Gojira
From to Mars to Sirius

If you’ve read my staff picks for 2005 I’m sure there’s no doubting my partiality towards this album. From Mars to Sirius is at once menacing, brutally heavy, ambient and introspective. From Mars to Sirius is the definition of massive; massive melodies, massive heaviness, and massive riffs and beatdowns. And now you get to hear it again thanks to a US licensing deal between Listenable and Prosthetic.Think Isis and Neurosis-like ambience mixed with the almost the almost quirky jazz influences of bands like Mastodon filtered through an almost industrial-leaning interpretation of Morbid Angel-like death metal heaviness. Think Meshuggah with actual song-writing skills. I think you need this.

I hadn’t heard of Gojira before this stellar album graced my ears. From what I’ve read though they’re a French band who’ve been around for a couple of previous full-lengths. On From Mars to Sirius Gojira is a band capable of writing lofty, affective tunes with searing melody and hooks abound, without being ‘catchy’. I’ve never been too great a fan of the droney-ambient bands (think Isis, Neurosis, Cult of Luna etc) because a lot of the time they bore me. Gojira have a similar sound but they do so much more with it. They’re songwriting seems much more concise and teased for maximum effect and impact; Gojira aren’t happy to sit on their laurels for a 4-minute section of arty ambience consisting of three repeating chords. They have their spacey/dreamy sections but they make them almost without fail intriguing and exciting to listen to. Similarly Gojira have an impressive backbone in musicianship because all these guys can play.

The album begins with “Ocean Planet” which plods along fairly un-menacingly in a heavy but upbeat manner until about half-way through when the band shows their dark side and indulges in some malicious death-influenced chugging before exploding into a huge soundscape alternating between empowering melodies with impressive vocal harmonies and massive, punishing beatdowns. Oh is this band ever heavy when they want to be. “Backbone” is one of the heavier songs on the disc and sacrifices beauty in favor of beastly heaviness for it’s entire running length. “From the Sky and Where Dragons Fall” are both massive tunes, which showcase the bands signature blending of melody, ambience and crushing heaviness. “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe” more or less lives up to its name and is a very purposefully heavy track; this one doesn’t let up at all and is simply satisfying groovy chug riff after another; another nod to the bands obvious appreciation of death metal. “Flying Whales” is a stunning track with an extended Tool-like opening featuring what sounds like whale song before opening into a plodding verse riff. This song also features an amazing mid-section which demonstrates the bands requisite massively uplifting harmonies before being absolutely decimated by a characteristic viciously menacing death metal chugga-thon of a beat down. Those 402154687 hardcore bands out there ought to listen to this if they want to know what a truly weighty breakdown can sound like. This album is chock-full of great songs played exquisitely by an amazing band. Out of the whole hour-plus running time you could count the lesser sections of the songs on one hand.

This is truly a fantastic album Gojira have put out here and everything rings of success. The production is clean and satisfyingly heavy. The band sounds tighter than a nuns… knowledge of the Good Book. Every member is on top of their game, especially the drummer who manages to keep the longer sections fresh with his exquisitely varied and sometimes jazzy drumming. From Mars to Sirius is simply an amazing achievement for Gojira.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Damien Boorman
August 15th, 2006

Comments

  1. Commented by: faust666

    Great review for a great album.


Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Helion Prime -
  • Ironflame -
  • Recorruptor - The Funeral Corridor
  • Ysengrin - Initiatio
  • Cytotoxin - Nuklearth
  • Black Crown Initiate - Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape
  • Hinayana - Death of The Cosmic EP
  • Inhalement - Eternally Stoned EP
  • Ahtme - Mephitic
  • Convocation - Ashes Coalesce
  • Serment - Chante, ô flamme de la liberté
  • Enslaved - Utgard
  • Stillbirth - Revive The Throne
  • River Of Souls - Usurper
  • Ice War - Defender, Destroyer