Mandatory Metal: 5 Essential Gojira Songs

Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Gojira, those French-born progressive metal titans with their scraping riffs, epic song structures, positive spirit and environmental vision. Gojira are at the height of their powers and working hard on a follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2016 album Magma — until the group drops new material that will likely invalidate this list, these classic cuts are the ones we consider to be their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.

“Ocean Planet”
ALBUM: FROM MARS TO SIRIUS

The explosive lead cut off Gojira’s breakthrough 2005 album, “Ocean Planet” opens with whale songs before unleashing one of the most massive riffs in recent memory.
Sample lyrics: “Enlightened demons/Are taking me by the hand/Approaching me/The great eye speaking.”

“VACUITY”
ALBUM: THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

First off, the main riff is a stomping groove of elephantine proportions. “Vacuity” showcases a band willing and able to strip down and streamline in the service of maximum impact.
Sample lyrics: “Borrow this body for a lifetime, earthly material/My soul unraveled out of mental/The shell returns to dust.”

“THE ART OF DYING”
ALBUM: THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

Nearly 10 minutes in length, this crushing, dynamic 2008 epic approaches near-classic-Metallica levels of compositional genius.
Sample lyrics: “Breathing slowly, mechanical heartbeat/Losing contact with the living.”

“BORN IN WINTER”
ALBUM: L’Enfant Sauvage

From from savage, Gojira indulged in their mellower, more introspective side on this L’Enfant Sauvage standout. The result is revelatory to this day.
Sample lyrics: “All was created out of the night/We’re all born from the burst of a star.”

“SILVERA”
ALBUM: MAGMA

Urgent and politically charged, Magma’s second track sounds almost System of a Down-esque in some of its hooky melodies, but the crushing riffery and weedling leads are all Gojira.
Sample lyrics: “Dead bodies falling from the sky/We are the ape with the vision of the killing/A rain of shame that fills the mines/No other blood in me but mine.”