Gojira - _L'Enfant Sauvage_
(Roadrunner Records, 2012)
by: Dan Lake (8 out of 10)
"I owe myself life."

The affirmative declaration rises out of a verse in _L'Enfant Sauvage_'s second track, but it might as well open the album. (As opposed to the actual opening line, "Go!", which I suppose sends the same message, albeit somewhat less poetically.) Gojira have long been a powerful band, with potent musical ideas and devastating sonic weight, and now they heighten the experience with humanistic assertions of self-actualization. This focus is especially poignant coming on the heels of _The Way of All Flesh_, the band's 2008 journey into the philosophies and meanings of death. On _L'Enfant Sauvage_, the Frenchmen deliver everything we've come to expect from a Gojira album.

The best records of any genre transport the listener, whether it is from the living room into a kaleidoscope of mental universes or through the various tunnels and textures of the music itself. _L'Enfant Sauvage_ succeeds as a winding pathway of exhausting climbs, blind curves, and terrific leaps. Idiosyncratic sounds invigorate each song: the ghost town twang deep in "Explosia", the title track's tense guitar lead, cyber-vox peeking through "Liquid Fire", the inspired opening line to "The Gift of Guilt", the bubbling clarity of "The Wild Healer" and its dark sibling "Born in Winter", the anguished lumbering of "The Fall". But as always, Gojira achieve the greatest impact when they stretch out into sections of instrumental repetition or unison melodies. At these times, players and listeners alike ruminate on the deeper themes that make extreme music so compelling. Of course, nothing ever truly slows down or smoothes out; relaxed melodies arc over thundering drums or hard-charging chords, with instrumental speeds blurring into contemplation with an ethos akin to that of atmospheric black metal.

Gojira haven't turned any exciting new corners in 2012, but they have packed some impressive modern metal anthems into their latest brain child. They won't be hailed as more aggressive, more experimental, more technical, or more uncompromising, but many will just be happy that it's Gojira, and now there's more.

Contact: http://www.gojira-music.com/

(article published 15/7/2012)

1/8/2009 J Ulrey 8.5 Gojira - The Way of All Flesh
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