Gojira
L'Enfant Sauvage


3.5
great

Review

by Eli Kleman EMERITUS
June 20th, 2012 | 615 replies | 62,300 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In shedding some of their baggage, Gojira have found purpose. "L'Enfant Sauvage" is the band's strongest outting to date and a fine metal record overall.

Admittedly it has always been a tad ironic that Gojira has been tagged as “progressive,” considering the French metal act is anything but. Almost complacently, the band has clung to its bare-bones “heaviness” with gusto, doing little to truly expand the sound that has made them a powerhouse in the genre. With a passionless delivery Gojira has released four albums, each of which has been met with decidedly polarizing criticism. From Mars to Sirius has been the band’s most acclaimed record to date, and by far the most experimental, as 2008’s The Way of All Flesh saw a regression in terms of intriguing songwriting. However, instead of the promised EP, Gojira have rather surprisingly released their fifth studio album. Thankfully, the band has seemingly looked towards their past to help them make a better future, with L’Enfant Sauvage being the most impressive outing to date.

L’Enfant Sauvage is a Gojira album through and through. The album is unabashedly heavy, with jugging guitar and blaringly harsh vocals, all very akin to metal acts such as Meshuggah and Hacride. With a strong death-metal backbone, the album shares many of the genre’s staples, but with a few added flairs to spice things up. This is where L’Enfant Sauvage excels where other Gojira records have failed. The band has vastly improved the cohesiveness of their music. The album is noticeably shorter than their previous records, giving a very tight and consistent feel. Because of this, a lot of the fat has been trimmed to ensure a much more deliberate sound. Rather than have a glut of uninspired chugging, the album has been crafted so that every moment feels necessary and important. There is less content overall, that is true, but what is here is much more impressive in the long run.

As stated, the time on L’Enfant Sauvage is very well spent. While the first part of the album doesn’t manage to get too far off of the ground, things pick up a bit towards the latter half. The one-two punch of “Explosia” and the eponymous track are mainly to blame, as neither song is particularly arresting. With a lot of filler, the former moves at a crawl, while the repetitiveness of “L’Enfant Sauvage” leaves much to be desired. Yet it is “The Axe” where things really pick up. With a bold and dramatic feeling, the song encapsulates much of what Gojira are doing correctly on the album. Mixing their death-metal centric sound with mild atmospherics and exciting instrumentation, the song is a success, and luckily much of the album is in its vein. “The Gift of Guilt” in particular is a great example of Gojira’s willingness to experiment a bit, and stands as the record’s strongest offering. It’s darker than the rest, but also features plenty of immiscible moments, namely the cathartic climax late into the song. By changing up their formula, Gojira have crafted an album full of excellent material, all of which culminates in some of their finest work to date.

For many, Gojira have been a tough sale. While plenty of people have fawned over the band and their sound, others have been unconvinced. L’Enfant Sauvage is the album that has potential to bring others into the fold. Thanks to some thoughtful songwriting and overall aesthetic changes, the album is shoulders above much of the bands previous work. L’Enfant Sauvage is the sound of a band coming into its own, and it is really something to behold.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 20th 2012



10553 Comments


Gonna catch shit for bad talking this band for much of the review but this review was suspiciously natural to write.

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

MO
June 20th 2012



17353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, I don't find you bad talk them much at all, this is pretty much the criticism they've always received, have a pos

also "jugging" did you mean chugging guitar?

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

zxlkho
June 20th 2012



3424 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I never understood the criticism this band has received. I've loved every album I've heard from them.

bloc
June 20th 2012



34489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've always thought their albums were too long and not varied enough to sit through in one go, but this new one is really really good.

Digging: Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead

MyWife
June 20th 2012



367 Comments


eli ur on a roll!!!!

album does, indeed, leave much to be desired

MyWife
June 20th 2012



367 Comments


every moment feels necessary and important





Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012



5611 Comments


huge pos.

Absolutely terrific opening paragraph, at last someone wrote about how overrated Gojira are (in their last two albums, at least).

Excellent review overall.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

StormChaser
June 20th 2012



254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This one's a grower, much like FMTS, while TWOAF was like an instant masterpiece to me. That doesn't mean this one doesn't live up to it, or FMTS, this is amazing. The review is cool too, I especially like your praising of The Gift of Guilt, though Born in Winter is my fav.

every moment feels necessary and important

W477ZY
June 20th 2012



67 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Overrated Voivod? Gee, it almost sounds like you're saying everybody (and there are many) who find Gojira's last two albums amazing are wrong.

Excellent review. Don't know if I like this as much as TWOAF yet or not.

tom6
June 20th 2012



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Your review disgusts me in every single way, as TWOAF is much better than this, Explosia and L'Enfant are the best two songs in the album, Gojira is one of the most interesting death metal bands around nowadays and 3.5, really?

But pos for god writing and making some excellent points. Especially about the length - this is by far the easiest Gojira album to listen through all the way.
Shorter death metal = better death metal.

MO
June 20th 2012



17353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DISGUSTED!!!!!

MyWife
June 20th 2012



367 Comments


another person to say that this is death metal seals the doom of humanity

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 20th 2012



10553 Comments


But pos for god writing



Thanks but I don't think I've reached deity level yet.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 20th 2012



10553 Comments


another person to say that this is death metal seals the doom of humanity



While the band isn't straight-up death metal, it's ridiculous to ignore that there is a definite influence

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012



5611 Comments


Overrated Voivod? Gee, it almost sounds like you're saying everybody (and there are many) who find Gojira's last two albums amazing are wrong.

Okay, I used the word "truth", whereas I probably shouldn't have, I will edit my comment accordingly.

Yes I think Gojira are overrated, especially in view of the bands they are compared to.

I mean, come on, Gojira next to Meshuggah?...

Or - as some Greek music journalists wrote - Gojira next to Morbid Angel?...

KILL10
June 20th 2012



120 Comments


*In shredding some of their baggage

W477ZY
June 20th 2012



67 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"another person to say that this is death metal seals the doom of humanity"

"While the band isn't straight-up death metal, it's ridiculous to ignore that there is a definite influence"

I guess this is why people refer to them as progressive metal? Because they are experimenting within a genre. Maybe they should sing in falsetto and bring lots of keyboards.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 20th 2012



10553 Comments


Thank you voivod ; ]


I bring up the criticisms in the first paragraph because there is a massive amount of people who really find this band to be boring. Their marathon albums are damn near painful.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 20th 2012



10553 Comments


"I guess this is why people refer to them as progressive metal? Because they are experimenting within a genre. Maybe they should sing in falsetto and bring lots of keyboards."

Absolutely nothing progressive about this band

MyWife
June 20th 2012



367 Comments


wazzy did hawks send u 2 keep alive his legacy



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