Gojira not only managed to make a name for themselves in America with their last album, "From Mars To Sirius", but also helped to monetize the French avant garde metal scene as well. Expectedly then, many are counting on "The Way Of All Flesh" to be the killing blow that follows through and cements the band a place in today's rapidly evolving metal culture.
However, given the somewhat uneven nature of this album, "The Way Of All Flesh" will probably fall a bit short of its lofty ambitions for most. Progression is not so much the issue as the band have indeed evolved, but in doing so they have also inherited some glaring degenerative traits. For instance, the density with which the group are now able to express their multitude of influences is not only imposing at nearly every step, but at times equally as impenetrable too.
A progressive slant serves as a proverbial character arc for the near-mechanical tenacity exhibited via the ultra-tight rhythm section. The resulting momentum is caustic and unrelenting and allows for numerous unified blasts, glancing riffs and wrenched vocals to coalesce and unleash serious damage. And yet the bands ideas still seem a bit more transparent this time around than they should. It's hard not to view much of the material on hand here as a sonic middle ground between Meshuggah and earlier Voivod; and this can hamper the the overall impact of it on the listener.
While it's fairly easy to forgive the Fear Factory-like misfire that is "A Sight To Behold"; it's not as easy to overlook the inherently similar approach to songwriting the band have taken on a song by song basis. Not to mention the general lack of distinction between them and their now far more prevalent influences. Not even a guest appearance by Lamb Of God frontman, and outspoken Gojira fanboy, Randy Blythe immediately sticks out. While in comparison to their peers the group remain a revelation and their instrumental prowess and unhindered technical ability is wholly impressive.
But with a wider scope being shone upon this release, it really seems to lack the genuine inventiveness of the bands past output, at times sounding constrained and lifeless. Undoubtedly many will find "The Way Of All Flesh" to be an enjoyable and challenging listen. But sadly it is one that seems to depreciate in sonic value with each successive listen as the cracks and and limitations of the bands dynamic energy seem entirely manmade, almost as though the group are intentionally holding themselves back.
(3.5 / 5)