Gojira was a band that I didn’t even know how to pronounce their name before I actually heard. Like most, I thought it was pronounced like in Spanish with the ‘J’ being pronounced as an ‘H’. I had heard the name a few dozen times before Prosthetic Records sent me From Mars to Serius in 2007, two years after it was released. This was their third full length album and I have honestly not heard their first two, Terra Incognito and The Link. From Mars To Serius really caught my interest and made me eager to hear more from this band that was doing something different during a time when metalcore and deathcore was running strong. The Way of All Flesh was in my top ten of another blog I once edited in 2008. Will L’Enfant Sauvage make my top ten for this year? It’s in the running, but nothing is for sure this early in the game of 2012.l There are still some really great albums I am anticipating.
Upon first listen of LS (I’m tired of typing out the full album name), my very first throughts were, “Yup, this is Gojira”. There was no mistaking their signature sound. Gojira is one of those bands that can truly and honestly say that their sound is unique. While they may sound similar to some other bands in the metal genre, they are one of the few bands that you can quickly distinguish by only hearing a fraction of a song. So how does LS compare to From Mars to Serius and The Way of All Flesh. Let’s not compare them and just focus on the current album and how it compares to itself and Gojira as a band.
L’Enfant Sauvage, as I said, is a Gojira album through and through. Mario Duplantier is one of those drummers that lets you know that he’s not just an average drummer, but an amazing rhythm machine. Alongside Joe Duplantier’s signature vocals and the guitar shenanigans of both Duplantier and Christian Andreu, Gojira do what they do best. They keep you guessing and interested. The signature guitar riffs that I speak of are the galloping, scratchy chugs that are unique to Gojira in that they chug away and then break into melodic pieces that are intriguing. Strangely enough, Gojira can take pinch harmonics, dives, and string scrapes and make them more interesting that the likes of Slipknot and Zakk Wylde. The tapping melodies are also a great way that Gojira keeps their sound fresh without overdoing it.
Mario Duplantier’s rhythm signatures make for an interesting listen along with the guitar riffs. He’s definitely not one that is predictable in the drumming world. Unfortunately Jean-Michel Labadie’s bass playing is not showcased much and I would love to really hear more basslines in the mix of things. Joe Duplantier’s vocals are, well, Joe Duplantier vocals. He does what he does while keeping a fairly unique sound to his singing. The little parts here and there that use a vocoder help keep things interesting without overuse of the effect.
Overall, L’Enfant Sauvage should be a very successful and well received release from the band. The only problem I have with L’Enfant Sauvage is the same problem I have had with previous Gojira albums. I’ll listen to the album a few times and kind of, well, I’ll forget about it. Later I’ll be thumbing through my iPod and play the album and wonder how I have forgotten about it and why I haven’t played it more often. However, with L’Enfant Sauvage I’m thinking that I won’t have this problem as much as I have had with past album and the album is and will get continuous plays throughout the year.
L’Enfant Sauvage is more than a solid release from a band that has ultimately solidified themselves in the metal genre, but an album that proves that a band can continue to progress in a genre that is constantly changing, due to trends, bends, and reinvention. Gojira have released an album that will be most difficult to top in the coming years, but will be a memorable addition to their discography of outstanding releases and musicianship.
If you want to preview the album you can listen to it via the Soundcloud player below courtesy of TheMusic.com.au. If you dig it, support the band by buying the album on Tuesday, June 16th from Roadrunner Records. You can also check out the track by track with Joe Duplantier in the two-part video below.