Gojira - The Link review



Reviewer:
9.0

376 users:
8.05
Band: Gojira
Album: The Link
Release date: April 2003


01. The Link
02. Death Of Me
03. Connected
04. Remembrance
05. Torii
06. Indians
07. Embrace The World
08. Inward Movement
09. Over The Flows
10. Wisdom Comes
11. Dawn


Every Gojira album has its own certain personality, its own certain theme of sorts. While the musical formula generally remains the same - the whole progressive/death/groove sound has been their signature since the beginning - the atmosphere is the thing that often changes with every release. This has become even more apparent on their later releases; for instance, The Way Of All Flesh is a much colder and darker album that deals with the concept of death in its various forms and guises. And then there's the incredibly expansive From Mars To Sirius, which revels in combining brutal riffs with environmental lyrics and more spacious arrangements. But as far as I'm concerned, the most unique vibe we've ever gotten out of Gojira was the tribal feel that encompasses The Link. I mean, it's right there in the name of the album... The Link. More specifically, the sound of the record seems to link the primal qualities of ancient folklore and minimalist percussion with the intense prog-death riffage we're used to from Gojira.

The result is an incredibly unique album that constantly benefits from its distinctive theme. The interludes "Connected" and "Torii" are definitely the most distilled and pure representations of the album's theme, but the odd instrumentation even bleeds into several other tracks. The title track immediately hits you with some tribal percussion before it kicks into the clanking metal rhythm that drives it, and the closing instrumental "Dawn" juxtaposes rapid-fire tremolo picking with a looming sense of sorrow in the melodies as sound clips of the wilderness eventually take over. These songs are able to sandwich several memorable metal tunes - such as the crushingly doom-laden "Inward Movement" and the breakdown-centric tremolo fest "Remembrace" - and unlike Terra Incognita before it, there's a greater sense of consistency and cohesiveness. Almost every song is keen on supporting the album's greater vision, even during the most heavy and thunderous moments.

Speaking of the progression from Terra Incognita, this album also expands upon the environmentally-conscious and philosophical elements from that album - something that would obviously become even more prominent on From Mars To Sirius after it. Aside from the obvious musical ties to nature in the percussion and various nature-based sound clips, there's a lot of talk about compassion and embracing your surroundings on the record. While that might sound a bit too flowery or pretentious for some tastes, it's never presented in a way that makes you forget who Gojira are and what they stand for. If anything, this all serves as a logical bridge from Terra Incognita to From Mars To Sirius; however, it's worth noting that - for how much I love this album - there are still some growing pains here and there. For one thing, "Dawn" does go on a bit too long and could have used about 2 or 3 minutes worth of condensing to get its point across. Also, for as brutal and intense as "Wisdom Comes" is, it just sounds like a leftover from the heavier and more one-dimensional side of their debut album rather than representing a step forward in their sound. Granted, that tremolo in the slower spots is pretty damn cool.

While I can concede that From Mars To Sirius is a better record overall, I urge you all to hear The Link if you haven't given it a fair shake. It's not the most consistent album in Gojira's catalogue, but it's probably the most unique one due to its strange atmosphere and unorthodox songwriting. The Link is one hell of an underrated album, and it was just the stepping stone they needed to reach the upper echelon of 21st century progressive metal.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Written by Necrotica | 06.05.2020


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 24 users
07.05.2020 - 01:08
DeliciousDishes
It's really really rare for me to see a Gojira opinion I just fully agree with, but you have done it. This album is very unique in it's atmosphere and I love how the percussion is handled. It's simultaneously uplifting, mysterious, airy but then also incredibly heavy. Indians might very well be the heaviest song in their catalogue, despite the production on this not really bringing it out as much as on the two releases after this, or perhaps because of that.
Great review overall, really liked both of them so far. Keep it up!
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07.05.2020 - 01:15
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Pretty underrated album compared to the rest of their stuff after this.

Now I can't wait to read your From Mars To Sirius one.
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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07.05.2020 - 09:08
nikarg
Mod
Welcome to Metal Storm! I really enjoyed both of your reviews and, like Radu said, I am looking forward to the next one but also to the one for Magma, which is my second favourite Gojira album after From Mars.
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07.05.2020 - 10:58
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 07.05.2020 at 09:08

Magma, which is my second favourite Gojira album after From Mars.

Blasphemy
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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07.05.2020 - 11:37
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 07.05.2020 at 10:58

Written by nikarg on 07.05.2020 at 09:08

Magma, which is my second favourite Gojira album after From Mars.

Blasphemy


I warmed to Magma (well, most of it, there's a couple of bleh trachs) over time, but The Way Of All Flesh and From Mars To Sirius are way ahead of any of their other records in terms of personal enjoyment
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07.05.2020 - 17:36
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Good review.

Quote:
While I can concede that From Mars To Sirius is a better record overall, I urge you all to hear The Link if you haven't given it a fair shake. It's not the most consistent album in Gojira's catalogue, but it's probably the most unique one due to its strange atmosphere and unorthodox songwriting


It's true that I didn't dig "The Link" and "Magma" as much as "L'Enfant Sauvage" and "From Mars To Sirius", but what I can recollect that "The Link" came across as more experimental record than a technical wankfest like Sauvage and Sirius.
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08.05.2020 - 18:34
IH8Hipsters
My favorite Gojira album! Death of Me is my favorite on this album and one of my favorite Gojira songs. Mario is a monster even by his standards on that one!
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09.05.2020 - 23:52
DeliciousDishes
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 07.05.2020 at 17:36

a technical wankfest like Sauvage and Sirius.

If there's one thing I could never describe Gojira as, it's technical wankery? Their guitar work is the opposite of flashy. Sauvage has songs that are mostly chugging and it focuses on atmosphere, while Sirius is more of a groove album (here ig you can argue the technical aspects sometimes, but it really is more of a riff-fest?). The only thing that makes them prog is the song structures I'd say, not the technicality. At least unless you wanna argue that Mario's drums alone make it all this
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