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The Link

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(8 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I love me some Gojira, very heavy melodic metal without the old worn out me you crybaby lyrics. It makes you really feel they have something to say. I highly recommend “From Mars to Sirius” for those just getting into the band. If you like your metal to feel powerful you found the right band, there is plenty of double bass to be had.

    From Mars to Sirius

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • when i discovered gojira..my jaw felt down..i was impressed..my god!! what a record…when they reissued the link..a record previously released @ 2005 i expected someting similar…but no!!!the link proved one more time the gojira evolution..tne link sound amazing…the track “embrace the world” (my favorite) is unique, strong and powerful…a little bit different that from mars…but gojira is a new band that they start to write is page in metal history…

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • At some point between Bolt Thrower’s grindcore, Godflesh’s industrial-grind (circa, say, “Hymns”), Nile and/or Grave’s death metal, and latter-day Sepultura’s thrash, Meshuggah’s math, Mastodon’s prog, and High on Fire’s doom metal lands Gojira’s second record, “The Link.” Sophisticated songwriting, unorthodox song structures, lengthy instrumental sections, meaningful, Fear Factory-ish lyrics, and eclectic/foreign culture-inspired experimentations are all some of the unique tools Gojira used here, on the follow-up to 2001’s debut “Terra Incognita.” Oh, and did I mention excellent musicianship? Guitarists Christian Andreu and Joe Duplantier are entirely capable of crafting riffs on top of great, inventive, and unforgettable riffs — both of the acoustic and thrashy, downtuned variety. (The former is used effectively as a contrast, making the latter sound even more mean and punishing.) The riffs are also laid on top of a rock solid rhythm section: Jean-Michel Labadie lays down steady, grooving bass lines, and the drumming of Mario Duplantier (Joe’s brother) is pretty impeccable. Sure, Mario can play thrash beats and blast beats like no one’s business; but he also keeps things interesting by frequently tossing in original and complex fills (including melodic percussion, odd time signatures, snare runs, and well-placed cymbal crashes). All of which makes “The Link” one very dynamic, complex, interesting, and epic album which simultaneously manages to be both an amalgam of all things heavy AND quite a few IQ points more intelligent than probably what the average metal fan is used to hearing. How’s that for an original idea?

    These eleven tracks are the sound of this band hitting on all cylinders, and no two of them sound the same. The eponymous opener kicks things off, and in a very compelling fashion, too! It begins with an industrial-lite fade-in intro (with foreboding feedback) before segueing into a bit of Soulfly-esque, South American — or some other foreign-sounding — percussion. (The best way this reviewer can describe it is by saying it most closely resembles tribal drums and African rainsticks.) But like many a great Gojira song (and many a great metal song, in general), the tune builds off of its own momentum and gains speed, energy, and force, and it eventually slams into a wall of heaviness. The guitars and bass thunder on and deftly pound out hefty, angular riffing while Joe Duplantier (who is also the vocalist) does his best Jens Kidman impersonation with harsh, atonal yells. “The Link” is also of note for its choruses, which are arguably the song’s climax, and feature distant, melodic vocals. Following that, “Death of Me” starts out with a mid-tempo pace and catchy, staccato, gut-punching guitar licks, then suddenly (but smoothly nonetheless) morphs a blistering, full-on thrasher with uber-chunky, machine gun riffage and pounding, rapid-fire grindcore blasts, and it concludes by slowing things way back down again, and even descending into doomy territory. As a result of these three very different speeds, “DoM” bristles with a great friction and push/pull contrast.

    “Connected” is a tranquil melodic interlude, but the brutality returns in full-force with “Remembrance”, which blindsides the listener and grabs you by the throat. And aside from a few well-placed choral interludes, every band member goes nuts and thrashes around on his particular instrument throughout its 4:35 playing time, thus making it a monstrous riff-fest with tons of banging drums, too. In similar fashion, the cool, key-peppered “Torri”, is another oasis which is immediately offset by “Indians”, a super doomy and discordant number that overflows with ginormous power chords. “Embrace the World” is highlighted by an ominous, humming bass line, tight, forceful double bass slamming, more very abrasive and rock-solid guitar chops, and a memorable, visceral, chant-along vocal refrain near the end. Song number eight “Inward” is a heavily Meshuggah-indebted piece of almost pure doom metal. Here, booming drums are the anchor for huge, crashing, churning rhythms that lumber out of the speakers like a bunch of logs going down a mountainside. “Over the Flows” is the record’s last interlude, and it may also be its best. It is sounds positively divine and features a docile mood and colorful acoustic guitar strums. But like always, its subsequent track unleashes a furious, crushing wall-of-sound. Plus, “Wisdom” is even arguably this French quartet at their absolute most brutal and uncompromising. Finally, “Dawn”, a heavy, doomy, droning, and almost trance-inducing eight-and-a-half minute long instrumental, wraps everything up, and is the perfect way to end this set of songs, thus also making it the pinnacle.

    “The Link” was originally released back in 2003, and it was re-released (in 2007) only because Gojira’s next album, “From Mars To Sirius”, became very popular. In fact, “FMTS” was the band’s breakthrough, so it is safe to assume that most fans heard that album before this one. As such, some listeners may initially be disappointed that “The Link” is substantially more progressive and not quite as viscerally satisfying as what they had heard before. But further inspection will prove that it is just about every bit as great as that 2006 release. Highly recommended.

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Growling vocals (not as death metal as – let’s say morbid angel) , meshuggahesque delays, heavy and thick riffing, angry – sometimes jumpy feel (beware, it is NOT nu-metal), ‘music charts’ unfriendly… Meet Gojira from France… If u are into metal, this album (and the band) deserves to be listened to. Check out the DVD also…

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album is great, and the only reason it’s my least favorite Gojira album is because of the production. It sounds good, but not as good as their other 2 albums. They even remastered it and it sounded a little better, but still a little thin for a band this heavy! Needs way more bass, and a better sounding Kick for sure. Anyway, this album has less of a vibe than the other two in my opinion. All their albums have a concept type feel to them, or motif. This album feels more like a bunch of separate songs than a concept album if that makes any sense. The vocalist experiments on a few songs with certain vocals that can be a turn off to some, almost silly sounding, but after a few listens you get used to them and they are great. The music is some of the heaviest I’ve ever heard. For any of you Mastodon, Isis, Neurosis junkies, or old school Death Metal junkies, check this band out, they are AMAZING.

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now