
May 6th 2021


2672 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Joe and his girlfriend at that time lived secluded, the song "Love" takes inspiration from that experience

FabiusPictor202
May 6th 2021


1062 Comments


you and this necrotica guy seem to write reviews for a lot of the same albums hmmmmm....

Digging: Soundtrack (Film) - Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2021


9939 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"you and this necrotica guy seem to write reviews for a lot of the same albums hmmmmm...."



Hmm, seems a little strange, doesn't it?



"Joe and his girlfriend at that time lived secluded, the song "Love" takes inspiration from that experience"



Yep. One hell of a great song to come from it, that's for sure

parksungjoon
May 6th 2021


32249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

motherfucker ignores my question lmao

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2021


9939 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry, I forgot to answer you, lol. But yeah, I've heard the demo version... pretty kickass stuff. Honestly, I don't think Gojira's demos get the love they deserve in general

parksungjoon
May 6th 2021


32249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

mb i should 3 this.. it certainly has more artistic ambition than l'enfant sauvage, but i never really feel like coming back to any of its tracks

FabiusPictor202
May 6th 2021


1062 Comments


>
Hmm, seems a little strange, doesn't it?

it's a sput conspiracy

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2021


9939 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"it's a sput conspiracy"



Not really. I'm pretty sure most people are aware by now. The REAL conspiracy is that Potsy left right around the time the contrib/staff promotions were announced



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy