In my childhood, I was a kid fascinated with science fiction monster movies. Among the greats, Gojira *or as Americans know it, Godzilla* was on the top of my list. He represented everything that I’ve grown to like about metal which is full out destruction and heaviness. Naturally, when I heard a metal band had used the name Gojira, this band better live up to the name. Thankfully, for most part, this Frenchies live up to their name with an album that delivers just like the mighty beast does.
From Mars to Sirius consists of pretty much everything that people on metalreview have said. It is an album filled with hints of Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, and even at times something like Isis. So how could these guys pull off anything that we haven’t heard a thousand times before? Luckily, the band knows how to create an identity without wearing their influences on their sleeve. The greatest thing that Gojira has going for itself is the amount of variety, while keeping a unified sound. The album kicks off with a militant smasher in “Ocean Planet”, and then follows up with a very straightforward “Backbone”. The album then precedes to go to the slow grinding “Where The Dragons Dwell” with Joe Duplianter showcasing a very guttural and downright intimidating vocal presence.
One of the other qualities about the album as well is the lack of guitar solos. I know it is a cardinal sin to say such things, but I didn’t find myself bored with the guitar work. I think placing solos on the album would have slowed the album down a bit. If a metal album can survive without guitar solos, I say more power to the band. Sometimes bands force the placement of their solos, and I’m glad this band didn’t fall victim to that. Production on From Mars to Sirius is top notch with crystal clear sound. The band must be commended since they for the most part took care of the mixing. The guitars and drum sound are unbelievably heavy and really keep the album listenable.
So, as the magazine Terrorizer put it, are these guys the saviors of metal? As much as I would love to bestow that title to them, Gojira aren’t THAT innovative. The band still has some loose strings to attach before really perfecting their sound. First and foremost, the album’s biggest problem is the second half. Of the last six songs, four of them top over the six minute mark. This drastically hurts the flow of the album. Of those four, “World to Come” is the most average song on the album. With the first half moving so briskly, the listener hits an audible brick wall. Second, for those metal fans who enjoy the deepest and most thought provoking lyrics *but c’mon who are you kidding?*, Gojira is not your band. Gojira mostly sticks to the “we’re killing the universe, cut it out” angle on most of the album’s subject matter. Even if one doesn’t read the lyric sheet, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what they are screaming about with song titles like, “Global Warming” and “World to Come”.
In saying that, I have the opinion that Gojira will end up like a fine wine, and they just need to set in the exposure of the metal community to truly create something miraculous. This band definitely has the ability and talent to create an album that “saves” the metal genre. Now I just need to find out when this band will cover Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla”.