Gojira The Way of All Flesh

One of metal’s most anticipated records, The Way of All Flesh by France’s Gojira has all the markings of one of the year’s best: evenly executed death vocals; flawless production by a certified metal head (Machine Head/Soulfly guitarist Logan Mader); a tangible progression from the previous outing (2006’s From Mars to Sirius) without redefining their signature sound; and even a guest appearance from a prominent metal vocalist (Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe). The melodic prog of "Oroborus” and "A Sight to Behold” gives way to the Meshuggah-styled assaults of "Esoteric Surgery,” "Toxic Garbage Island” and "All the Tears.” The ten-minute "The Art of Dying” incorporates all the band’s best elements: Marco Duplantier’s Course of Empire-esque tribal drumming, chordal phasing effects, black metal breaks and a synth-like outro. The slower throb of "Wolf Down the Earth” (and "Yama’s Messengers”) introduces the vicious Morbid Angel-ic title track, which provides five minutes of ambient guitar loops to end the album. With Mexican-styled cover art by front-man Joe Duplantier, The Way of All Flesh proffers well-crafted prog death paeans with enough technical flourishes to keep a government think tank busy for months. (Prosthetic)