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

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.

I mean, theoretically, every Gojira fan should be pleased with this record. It is everything a Gojira album should be. Elephant-marching riffs, pummeling drums, those weird guitar screeches and really good vocal lines. By the way, this is probably the best record concerning Joe's vocal performance. Guitar melodies are also present, tempo changes are not uncommon. So what's wrong?, you might ask.

The problem I have with L'Enfant Sauvage is that is sounds forced. Artificial even. It's like everything a fan would want to hear only because a fan would want to hear it and not the band would want to do it. It's as if Duplantier Bros. & Co. applied the rule "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I mean, it works perfectly for Motorhead and a ton of other bands, so why not try it? Well, I love previous Gojira CDs because to me they were something different. They were fresh, passionate and extremely intriguing. And L'Enfant Sauvage is just something that I already know very well. Gojira have become predictable. And maybe that's why I found it really difficult to listen to the whole album at once. I simply knew what was coming next and it became boring.

Okay, so basing on what I've written so far the album rating should be much lower. But after I've swallowed my disappointment, I noticed several positive features of this album. It contains decent songs, for example "Explosia", "Liquid Fire" or the title track. As I've said, the vocal performance by Joe Duplantier is really outstanding, he clearly puts a lot of effort into his job. The production of this album is extremely powerful (even though it might be too "sterile" to some). Mario Duplantier is again doing an amazing job on drums and proves why he's present on many "Top Metal Drummers" lists.

If you've never heard Gojira before, most of the album flaws I've enumerated probably won't bother you or at least will to a smaller extent. However, I consider this album a major letdown. I don't know, maybe it's temporary. I hope so.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 9

Written by s7mon | 08.12.2012


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

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)

Guest review by
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.

published 26.02.2020 | Comments (1)


Comments: 6   Visited by: 206 users
08.12.2012 - 16:16
Account deleted
Well, I didn't like The Way of All Flesh, for me that was the record that sounded too artificial. My problem with this is just that it's too plodding and middling and goes nowhere fast. If the band could somehow consolidate the sound of this, with the song writing of The Way of All Flesh I think they might have a pretty decent record on their hands. As it stands though this is a bit rubbish.
08.12.2012 - 18:28

I agree with your review. Although I haven't listened to this album many times, I feel it's due to its aforementioned predictability. It brings to mind Nevermore's The Obsidian Conspiracy; it may bring aboard some new fans, but for us diehards comes off sounding recycled (or even regurgitated), offering nothing new. I always have hope for the future, but for now The Link will remain my favorite.
09.12.2012 - 12:29

I kinda agree with your review, but last week I saw them live and the new songs fitted really good with
their older stuff. So I guess I need to give this album a second try...
Not my favourite gojira album, that's for sure.
A Servant in Heaven A King in Hell
09.12.2012 - 13:52

5.8??? A bit harsh maybe
24.12.2012 - 23:30

You're spot on with the rating and I agree with a lot of what you said in the review, sounded a bit artificial, wasn't fresh at all. It's a pretty boring and disappointing album overall.
31.03.2021 - 09:17
Gikhar Wizard

What ?!? 5.8 ? it's at least 8 .... and i don't know what you guys are talking about this album not being fresh ... it's an awesome record filled with great songs
In My Opinion Your Opinion is Invalid

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