Album review: Gojira – ‘L'Enfant Sauvage’
Heavy metal is a weird little genre – it deals with issues that seldom come up in other styles of rock, and it does it by yelling at them.
And French metal band Gojira is so heavy metal, I am surprised it isn’t on the periodic table.
This is the fifth studio album from Gojira – formally known as Godzilla – and it has great song writing, great drumming and a singer who has a two point range, shouting in Batman voice, and talking. He is very good at the former and doesn’t do the latter all that much.
This is an album that, if you like metal you should get, if you are curious about metal it will surprise you, and if you don’t like metal you shouldn’t get it as a gift for someone who does, because they will play it on repeat.
Fortunately, I like metal.
The first track on the album and the one that made
The lyrics tend towards being self help messages, while the voice they are delivered in is angry and shouting. Imagine Dr Phil, if he never had to fear laryngitis. It is pulled together by a train engine guitar beat that keeps it just the right side of absurd.
L’Enfant Sauvage: The train engine beat carries into the start of this song, but the lyrical focus shifts towards frustration. This song is essentially about a child whose mother has sacrificed everything for him, and how he really doesn’t appreciate that and wishes she had rather gone for enjoying a fuller life.
The Axe: Have you ever had your ideas chopped to pieces in an argument? The axe is all about that feeling, and the feeling of setting out to do it to somebody else. While the words are about demolishing ideas, the music is high enough energy to make it feel liberating rather than painful.
Planned Obsolescence: This is a song about mortality, and how it inspires religion as people seek something to overcome the ‘planned obsolescence’ of death. It is not however pro religion, as it holds to the idea that one day humanity will awaken and leave ‘such nonsense’ behind.
The Gift of Guilt: This to me is a beautiful track about rage’s aftermath. It is lyrically and musically beautiful, unfortunately it doesn’t quite fit being yelled out by a voice more suited to menace, so it doesn’t quite hit the note it could have. It is still very good, the delivery just seems a bit off.
However, the album is not without fault. Liquid Fire is about inspiration, which I never found inspiring. With the metal genre, it seldom works when a band is positive about life.
I wasn’t that keen on the last two tracks, Born in Winter and The Fall.
Mouth of Kala is technically perfect but is too stereotypically metal – being about destruction and all of that.
Overall, it’s enjoyable, but it just has too much metal for metal’s sake. Now to listen to their previous albums!