GOJIRA – From Mars to Sirius

Some bands are so interesting that it can sometimes be hard to find words to describe them. After ten years in existence, GOJIRA have finally put themselves on the map of international appeal with one crusher of an album. This quartet out of France has brought a unique sound that can only be described by their name GOJIRA, which was the original name for Godzilla before it was changed. They have heavy influences from bands like MESHUGGAH and NEUROSIS with similar stop/start rhythms and doomy atmosphere, and the production and tone are somewhat reminiscent of works by Devin Townsend ala Terria. The band claims their primary motivation for songwriting is ecological concerns with planet Earth, and this album provides a warning to the human race regarding our current abuse of the planet. What makes their new album, From Mars to Sirius, so unique are the intelligent song structures combined with an atypical lack of hubris and pretension. The result is an easily accessible album that challenges the listener without being too over the top or overly complex. Tracks such as “Backbone,” “From the Sky,” “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe,” and “To Sirius” crush the listener with pounding beats and churning guitars, while other songs like “Ocean Planet,” “Flying Whales,” and “World to Come” are slower, doomier aural attacks. Vocal approaches vary from deep death metal growls to mid-level screaming with occasional cleaner vocals, and the vocalist is a perfect match for the band’s overall sound.

This is easily among the top picks for best metal releases of 2006, and it comes highly recommended for anyone looking for intelligent songwriting reminiscent of MESHUGGAH that carries both talent and a message. (Prosthetic Records)

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