Review Summary: Gojira OWNS you.
Gojira - L'enfaunt Sauvage
I had Gojira in my hard disk since quite some time.almost 3 years i guess. I'd played a few songs from their earlier albums,The Link and Terra Incognita but never really connected with them and classified them as just another generic death metal band with sludgy riffs and blast beats with a quirky name.
I was so wrong.
in 2010, i thought i'll give it another try,and put a couple of songs from TWOTF on my mp3 and started playing. I have absolutely NO words how i felt when i first heard The Art of Dying. My aural senses were compressed by the sheer power of the instrumentary demonstrated by the Duplantier brothers. It is still my favourite Gojira song and everytime i hear the repeating outro,i get goosebumps. I gave Gojira time and soon they grew on to me. Their craftmanship is outstanding and they truly stand out from all other metal bands out there.
Coming back to the present,I was eagerly waiting for L'enfant Sauvage to be released. Coincidently,it did on my birthday.Once i was free of my errands,i downloaded it and waited to be blown back by them.
I wasnt wrong this time.
L'enfant Sauvage ( The Wild Child in french), is a masterpiece. It brings back the mix of fast and sludgy melodic progressiveness which totally lacks in the scene today. Also, the sheer amount of grooves in this album can bring any classified groove metal band. AND it does more. It combines an amazing blend of melody with the death-metallish tempo. Not melodeath,but a very dark and gloomy tune is there in almost every track.Gojira doesnt stray away from their unique style of composition.
The album starts of with Explosia,which has one of the most amazing album opening riffs i've ever heard. It starts off with some sharp tremolo picking and then continues with a mid-tempo riff which could be any headbangers delight. The drums are over the top and you can feel the energy of Mario. Joe roars over all this and his vocals continue to be a mix of singing with really harsh tones of a death growl. The song has two interludes where the main riff plays and the second guitar plays a slow picking tune over it. The outro is long as usual with the riff continuing till the end for almost 2 minutes. A great start for an album.
The title song comes next. And it is an absolute assault on your neck the moment it starts. The track continues to follow Explosia's riff structure. Mario is amazing as always. He builds up the tension in the song by the way he drums. The song is around 4 minutes long and gets over before you expect more out of it. Although i found the guitars quite dull in this song and it doesnt do justice to Gojira. Overall,a good track but nothing more.
The Axe is the next track and i didnt really like this one. It sounds a lot like Explosia and except the drumming,nothing really struck noteworthy. Nothing special.
Liquid Fire starts off somewhat like The Axe,and i was expecting another disappointing. But the melody in this song soon catches up and turns out to be quite different. There's the use of vocoder in the chorus which kinda reminded me of Cynic.The song drags a bit but it's still one of the best tracks on the album.
The next song,The Wild Healer is an instrumental filler and my mood totally went off after listening to it. it sounds like a happy jingle played on a lead and i dont even know why the band thought of including it in.
By this point my hopes on this album had come down and i was wishing for a miracle track.
Planned Obsolescence saves my mood by having the best drumming in the whole album and amazing riffs. It's quite groovy but the weird vocals at parts were a letdown.The song has many different parts like it's broken down and it works,although there's a 40 second gap at the end for God-knows-what. Apart from that,this song is again one of the best songs in the album.
Mouth of Kala is another amazing song and it brought me to the conclusion that the better half of the album are the last few songs. The vocal melodies here are especially good. Mario slows down here at times but it blends perfectly with the riffs.Again, a trademark long outro with insane drumming and nice grooves.
The Gift of Guilt,my personal fav from this album comes next. The intro is a minute long simple-sounding lead which continues throughout the chorus but the chord progression of the down tuned guitars are enough to take the bar of this song way higher than anything else on the record. It has enough windmill moments and i loved the sudden tempo changes more than other tracks. The song finishes with the intro lead played again repeatedly. This song is performed by Gojira for encores and I'm waiting for that to happen in a couple of weeks.
Another close favourite,Pain is a Master starts off with a sombre lead and has a quite tragic tone. This song screams depression as far as the chorus goes. The vocals are a standout in this track due to a considerable high range Joe reaches.This song is The Art Of Dying of this album.
Born in Winter features a low-key throaty clean vocal performance by Joe. This song is kinda similar to Pain is a Master as far as the setup goes.It's quite repetitive but i dont mind it.
The Fall is the last track and i didnt feel it sounded like a Gojira song. It's a good metal track but i felt its not fitting with the rest of the album. Also,Joe's harsh singing doesnt really match with the track and i would've preferred him growling throughout the song.Not quite the album closer and i would've prefered The Gift of Guilt to take its place. Nevertheless,a listenable track.
Gojira has come up with an album which needs multiple sittings to understand the work gone into it. There might be few misses but overall,its a great album by the french foursome. I really expected some gigantic songs like The Art of Dying or TWOAF or Esoteric Surgery but although they could not achieve that,they came quite close to it but in a different way. Gojira's style is growing and expanding and its noticeable even if it's minimal. Also,a mention of the awesome production. The drums sounded the best among everything and the rest were convincing enough to assault you.
Best Tracks - The Gift of Guilt, Pain is a Master, Explosia, Mouth of Kala.