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Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage (Album Review)

Thursday, 21 June 2012 Written by Ben Bland
Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage (Album Review)

When people talk about the great metal bands of our time there are those that will, with any justice, be lost in the mists of time (Bullet for My Valentine) and those that will sadly, but perhaps inevitably, be prematurely forgotten (Cult of Luna). However there will also be those who, without ever compromising their musical integrity, go down as genuinely brilliant bands. Gojira are one such band. Over the course of their career so far they have perfected their unique strand of progressive death metal to the point that 'L’Enfant Sauvage' not only is likely to mark yet another critical peak of Gojira’s career, but another commercial one as well.

ImageOn the face of it, this is the same old Gojira for the most part. Few other bands are able to make technical, brutal music sound this natural. At times they really do sound like they emanate straight from the middle of the planet they strive to protect. The title track is a blistering summation of everything Gojira do best. It’s so heavy that, in the hands of a lesser band, it would probably internally combust and drag most of the universe with it into a gigantic black hole. It’s also stunningly immediate, the riffs sticking in one’s head as quickly as any vocal line or hook ever could.

It may take a couple of listens to realise that Gojira really have evolved their sound on this album. The atmospherics that have always been present in their music are not so much increased in frequency here but more in scope. Take brief instrumental 'The Wild Healer', which sits five tracks in. It’s looping guitar part sounds like the sort of thing you’d get in an M83 song but in the background it seems to quietly be channelling the amp worship of Sleep. It’s not that Gojira have so much learned new tricks here, it’s just that they have managed to integrate their more textural side far more successfully than ever before.

It’s hard to pick out highlights from this record. Every track here is straight out of the top draw but the epic 'Liquid Fire' and the sinister 'Born in Winter'/'The Fall' combination that closes out the record do stick out right from the first listen. Whether this record will appeal to hardcore Gojira fans in the same way that 'From Mars to Sirius' or 'The Way of All Flesh' may be open to a bit of debate. Whether this is, taking the most objective stance possible, the best thing the band have ever put their name to is a different issue. Most metal bands would kill to release an album this good. This is what cements Gojira’s legacy. This is what defines them as one of the greats.

'L’Enfant Sauvage' is out on Monday 25th June via Roadrunner. Gojira tour the UK briefly next week.

Gojira UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon June 25th 2012 - The Corporation, Sheffield, Sheffield
Tue June 26th 2012 - O2 Academy 2 Birmingham, Birmingham
Wed June 27th 2012 - O2 Academy Islington, London

Click Here to Compare & Buy Gojira Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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