#TBT: From Mars to Sirius is GOJIRA's Massive Meaningful Masterpiece
Welcome back to Throwback Thursday! This is the place where we get to indulge in nostalgia and wax poetic about excellent metal of years past. For TBT number 46, we explore the dauntless epic From Mars to Sirius from the inexhaustible Gojira.
GOJIRA'S FROM MARS TO SIRIUS
Release Date: September 2005
Record Label: Prosthetic, Listenable
Relentless and unstoppable, the French juggernauts Gojira are a group so aptly named. From raging blast beats, sickening weighty guitar, and tearing tsunami-like vocals, From Mars to Sirius feels like the king of monsters himself – an unceasing force that pulverizes anything that stands in its wake.
Since their inception in 1996, Gojira (formerly known as 'Godzilla') have honed their sonic craft album by album, carving out for themselves a signature and uncompromising sound. The band's 2005 effort From Mars to Sirius typifies their gale force energy and thoughtful song writing. Coupled with the introduction of more progressive elements, From Mars to Sirius managed to evolve the typical metal elements of post-metal and tech death into an absolutely original and challenging album. Otherworldly to listen to, From Mars to Sirius is melodic and pretty as it is ugly and sludgey. It's no wonder that this was the album that sent Gojira exploding into the international metal spotlight. Check out track "Ocean Planet":
Setting the stage for the rest of the album, "Ocean Planet" forges the path ahead with slow, deliberate, doomy intentions. Featuring much of the album's central theme,"Ocean planet" starts us off on the conceptual journey of a planet's rebirth and introduces us to the now-iconic vocals of Joe Duplantier. Brother to Joe, Mario Duplantier carves out flares of drumming character amid steady blast beats. Capped off with lead guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie, the quartet snagged a place on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time with From Mars to Sirius. Check out track "From the Sky":
One of my favorites off this album, "From the Sky" is masterful piece of work. The song has a indomitable momentum. Framed by subtle changes in key, the mood shifts just slightly, highlighting intelligent lyricism. A story within itself, "Where Dragons Dwell" builds upon that same energy with huge vocal layers and imagery:
As with most of their work, From Mars to Sirius has a strong underlying environmental message as well as themes of war, peace, life, and death. This is evident in the title of the album, as Mars is known as the Roman god of war, and Sirius is often aligned with peace.
My favorite song on the album, "Flying Whales" is thoughtful and progressive. The middle riff of this song is so fucking sick, twisting and churning like a whirlpool. Making using of whale banter as effective soundscaping, "Flying Whales" is reflective of the band as a whole: Huge, looming, unmistakable, and focused on a larger and more meaningful message.
Check out our article on band front-man Joe Duplantier's thoughts on them becoming headliners and making new material:
Also, check out their website for more info on their environmental interests. They have a page just for activism if you're down with that sort of thing. It seems, like the King of Monsters, they are a force for the good of the earth.