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Review of the Album "the Way of All Flesh" by Gojira

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Musical Style of The Way of All Flesh

The Way of All Flesh is the 2008 studio album by French progressive groove death metal band Gojira. I had heard about these guys ages ago and decided to check and see what their music sounds like. Gojira is not really like Opeth but rather they are a groovy kind of death metal and they have pretty harsh vocals. The Way of All Flesh was released in October 2008. The drumming is also pretty good sounding like what the band Morbid Angel did in the 1990s. Vocalist and guitarist Joe Duplantier sounds somewhat like Johan Liiva. Those of you that remember the band Arch Enemy will recognize this kind of vocal tone. Gojira doesn’t really have soft parts like Opeth but their approach is the kind of death metal drumming, Arch Enemy style vocals and guitars that sound heavy and crisp. The vocals also get really heavy at times so as to sound really guttural. The Way of All Flesh is the total opposite of what you will hear if you listen to their 2016 album Magma.

Randy Blythe Does Guest Vocals

For the most part, The Way of All Flesh doesn’t really have any musical parts that could be considered soft in the literal sense. There are a few things to pay attention to though. The first of these is that at the end of the title track there is a long period of silence and then there is a sort of “hidden” instrumental song that is just basic instrumentation. The second thing is that there is also an instrumental song called “The Silver Chord” which may be influenced at least partially by Swedish band In Flames. There is also a guest vocal performance by Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe in the song called “Adoration for None.”

"The Art of Dying"

As the song “Esoteric Surgery” mentions we do have the power to heal ourselves. The body’s cells have the ability to heal themselves from disease. Disease literally means a body that is not at ease and that there is something out of order with the body’s normal mode of functioning. That atmospheric ending is a great way to end an influential song. The riffing of the song “The Art of Dying” is similar to what we would hear in the early 2000s with Sepultura and Derrick Green. “Oroborus” begins this album as the main riff is progressive in nature and then there is a groovy thrash section that reminds me of Sepultura. “Toxic Garbage Island” is a song that lyrically brings attention to the very negative effects of environmental pollution as trees are getting cut down and cities sometimes burn. There is still some cleaner vocals in this album such as is present in the song “A Sight to Behold.”

"Esoteric Surgery"

More Analysis of the Song The Art of Dying

However, the two strongest songs in this 2008 studio album that deserve the most discussion and analysis are the mentioned “Esoteric Surgery” and “The Art of Dying.” “The Art of Dying” is a song that doesn’t seem as special at first because it feels like Gojira is just messing around as there is some tapping that sounds like drums and cymbals are being used at the same time. The song is about someone that knows that they are dying as they have what they refer to neglected emotions as they prepare to travel to the other side which is technically considered to be heaven. Then the song slows down a bit as the vocals get heavier and the blast beats of the drums become more furious.

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Favorite Song in the Album The Way of All Flesh

Final Thoughts About Gojira and The Way of All Flesh

Gojira is one of those metal bands like Novembre that the music is like red wine. When you first get the first taste of the band’s music it feels unusual to the ear. But the more you listen to the music, you begin to notice that there is a sort of subtle texture to the music and that’s when you really notice how great this album is. However, Gojira cannot be compared to Novembre as Gojira are on another level musically and the vocals are better.

So far I have heard just two Gojira albums as of this writing, Magma and The Way of All Flesh and this 2008 studio album is more melodic and the songs are more fragmented compared to Magma which was written when brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier had to deal with big personal loss. But The Way of All Flesh is an album that musically shows that Gojira was at their peak.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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