Gojira "L'Enfant Sauvage" — 5 out of 5 stars
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 08:39:32
Every legendary band makes a record that proves to be a turning point for not only themselves but their genre at large.
Metallica's Master of Puppets is the perfect example. Another is Mastodon's Leviathan. In both cases, the mainstream embraced the respective artists for exactly what they are, and they simply continued to dictate their own course from there on out. Nothing else mattered at that point for either. Simultaneously, notoriety and widespread critical acclaim resulted. Gojira's fifth album and first for Roadrunner Records, L'Enfant Sauvage, is one of those earth-shattering, groundbreaking, and indisputably revolutionary albums.
Everything fans know and love about Gojira remains intact. The guttural guitar rumble, the mind-numbing double bass drumming, the otherworldly, off-kilter instrumentation, and Joe Duplantier's poetically pummeling lyrics are all present. However, everything cascades into one thought-provoking and strangely inviting vision. That's what makes L'Enfant Sauvage a true classic.
The almost seven-minute "Explosia" blows the doors open with a polyrhythmic assault powerful enough to wake the dead. Joe's guitars and vocals entwine in one psychedelically brutal assault as his brother Mario's drums rapturously rupture the heavens. Christian Andreu remains the perfect six-string foil to Joe as Jean-Michel Labadie holds down a thunderous bass groove. The title track thrashes and burns in and out time signatures, while the instrumental "The Wild Healer" hypnotizes and haunts. "Pain is a Master" commences with resounding clean tones before descending into one of the heaviest moments in the band's career at light speed.
The intro to "Born in Winter" entrances with ethereal tones mounting calculatedly as Joe masterfully reaches a low register vocally. It's a hazy and heavy jam emblematic of the group's evolution. "The Fall" paints a staggering dystopian picture to close out this head trip. To say the least, it ends with a bang.
Like some kind of death metal Led Zeppelin, Gojira managed to embrace where they came from while pushing the envelope well past any and all boundaries and expectations. As a result, they've made a timeless record and one of the best of 2012.
Have you heard L'Enfant Sauvage?