July 26, 2012 by Beldrac
Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
2m:39s = 🙂
Gojira’s last album, “The Way of all Flesh” was probably their entry into the big leagues of Metal, and by big leagues I mean big, big leagues. They were threatening stardom on “From Sirius to Mars” but were still lurking underground and most metalheads were blissfully unaware that the next big thing was about to rise up and bully everything else into submission. In the last four years they’ve become one of the most talked-about bands in the world, and this year presents us with “L’Enfant Sauvage” which loosely translated I guess, means “wild child.”
I’ve probably listened to this album at least thirty times and one thing is for sure – this is Gojira at its biggest and meanest yet. ”L’Enfant Sauvage” is absolutely pounding at most times and I’d say their darkest album to date; while the previous albums had an aura of idealism, I sense this album speaks about a much more realistic view of the world. Generally it’s slower paced than the other two albums and there’s not a lot of the fast thrashing Gojira threw at us with song like “Adoration for None”, “Art of Dying” and “From the Sky.” This makes the album feel slightly ponderous as you make your way through and you have to be patient with the finer nuances to crawl out and slowly tie you down into a vice grip. Initially the album is somewhat unpredictable in that you don’t know where the song’s going until suddenly one of those typical Gojira riffs comes along and pulls you this way and that.
I jumped on the Gojira bandwagon with “From Mars to Sirius” and even though this album is actually a slight disappointment to me personally, it’s still going to be contender for album of the year, and will keep bashing at my eardrums for a number of years to come. So why is it a slight disappointment? Simply put, it didn’t blow me away, the relentlessness of the previous two albums is missing, that relentlessness which still leaves my brain slightly pulped but pleasured.
There are some standout songs on here: “Explosia” sets the album of to an…explosive start, the title track is excellent and “Liquid Fire” and “The Gift of Guilt” are some of the best they’ve ever written. “The Wild Healer” is a great interlude before “Planned Obsolescence” knocks your head back spectacularly and “Born in Winter” is the one track that really harks back to that floating-blissfully-dead-in-space atmosphere of “From Sirius to Mars.” I managed to get hold of the special edition of the album which contains a couple of bonus tracks. I cannot understand why these tracks were left off the regular edition of the album, the songs are excellent and brings my brain slightly closer to that critical meltdown I so desired of this album. If this is down to marketing then it’s bullshit…special editions i.m.o. should contain stuff like DVDs (which this one does), re-recording of older songs etc. and not extra new tracks.
To sum up, Gojira has confirmed their place on top of the Metal world with this album, of that there can be no doubts. It’s full of energy, passion, power, and emotion, the production is perfect and execution, as you can expect, is faultless. This album is one that requires a lot of attention to really open up and the finer detail is what makes it great. One of my favourite parts of the album is on “The Gift of Guilt” where the subtlety of the extra notes introduced into the riff around 3m28s inevitable perks my ears and makes me smile. My initial fears that their sudden rise to fame over the last four years would contribute to them releasing a more accessible record “for the masses” have been thoroughly quashed. One thing that i.m.o. they improved on is the less clinical nature of the sound – in my review of “The Way of All Flesh” I wrote: “in the end the album was a little too produced for my liking and instead of the big filthy Godzilla swatting away everything in its path, it is instead destroying Tokyo with lasers and precision guided rockets.” “L’Enfant Sauvage” is the more savage side of Godzilla, ripping down all in its path and systematically tearing its way through Tokyo to the horror of the screaming populace.