Of Gojira’s six releases, their second, The Link, is easily the most alien. While the quartet’s debut, Terra Incognita, introduced the intricate
and groove-powered death metal style which has remained their bread-and-butter
ever since, its follow-up has just as much in common with Korn and System of a
Down as it does with Death or Machine Head.
For more recent fans, it’s stunning just how many nu metal-like
tendencies can be found on this album, with zeniths including the dissonant and ominous “Over the Flows”, the swaggering stomp of “Death of Me” and producer
Gabriel Editions’s emphasis on Mario Duplantier’s drum sound. In hindsight,
this experimentation shouldn’t have been a surprise: frontman Joe Duplantier
has a noted fondness for Rage Against the Machine and ‘90s-era Sepultura, while
bassist Jean-Michel Labadie is an avid fan of Deftones.
Of course, this deviation doesn’t mean that The Link isn’t a fantastic album. Its ability
to toss in a ‘90s twist with Gojira’s already-packed methodology makes it one of
their most fascinating and eyebrow-raising feats, while more elitist death
metal fans will still find a ton to cling to thanks to the heaviness of “Inward
Movement”, the speed of “Wisdom” and the pure delight of closing instrumental “Dawn”.