Release Date: Jun 26, 2012
Record label: Roadrunner
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
France'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.
A little less than halfway through L'Enfant Sauvage, the excellent fifth album from French metal masters Gojira, the tone shifts dramatically. For the first four tracks, the technically sophisticated band extends a blitz of intensity, with drummer Mario Duplantier sending up rapid, precise salvos from behind the field-marshal bark of his brother Joseph. But during the 108-second "The Wild Healer", Mario slows to a steady snare-and-cymbal trot, the guitars circling overhead in two repetitive riffs.
Gojira are currently considered the alpha and omega of Gallic metal—a French phoenix that arose from their home shores to spread their socially aware lyrical message and menacing musicianship worldwide. If you were to believe popular mainstream metal publications and fans you would be led to think that Gojira were, and are, the only French metal band in the history of the world to ever exist. In fact, the French metal scene is a veritable breeding ground for all genres of extreme metal spanning inverted, occult black metal (Deathspell Omega, Arkhon Infaustus), jack-hammering, progressive death metal (Gorod, Hacride) and beyond to the idealistic world created by Neige and his Alcest project.
Now signed to the Roadrunner Records label that introduced the world to the brutal sounds of Sepultura, Machine Head, and Fear Factory, French metal quartet Gojira's fifth studio album, L'Enfant Sauvage, is as ferocious, frenetic, and fearless as anything their obvious influences have put their names to. Kicking off with the appropriately titled "Explosia," Joe Duplantier's tortured howls, brother Mario's pummeling beats, and Christian Andreu's shredding staccato riffs prove almost immediately that despite the recent talk of a more philosophical and personal record, they haven't mellowed since their major-label transition. Co-produced with Josh Wilbur, the follow-up to 2008's The Way of All Flesh sticks to a pretty similar breakneck speed throughout, but their fondness for the dramatic and their intriguing proggy tendencies ensure it avoids becoming too one-note.
A typically Gojiramazing new album from the French metallers. Raziq Rauf 2012 Gojira 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.
Song, the universal tongue, camouflages most accents, but not always that of Joseph Duplantier, this French quartet's monarch. With co-everything/drummer Mario Duplantier and second shredder Christian Andreu, the titular Wild Child produces a tight-knit tonal palette on Gojira's fifth album, the titanic propeller riff of the title track tomahawking back on both "Mouth of Kala" and the melted bends on "The Gift of Guilt." Clean vox dilute the finale, with its hints of fellow Gauls Alcest ("Born in Winter"), but L'Enfant Sauvage, like almost five-hour DVD/CD combo The Flesh Alive, is the merde. .