The Way of All Flesh (album)

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The Way of All Flesh
Gojira - The Way of All Flesh - 2008.jpg
Studio album by Gojira
Released 13 October 2008
Genre Technical death metal, progressive metal, groove metal
Length 75:07
Label Listenable, Prosthetic
Producer Joe Duplantier
Gojira chronology
From Mars to Sirius
(2005)
The Way of All Flesh
(2008)
The Flesh Alive
(2012)

The Way of All Flesh is the fourth studio album by French progressive death metal band Gojira. The album was released on October 13, 2008 in Europe via Listenable Records and on October 14 in the US through Prosthetic Records. It sold around 4,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at number 138 on the Billboard 200 chart.[1] It also reached no. 1 on the Top Heatseekers chart and no. 21 on the Top Independent Albums chart.[2] The album was recorded at the band's home studio while Joe Duplantier produced it. The drums were recorded in Los Angeles and engineered by Logan Mader, who also mixed and mastered the album. The cover features artwork created by vocalist Joe Duplantier, who was responsible for the artwork on past albums.

Writing and composition[edit]

Joseph Duplantier revealed to Total Guitar magazine that the album deals with their vision about life and death. "The Way Of All Flesh is everything we have to go through until death. I’m 30 years old now and it’s the first time as a human being that I’ve thought abut my own death philosophically, and the time that I have to spend here on earth. It’s something that we’re all concerned about. But it’s almost taboo. You don’t go to a party and talk about death right?”[3]

Duplantier also references the bands that Gojira have toured with as well as the environment and landscape of the band's hometown Bayonne as influences on the writing of this album.[3]

Randy Blythe from the American band Lamb of God appeared as a guest vocalist on the song "Adoration for None."

At the end of the song "The Art of Dying", there is a small part that is played backwards. If backmasked, the section would bear a resemblance to the song "Esoteric Surgery", which is then repeated at the end of that very next track. A similar technique is used at the end of "Wolf Down the Earth."

Release and promotion[edit]

On 6 October 2008, a music video was released for the song "Vacuity", produced by Julien Mokrani and Samuel Bodin.[4] The video was shot near the band's hometown in France, and starred the Duplantiers' cousin, actress Claire Theodoly.[5]

On 11 January 2009, Gojira released a second music video from the album, an animated video for "All the Tears", illustrated by Jossie Malis.[6]

In March 2013, Listenable Records made a double vinyl format of the album available for pre-order, with the official release date listed as 29 April 2013; 250 copies each of blue and white vinyl were manufactured.[7]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4.5/5 stars[9]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[10]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[11]
Blabbermouth.net 8.5/10 stars[12]
MetalSucks 4.5/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork Media 6.0/10[14]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[15]
Spin 3/5 stars[16]
Sputnik Music 4.5/5 stars[17]
Terrorizer 8/10 stars (Nov 2008)

Critical reception[edit]

The Way of All Flesh was met with generally favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic (a review aggregator site which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 from music critics), based on 7 critics, the album has received a score of 67/100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".

Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic wrote that "by the time it finally emerged in late 2008, Gojira's fourth full-length successfully met most all of the understandably heightened expectations head on". Writing for Blabbermouth, Keith Bergman described the album was "more opaque than anything — oppressive and suffocating in its world-enveloping tone, massive and clanking in rhythm, giving up its dynamic secrets only after hard, painful slogs through the frozen mire of its glowering groan. But once you've broken through, it's quite a new landscape these madmen have blasted out of the tundra for the rest of us."

Pitchfork's Cosmo Lee wrote a more lukewarm review of the album, praising the strong performances as well as the subject-matter and "humanity" of the album's ecological lyrical themes, but argued that "this humanity doesn't translate to the music. The performances are flawless, but overly so. Everything is polished to a gleaming sheen. [...] Without edges, heat, or blood, though, such punishment is joyless. To their credit, Gojira avoid metal's tonal clichés in favor of open-ended abstraction. But it's cold and distant, unbefitting of the passionate lyrics. Undoubtedly, this material is better live, where the band has a fearsome reputation. There, the images are of raised fists and flying hair. Here, the images are of plastic discs and 1's and 0's."

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Decibel Top 40 Albums 2008
LA Weekly Top 10 Metal Albums 2008
[19]
Metal Hammer Top 50 Albums 2008
PopMatters The Best Metal Albums 2008

Track listing[edit]

Track listing adapted from liner notes.[22] All lyrics written by Joe Duplantier, except where noted, all music composed by Joe Duplantier and Mario Duplantier, except where noted.

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Oroborus"     J. Duplantier, M. Duplantier & Christian Andreu 5:21
2. "Toxic Garbage Island"       4:06
3. "A Sight to Behold"       5:09
4. "Yama's Messengers"       4:03
5. "The Silver Cord" (instrumental)     2:31
6. "All the Tears"       3:40
7. "Adoration for None" (feat. Randy Blythe) J. Duplantier & Randy Blythe   6:19
8. "The Art of Dying"       9:54
9. "Esoteric Surgery"       5:44
10. "Vacuity"       4:51
11. "Wolf Down the Earth"       6:25
12. "The Way of All Flesh"       17:03
Hidden track

The final song and title track of the album, "The Way of All Flesh," contains a hidden instrumental song. The main piece of the track ends at 6:51 and the hidden songs starts in at 12:33 giving the song a period of silence lasting 5:42. The song contains complex layers of ambient guitar sounds with various echo and reverb effects. This song ends promptly at 17:03 and closes the album.

The original vinyl version does not contain this track; it ends at 6:51. The 2013 vinyl release contains the hidden track.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Blabbermouth: GOJIRA's 'The Way Of All Flesh' Lands On Billboard Chart". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  2. ^ "The Way of All Flesh - Gojira | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  3. ^ a b Cracknell, Nick (June 12, 2008). "Gojira's Studio Deja Vu". MusicRadar. Total Guitar. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ "GOJIRA: 'Vacuity' Video Available". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  5. ^ "GOJIRA: New Audio Interview With JOSEPH DUPLANTIER Available". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  6. ^ "Gojira: 'All The Tears' Animated Video Available". Blabbermouth.net. 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  7. ^ Gojira - The Way of All Flesh Double Vinyl Pre Order !!!!! listenable.net. Retrieved on 9 March 2013.[dead link]
  8. ^ "The Way of All Flesh reviews at". Metacritic. October 14, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ Bowar, Chad. "The Way of All Flesh review". About.com. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "The Way of All Flesh review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  11. ^ "The Way of All Flesh review". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  12. ^ Bergman, Keith. "The Way of All Flesh review". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (October 15, 2008). "A REVIEW AS RETARDED AS GOJIRA’S THE WAY OF ALL FLESH IS GOOD". MetalSucks. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ Lee, Cosmo (November 26, 2008). "The Way of All Flesh review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ Begrand, Adrien (November 2, 2008). "The Way of All Flesh review". PopMatters. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ Gross, Joe (November 6, 2008). "The Way of All Flesh review". Spin. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ Schroer, Brendan. "Gojira The Way of All Flesh". Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Decibel's Top 40 Albums Of 2008 | Sputnikmusic". www.sputnikmusic.com. November 27, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  19. ^ Freeman, Phil (December 22, 2008). "Top 10 Metal Albums of 2008". LA Weekly. LA Weekly. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Metal Hammer's top 50 albums of 2008, numbers 6 through 4". Metal Hammer. 2008-12-22. Retrieved on 2009-09-03. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. 
  21. ^ Begrand, Adrien (December 9, 2008). "The Best Metal Albums of 2008". PopMatters. PopMatters. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  22. ^ The Way of All Flesh (CD liner). Gojira. Prosthetic Records. 2008. p. 9. 
  23. ^ Lamb of God Frontman To Guest On New Gojira Album blabbermouth.net. 2008-07-10. Retrieved on 2009-08-11