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Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage review

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Band: Gojira
Album: L'Enfant Sauvage
Release date: June 2012

Disc I
01. Explosia
02. L'Enfant Sauvage
03. The Axe
04. Liquid Fire
05. The Wild Healer
06. Planned Obsolescence
07. Mouth Of Kala
08. The Gift Of Guilt
09. Pain Is A Master
10. Born In Winter
11. The Fall
12. This Emptiness [Special edition bonus]
13. My Last Creation [Special edition bonus]

Disc II [DVD: Live At Les Eurockéennes 2009] [Special edition bonus]
01. Oroborus
02. The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe
03. Backbone
04. Love
05. A Sight To Behold
06. The Art Of Dying
07. Drum Solo
08. Clone
09. Flying Whales
10. Toxic Garbage Island
11. Vacuity

Prior to 2008's The Way Of All Flesh, Gojira could almost be called a gimmick band. Get a super heavy riff, make it catchy but fuck with it just a little so as to feel fresh and interesting, have some great drumming underneath, add a little quirky touch, done is your Gojira record.

Now on L'Enfant Sauvage, they sat down in a meeting, chose "Wolf Down The Earth" as their favourite song from The Way Of All Flesh, and built on that. So essentially this means even more simplified guitars, focus on atmosphere and emphasis on emotional impact. Or, you know, what Gojira (who are really not known for their subtle or smart lyrics) would do in a very obvious way. And I think there's some charm to that.

This is a record about not fitting in, exploding with emotion, overcoming those emotions and just general angst - of course paired with a bunch of nature imagery. We have a bunch of chugging, a bunch of still undeniable Gojira riffs (like their tremolos on "The Axe" or the tapping on "The Gift Of Guilt"), synth outros like on The Way Of All Flesh and their new favourite thing of "somber, slow melody over buried chugging" (like on basically every song here). And now you think this all sounds like a very very generic record.

But damn it if Gojira aren't masters of sincerity. They mean this shit and you can tell. They really sell you on their angst. The atmosphere on here almost reminds me of a death metal Wolves In The Throne Room sometimes, with its vastness. There are some legitimate emotional moments on here: "Born In Winter" has a great build-up that leads me to tear up a bit. "The Gift Of Guilt" has this great anthemic quality to it and I don't know any other real song that evokes the same feelings. "Pain Is A Master" even has some nice lyrics that hit harder than they maybe should.

The record has a bit of a pacing problem, the middle being a bit of a snore fest. The chugging really gets repetitive after a while and the record in general lacks the ungodly levels of heaviness from earlier Gojira albums. And yes, it's angsty. Very much so.

But it's a grower and even 8 years later I tend to revisit it from time to time. And I think that should count for something. Not every album has to be a masterpiece or make you feel smart or not take itself seriously and be mindless fun. Sometimes sincerity alone (well, with some great production, great composition and one of the best drummers out there right now) can really mean something.

Written by Desha | 26.02.2020

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Gojira have marked their position on the map of great metal bands with two records: 2005's From Mars to Sirius and 2008's The Way of All Flesh. I consider myself a huge fan of the French commando and these two albums are among my all-time favorites. So you can imagine that my expectations were incredibly high and I expected something absolutely out of this world with Gojira's fifth full-length. And probably this is one of the reasons I found this album to be just?decent.

published 08.12.2012 | Comments (6)

Staff review by
This album is essentially Gojira in a box, one which is tightly and neatly packaged for your convenience. There is little room for maneuvering yet it has sides strong enough to withstand the onslaught of chugging riff savagery contained within. Where previous albums such as From Mars To Sirius were more sprawling affairs this is by far more concise in sound. It is a precise taming of that ear denting chaos the band has exhibited in previous efforts.

published 10.12.2012 | Comments (32)


Comments: 2   Visited by: 20 users
03.03.2020 - 11:24
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I was born in winter Yes.... But well i Never get this band and obsesuon about it.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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04.05.2021 - 09:03
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