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Somewhat lethargic feeling...
on 18 January 2013
Gojira have never really excited me as much as they should have, I feel. Besides "From Mars to Sirius" (a good album, full of variety), I've found their albums rather laborious to listen to; repetitive in many parts, mostly unrelenting in their "wall of sound" dynamic and with monotous vocals. Still, I've always admired the tightness between the playing of the different musicians and their willingness to experiment with angular, polyrhythmic riffs and electronic elements.
So what of this album? I'm afraid it leaves me with the same sense of wasted potential as other Gojira albums. The musicians are obviously talented yet the songs contain riffs that often out-stay their welcome, as well as sounding suspiciously similar to other riffs contained within the album. The sense of aggression seems to have been tempered too, with Gojira sounding like they're occassionally going through the motions with songs that can seem as if they are lethargically plodding along, instead of either transcending into textural expirimentation or ferociously kicking you in the face. I also note that the bouncy, almost hip-hop drum rhythms that made Gojira a more unique proposition seem to be decling in frequency.
It's not a "bad" album per se. It's done with professionalism and a high quality of musicianship and Joe Duplantier should be commended for his philosophical lyrics that don't fall prey to the adolescent, mindless nihilism that some bands indulge in, mistakenly believing their peurile texts to be some expression of deep philosophical sensitivity. Nevertheless, "L'enfant Sauvage" once again fails to live up to the bar of thoughtful, textured brutality set by "From Mars to Sirius."
We know Gojira are capable of brilliance, it's just a shame that the brilliance is the exception, not the norm.