C’est très magnifique
French metal band Gojira has such an extensive pedigree that they’ve had a superlative formulated especially for them.
In some circles, exceptional events are sometimes described as “Gojiramazing.” Google it if you want. The phrase stems from the French quartet’s ability to perform to a jaw-dropping standard whether it is on record or live.
This persistence and consistency has continued through the progressive death metal heads fifth album since 1996. That the personnel involved is the same today as it was in ’96 is certainly a testament to Gojira’s exceptional reliability.
It is also one of the reasons that “L’Enfant Sauvage” is another metal masterpiece.
Opening with the absurdly heavy track “Explode,” the band’s trademark squealing guitars and drummer Mario Duplantier’s manic, unpredictable rhythms descent into wrought iron chewing thunder before lead singer and guitarist Joe Duplantier shreds his throat with the kind of dangerous yet consummate ease that fans have become accustomed to.
The title track follows and is roughly translated to “The Wild Child.” Rising fast from distant yet over-used atmospherics into harsh, manic rhythms before unwinding into a frantic yet complicated riff that is punctuated by drummer Mario’s malice and crashes. The track is a fine example of Gojira’s relentless blend of brutality and melody.
Other highlights from the record include the quirky riff of the short, razor sharp track “The Wild Healer,” the power of “Planned Obsolescence” and the cosmic soundscapes of the album closer “The Fall.”
Furthermore, there has been no compromise with a view to increasing commercial viability. The band’s musicianship eschews any opportunity to blend in with the crowd. Instead, this set strengthens their unique identity.
Ultimately, the whole album seems to resonate with remarkable quality and this is as flawless of a metal album as you will hear in 2012.
Anthony Saia can be reached at email@example.com