Saturday, 8 March 2014

CD Review: From Mars To Sirius, by Gojira (2005)

Inspired by nature and specifically the sounds and plight of whales, the third album from France's Gojira falls outside most genre definitions and almost defies description. From Mars To Sirius is heavy, filled with melodies, crunchy riffs and complex arrangements, while the vocals vary from hushed to growled.

Oozing confidence and professionalism, Gojira take their time to build up the structure of each track, and the album is characterized by several intricate intros and conspicuously prolonged outros, the band sometimes slipping into a hypnotized state of endless repetition.

Ocean Planet is the strongest clasp of thunder on the album, starting with the sound of whales and just exploding into brutal excavator territory. Other highlights include the headbanging heaven that arrives after a build-up of 2 minutes and 45 seconds on Flying Whales.

When the experimentation fails, the band can stumble. In The Wilderness ruins a complex composition with an endless outro that just goes on for three minutes, while the combo of From Mars and To Sirius suffers from underdevelopment and fails to ignite.

Better is World To Come, which starts with a twangy lead guitar straight from two decades prior, but Gojira make it work with calm, almost clean vocals as the track builds into a slow-tempo lyrical groove.

The album ends as Global Warming rides a melancholy riff that persists like a perpetual, high-pitched alarm, dissolving through another epic outro once again into the call of the anguished whales. Gojira create their own enviro metal space, rebels with a loud cause.


Joe Duplantier - Vocals, Guitars
Christian Andreu - Guitars
Jean-Michel Labadie - Bass
Mario Duplantier - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Ocean Planet - 10
2. Backbone - 8
3. From The Sky - 9
4. Unicorn - n/a (short instrumental)
5. Where Dragons Dwell - 7
6. The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe - 9
7. Flying Whales - 9
8. In The Wilderness - 7
9. World To Come - 8
10. From Mars - 7
11. To Sirius - 7
12. Global Warming - 9

Average: 8.18

Produced by Gabriel Editions.
Engineered by Laurentx Etchemendy.
Mixed by Joe Duplantier, Laurentx Etchemendy, Jean-Michel Labadie.
Mastered by Jean-Pierre Chalbos and Seb Dupuis.

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