Review : Gojira - L’Enfant Sauvage
GuardianFrance's Gojira have established themselves as one of heavy metal's most wildly creative and cerebral forces. Their fifth studio album sustains their trademark blend of unfathomable heaviness, structural invention and ecological-cum-existential poetry while subtly enhancing its dramatic and emotional impact. As fans have come to expect, songs such as labyrinthine opener Explosia and the scabrous, melancholic trawl of Planned Obsolescence eschew metal cliches in favour of exhilarating percussive twists and turns, churning dissonance and deft flashes of melody. The uninitiated may detect shades of Killing Joke amid the epic, tectonic grind of Mouth of Kala and the skittering menace of the title track, but overall this is a ferociously original piece of work that reaches its electrifying zenith on The Gift of Guilt: six minutes of sledgehammer sorrow built from riffs that sound like warning shots fired from the planet's doomed and turbulent core. This is metal taken to a higher plane of brilliance....full text
MetalinjectionIf you had asked me several years ago if I ever thought a band like France’s Gojira would be signing to the same label as Slipknot and Trivium and opening up for Metallica, I would have laughed. But after constant praise from critics and fans alike, it makes perfect sense that a band simply this good and consistent should finally be recognized as the international force they’ve been destined to be since 2005’s epic release, From Mars to Sirius. Since then, the band has been winning over fans one show at a time and solidifying their now instantly recognizable take on both groove and death metal. Now in 2012, a time in which groove has become the focal point for countless metal bands, Gojira have managed to make a slightly more accessible album with L’Enfant Sauvage, their major label debut on Roadrunner Records. Mind you, they’re still leaving most of their peers in the dust.
Major label debuts can often divide a fan base, especially in the metal genre. Hell, it certainly happened when Mastodon released Blood Mountain. While Gojira may lose a few older fans due to the fact that frontman Joe Duplantier’s vocals have taken a more melodic tinge on this new album, it’s only a minor tweak to his already instantly recognizable voice. There’s still plenty of unadulterated rage on tracks like “Explosia” and “Planned Obsolescence”. All of the familiar elements one should come to expect from a Gojira album are here in spades. There are catchy riffs aplenty, pick slides and pinch harmonics up the wazoo, loads of memorable vocal melodies, and drum wizard Mario Duplantier’s positively dominating drum performance. L’Enfant Sauvage never derails into superfluous prog wankery, and certainly takes time with each passing riff. The prime example of this would probably be in “The Axe”, where Gojira finds the money riff and tactfully rides it out for the last third of the song. It’s simple, effective, and should get stuck in your head for weeks to come....full text
BbcGojira have such a pedigree that they’ve had a superlative created especially for them. In some circles, exceptional events are described as “Gojiramazing” (Google it if you want). The phrase stems from the French quartet’s ability to always perform to a jaw-dropping standard, whether that be live or on record.
Such consistency has continued through to this, the progressive death metallers’ fifth album. That the personnel involved is the same today as it was in 1996 is certainly one of the reasons for Gojira’s splendid reliability; and it’s also one of the reasons L’Enfant Sauvage is yet another metal masterpiece.
Opening with the absurdly heavy Explode, the trademark squealing guitars and drummer Mario Duplantier’s choppy, unpredictable rhythms descend into iron-chewing thunder before singer/guitarist Joe Duplantier shreds his throat with the kind of dangerously consummate ease that we’ve become accustomed to....full text
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