Gojira
L'Enfant Sauvage


4.0
excellent

Review

by laterenima USER (3 Reviews)
June 20th, 2012 | 53 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The wild, French, eco-friendly and imaginative child.

Death metal. To the untrained ear, it’s a genre that despite its touted ferocity, is easy to auralize and subsequently generalize what the many death metal bands are destined to sound like - invariably and inevitably, each other. However, to those who actively and regularly listen to more than three or four death metal bands it’s considered to be a place where the some of the most musically innovative and imaginative people express the noise coming from whatever emotions live beneath the sounds which are prone to causing what feel like metaphysical nosebleeds. After all, the most revered of bands of any genre are the bands whose music goes beyond a simple personal message to feel they were packaged, yet certainly not manufactured, as a mission. Gojira are one of these bands.

Prior to this latest and long-awaited release, Gojira sounded like a sporadic, unrefined take on everyone’s favorite Meshuggah. On L’enfant Sauvage, Gojira sound as sporadic and unrefined as they did on earlier albums such as The Way of All Flesh, but no longer should the be seen as Meshuggah’s understudies. While it doesn’t trump their arguable opus in From Mars to Sirius, their latest effort feels as poetically as it is brutally effortless.

Having two of modern metal’s two most inventive guitarists in lead vocalist Joe Duplantier and Christian Andreu, the pick scrapes and harmonics that were once simple compliments to the band’s wealth of riffs are now trademarks of their sound. The opening track ‘Explosia’ begins in standard metal fashion with standard metal riffery, and for a moment feels alarmingly stale. It’s not an opening riff that serves as something that encourages the listener to continue with the album, but because it’s Gojira, there’s always something more around the corner that never fails to deliver. A pick scrape or two? Yeah. Harmonics? Put to effective use. A riff that sounds inspired from a 60s Western overlaid by chugging rhythms and a bass and snare combination that create a musical plateau that’s unlike anything they’ve ever done? It’s evident that from the beginning, Gojira are content to combine convention with innovation in the album’s longest song, at six and a half minutes, without having it feel overlong.

And so continues L’enfant Sauvage. The title track, released months prior to the release, utilizes standard Gojiran fare - shudderingly heavy thanks to brother Mario Duplantier’s ever-present double-kicking and the aforementioned guitarist’s honed tremolo picking - while still tweaking and experimenting with their brand of evolutionary death metal to sound as fresh as they did at their inception. Songs such as ‘Pain is a Master’ would lull an inexperienced listener into believing that, from a subdued and placid intro, a more melodious progression would follow. Those who have listened to Gojira before would know that this is not the case, erupting into a blastbeat that would feel overused if not for how far Mario’s intricacies take their sound. As the album nears its end, ‘Born in Winter’ pushes the band’s boundaries so far that they could be considered conventionally listenable, clean vocals and cleaner-than-usual guitar tones give an expansion their already intelligent, contemplative sound. The track is well-placed to reminisce of ‘From Mars’ which led into ‘To Sirius’, from the eponymous album.
Signs of deterioration, though, are apparent in what once made Gojira feel so fresh. Having previously nailed closing tracks on previous albums, saving the title track for the end on The Way of All Flesh and it being one of the most memorable tracks, ‘The Fall’ falls ironically flat to be the track intended to hold all that came before it. Ultimately, it’s one of the most forgettable songs on the album, standard Gojiran fare not enough what with its pick scrapes and chugging not enough to overshadow how ill-constructed and uninspired it feels. It’s something that ‘Planned Obsolescence’ has elements of also; a series of seriously cool ideas not to be the best song on the album, but to be the best series of cool ideas. Also, ‘The Wild Healer’ is, on first listen, unlike any short interlude they’ve ever attempted before. It must be heard directly after the end of ‘Liquid Fire’ to be believed and personally judged.

Despite these necessary grievances, it remains an record with more than enough to satisfy. Releases from dubiously-dubbed progressive metal acts that have recently moved to Roadrunner such as Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Mastodon had prompted me not to extensively listen to the new releases, but to rediscover what I loved before whatever creative thresholds took over on these albums. With a sound like Gojira’s though, even the smallest attempts to create something more accessible are squandered by their conscious musical evolution and a darkened, yet enlivening tone. With the world of metal now rightfully at their disposal and L’enfant Sauvage set to be their first album to receive the widespread exposure it deserves, Gojira’s mission isn’t accomplished, but is just getting started.


user ratings (877)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
laterenima
June 19th 2012


221 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man, i did not realise how long that paragraph was

KILL8
June 19th 2012


41 Comments


fade said it sucks so it sucks

Rail
June 19th 2012


535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, but that second paragraph is utterly pointless.
Looking forward to hearing this.

Digging: Phaeleh - A World Without

macadoolahicky
June 19th 2012


1835 Comments


Stream?

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012


4435 Comments


The review is really good. You make some good points, though that second paragraph kind of trailed off, but the rest is good writing.
I havent heard this album yet, but as a casual listener of this band, I certainly will check this out.
Have a POS!

MO
June 19th 2012


18784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rules, mouth of kala is tits

Spec
June 19th 2012


27179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta get this. Bet it rules.

Cells
June 19th 2012


1875 Comments


fuck all gojira haters, I know this will rule.

JAXETA
June 19th 2012


779 Comments


kill8? jesus christ kill

scissorlocked
June 19th 2012


3510 Comments


stream, leak or something?

a7c7e7
June 19th 2012


37 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

could completely remove the second paragraph, but otherwise good review. doesn't touch their last album in my opinion

FadedSun
June 19th 2012


1277 Comments


A friend told me to listen to from Mars to Sirius and i couldn't get into it. Is this album any different?

laterenima
June 19th 2012


221 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in retrospect, that second paragraph does indeed make me cringe.

laterenima
June 19th 2012


221 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but no, from mars to sirius is quite like this. initially i couldn't find anything by gojira appealing until the way of all flesh, and from there i could appreciate from mars to sirius.

Sledgehammah
June 19th 2012


21 Comments


Great review. I might have to check this out.

laterenima
June 19th 2012


221 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://themusic.com.au/listen/all/2012/06/19/gojira-lenfant-sauvage/

bloc
June 19th 2012


34873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is incredibly good. I've never been too big into this band but I've really started to change my mind.

Eclecticist
June 20th 2012


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Second half of this album rules, first half is average. Cool release.

CaptainDooRight
June 20th 2012


29487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tits




Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

CaptainDooRight
June 20th 2012


29487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really good review btw bro. Pos hard. Listening to this right now for the first time. On track three so far and can already its solid and excited for the second half as I've heard time again it's the best.



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