I first listened to Gojira by chance on radio many years ago, the song I heard was From The Sky (from their last masterpiece From Mars To Sirius) and I loved it the moment I heard it.
Having gotten into them I was excited like everyone else to hear they were finally making another album after their hard drive mishap with the sea sheppard ep. It is hard in this modern day of music to make a masterpiece, let alone 2, especially when most bands copy a hundred other bands and their sound. Gojira however made their own unique sound, and are instantly recognizable from either their pick scrapes or groovy double bass and riffs.
Big question is: L'enfant Sauvage, is it good? my answer is yes! it is as good as their last masterpiece! Maybe better in some areas, maybe not in some areas, everyone will have their own opinion but no one can deny this album is special. I'll try and break down the songs though this was done by metalhammer already.
The opening track starts off with a instantly recognizable Gojira type riff, and descends briefly into something that reminds me of Meshuggah and their song Bleed. The main verses of the song switch between a bass note and neat finger harmonic (atleast I think that's what it is) but by the end of the song, a baritone guitar kicks in and makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a dark western duel, maybe that's just me, but it's awesome this song offers such variation.
Everyone will have heard this title track, it has a great melody to it with higher notes tremelo picked and then some pretty heavy sections or low note blasts of tremolo picking. The vocals are great and show Joseph Duplantier can add alot of emotion.
This song starts off with tremolo creating a riff akin to a medieval wanderer, then settles into some familiar territory with a quick 3 note chug, triplets? and more emotive vocals and riffs on a emotive side. People can't not like this song.
This is the second song Gojira released publicly and so will probably have been heard. It's about the band members them self and is a more personal song meaning the highly emotive vocals and riffs are nothing short of epic. There is even some use of a vocoder in there last heard in A Sight To Behold (Gojira's last album, The Way Of All Flesh)
The Wild Healer:
In all of Gojira's albums they squeeze in a short instrumental, 1-2 minutes long. A lot of metal albums do this as a filler, and these short songs aren't that great, but Gojira manage to make them short and sweet! This song in particular making use of a very calming and otherworldly tapping riff.
And after that calming song comes this one, starting immediately with a heavy riff and harsh vocals, according to Joesph Duplantier this song was his favourite for vocals, and he felt most comfortable. Being a heavier song everyone should be happy with this one.
Mouth Of Kala:
Or mouth of time as it translates to, for me, this is one of the albums highlights! the opening riff is cold and dark, making it a joy to hear. Or like a metal snake according to Joesph. The song gives me the image of standing in a room full of mirrors. After the dark intro the song moves into a catchy riff that feels like a revolving door as the last of the 3 notes goes higher to lower and back, groovy vocals too. The end feels reminiscent of Gojira's song, Space Time.
Gift Of Guilt:
This song is maybe, one of the best songs Gojira have written. It starts off like oroborus with tapping, but a beautiful and slightly morbid tapping riff, and it's epic; setting the tone for the rest of the song. After the lovely tapping though comes a monotonous and uncompromising amalgamation of guitar, drums and vocals, like a breakdown but nothing scenekid about it due to the sheer heaviness of it all, and of course their signature scrapes bounce off the end of each verse. Unique scrapes at that, good luck trying to replicate them!
The vocals are raw and you may end up head banging or nodding your head a little.
Pain Is A Master:
This song starts off a little slow, and some ambiance and background vocals play like from Gojira's Demo Victim where they seemed to use a sample from the exorcist maybe. The songs soon kicks in with another morbid sounding riff and enjoyable experimental sound.
Born In Winter:
This ones a little different, and starts with low vocals, pretty much singing and a nice little riff with a cleaner sound. I'm sure people with like this song because then half way through, some of the most epic riffs and vocals kick in, like warning of an apocalypse. Enough said!
This is the last song on the normal album, and one of the darkest songs I've heard, and maybe the heaviest from Gojira. It's not heavy like From The Sky, it's a slower paced song compared to some of Nine Inch Nails work by metalhammer. It makes use of low and heavy notes with space between them with some tremelo in the background, nice!
Bonus song 1, it starts off with a 3 piece tremolo pick, and a nice scrapey sweep on the end. Then it settles into the song with melodic tremelo picking and vocals, for a bonus it's a nice song! one not to miss.
My Last Creation:
Bonus song 2, this starts off with a repeated and somewhat catchy note, it's like a finger harmonic but maybe not and will be heard throughout the song being a chorus. The verses are more standard Gojira and thus likeable!
This probably isn't the best album breakdown but hope I've convinced you the give it a listen, and by paying for it as the band deserves it.
Final summary: In my opinion, L'enfant Sauvage isn't better than their last masterpiece From Mars To Sirius, but it manages to be just as good! Which is a feat nearly all bands fail to do.