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Gojira - "L'Enfant Sauvage" (CD)

Gojira - "L'Enfant Sauvage" CD cover image

"L'Enfant Sauvage" track listing:

1. Explosia
2. L’enfant Sauvage
3. The Axe
4. Liquid Fire
5. The Wild Healer
6. Planned Obsolescence
7. Mouth of Kala
8. The Gift of Guilt
9. Pain is a Master
10. Born in Winter
11. The Fall

Reviewed by on March 27, 2013

"Much like the rhythms of nature often used for inspiration, 'L’enfant Sauvage' crashes like a wave, then recedes like the tide - Gojira’s music is truly alive."

What I’ve always admired about the French death prog band Gojira is how the albums flow. Much like the rhythms of nature often used for inspiration, “L’enfant Sauvage” (called “wild child” in French) crashes like a wave, then recedes like the tide - Gojira’s music is truly alive. There’s also a lot of music here with eleven songs that run for more than four minutes each, and usually well over that time.

The album wastes no time in beginning with the heavy music. The aptly-titled first song is indeed an explosion of high-pitched and technical riffs with nasty cuts that scale down. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier roars staunchly before a breakdown of dramatic and sorrowful black metal-sounding riffs. The song seems to come to a close, but a lone strange guitar note threads two songs together. The second half is instrumental, but no less heavy than the first half. Afore a background of menacing metal is one clean guitar playing a simple and serious melody and all eventually fade into the title track. This song is incredibly rich, as there are many elements and layers, but none cover any others up to the point of invisibility. Joe screams that he’s sick of letting modern life rip him away from nature and control his mind.

“The Axe” is just dark and scary with incredibly fast drums by Mario Duplantier. There are no subtle parts here, and I really like the guitars by Joe and Christian with grungy distortion for the melody. The song quickly fades into “Liquid Fire,” which starts off fairly close to its predecessor, but then morphs into a lighter, more optimistic tone and melody, but with no less emotion. “Pain is a Master” has a very different opening for this band. A sound bite of a person speaking in French in a hushed tone plays with the optimistic atmospheric music. When that calmly stops, the metal explodes with fury and tearing riffs as Joe expresses fear of how he’s been attacked. Then the calm melody from the beginning rises through the din to change the tone. The mood of this song is like a rollercoaster.

I could easily describe each song differently as they are just chapters in the story of the album. But it’s just easier to say that Gojira is a master of story-telling and you’ll want to hear the tale for yourself.

Highs: The music flows like it's alive.

Lows: None that I could find.

Bottom line: Gojira pleases again with a unique death/prog sound.

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)