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GOJIRA

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • France


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Gojira biography
GOJIRA was formed in 1996 in a garage near Bayonne - South East of France - under the original moniker GODZILLA. The motivations of the DUPLANTIER brothers
(Joe on guitar/lead vocals and Mario on drums) and their band fellows Jean-Michel LABADIE (on bass) and Christian ANDREU (guitar) were less than sophisticated. But even through the thinnest booklet of their first demo cover issued under the predictable title "Possessed" there still emerged the first signs of their future emancipation.

GODZILLA might have been a big green monster smashing down cardboard buildings, taken from Japanese science-fiction films from the 60s deemed out of style today, but it was also a metaphor about the threat of nuclear weapons with which man plays, unconscious of the consequences.

Due to legal rights, GODZILLA changed its name to GOJIRA right before their first album,2001's "Terra Incognita".GOJIRA is in fact the Japanese translation of its original name. Even though the music had already changed, the way of doing things stayed the same. So call it whatever you want: an ecological thought, a politically correct speech, a 50% new age and 50% hippy mentality. The band, itself, remains the same since birth.

After more than 300 concerts in France and abroad, and a live DVD which sold 2500 copies nationally without the support of a "big" distributor and after the recognition from the public for their 2003 release "The Link", it was about time for GOJIRA to explode...which is currently happening.

Recorded at home in the studios of the Milans,"From Mars to Sirius",released in 2005, is an album of revolt, where ancestral forces of dragons are mentioned, the ocean shows its anger and all codes are red lighted. An album where action has taken over speech. Revolution is coming. So take a step ahead of it before it crushes you.

Highly recommended for fans of brutal yet technically complex progressive metal.

Partial Source:http://www.gojira-music.com/




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Approved by the Progressive Metal Team of Special Collaborators



Discography:
Terra Incognita, studio album (2001)
The Link, studio album (2003)
From Mars to Sirius, studio album (2005)
...

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MagmaMagma
Roadrunner Records 2016
Audio CD$8.13
$7.07 (used)
L'Enfant SauvageL'Enfant Sauvage
Roadrunner Records 2012
Audio CD$7.74
$6.52 (used)
From Mars to SiriusFrom Mars to Sirius
Import
Listenable Records 2014
Audio CD$10.44
$8.10 (used)
Way of All FleshWay of All Flesh
Listenable Records 2014
Audio CD$10.63
$10.62 (used)
LinkLink
Listenable Records 2007
Audio CD$9.80
$9.79 (used)
Terra IncognitaTerra Incognita
LISTENABLE RECORDS 2016
Vinyl$29.98
Flesh Alive [Blu-ray]Flesh Alive [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray · Import
Imports 2012
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Gojira - Tree Of Fire - Official T-shirt - Size LGojira - Tree Of Fire - Official T-shirt - Size L
Gojira
Audio CD$12.71
L'enfant Sauvage: LimitedL'enfant Sauvage: Limited
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$9.55
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Terra IncognitaTerra Incognita
Listenable Records 2009
Audio CD$99.98 (used)
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GOJIRA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GOJIRA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.82 | 34 ratings
Terra Incognita
2001
3.40 | 43 ratings
The Link
2003
3.93 | 156 ratings
From Mars to Sirius
2005
4.16 | 172 ratings
The Way of All Flesh
2008
3.81 | 74 ratings
L'Enfant Sauvage
2012
3.82 | 21 ratings
Magma
2016

GOJIRA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GOJIRA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.92 | 6 ratings
The Link Alive
2005
4.25 | 4 ratings
The Flesh Alive
2012

GOJIRA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GOJIRA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Gojira/Kvelertak Live
2013

GOJIRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Magma by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.82 | 21 ratings

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Magma
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Magma' - Gojira (74/100)

Gojira remain crushingly heavier than the vast majority of "commercial" metal bands today. That said, Magma lends the impression they've come closer to quiet introspection than ever before. With that, I get the mixed reaction from fans. For whatever reason, I'm reminded of the way The Mars Volta reinvented themselves in 2009 with Octahedron; they're simply taking their essential style down a more subdued path than we're used to hearing from them.

This has been the most interesting time to talk about Gojira at least since the release of The Way of All Flesh in 2008. They had fallen off my personal radar for a few years, and I haven't been enamoured as much with From Mars to Sirius and The Way of All Flesh since around the time the two came out. A polarized reception like Magma's, if anything, seemed like a sign that Gojira might be reinventing themselves in a way that could make them exciting again. A more melodic, atmospheric and airy album could not possibly have been popular with their fanbase, but that's not to say they don't do it really well.

Of any of Gojira's albums, this is definitely the biggest grower-type they've yet released. Because it's not as intensely heavy and urgent as the others, the layers take more time to grow. Considering I've always considered that their sheer heaviness was one of Gojira's best, it really is refreshing to hear them without those extremes. From this, their other defining traits come through more clearly. Their massive-sounding atmosphere still makes it sound like they're recording in an underwater cavern, the progressive grooves are extremely hooky, and the melodic accents carry their weight several times over. Gojira have effectively channelled the same urgency in tighter confines. The writing isn't quite as consistent as it could have been, but there's more than enough solid material here to suggest their change of pace was a good idea.

The mellower (at least relative to past work) approach works well for Gojira's subject this time around. Although their music's almost always related to their personal convictions, Magma draws the music even closer to home. The Duplantier brothers' loss of their mother affected and moved them a ton; it would be more surprising if their next album hadn't been inspired at least in part by that experience. From this, Gojira's most powerful lyrics have inevitably stemmed; even if their clean vocals aren't quite strong enough to deserve such a prominent role on the album, the words and lyrics are powerful enough to sell it through. Even if Magma was inspired by a real-life loss, they still manage to touch upon grander ideas: the afterlife, the loss of love, and the will to carry on in spite of pain. They're not the sort of lyrics you can fully appreciate on paper alone; the music's celestial atmosphere is what gives the words their spiritual weight.

There are a few fantastic songs here. "The Shooting Star" is a slowburning opener that quickly impresses the fact upon the listener that they're in for a subdued Gojira. "Silvera" was the first song I checked out from the album, and it's still probably my favourite, with punchy dark riffs that sound like they were drawn from The Way of All Flesh. "Stranded" has one of the coolest-sounding riffs I've ever heard from the band, and "Low Lands" is a solid way to climax the album, trailed afterwards by the gently acoustic "Liberation". Although the album has definitely grown on me over the course of listens, I have started to feel that Magma is conspicuously frontloaded when it comes to its quality material. All of the songs here are solid, but I find a harder time in remembering great moments from the second half of the record. I support Gojira's subdued evolution, but the lack of standouts nonetheless puts this below their best work. Other than that, there are no gripes to be had with the band's softer approach. The same intensity as always is here-- it just takes a bit more digging on the part of the listener to get it.

 Magma by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.82 | 21 ratings

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Magma
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If Gojira's last effort L'Enfant Sauvage presented a more streamlined sound, Magma is the next step in stripping it down. Abandoning the technical death metal sound that got them popular in the metal world might seem like a betrayal to some, but I've always seen Gojira as more of a progressive metal band anyway. They've often eschewed the modern tech-death tag in favor of a sound that, while brutal, is heavily textured and dripping with atmosphere all the same. Gojira's way of combining beautiful textures, chunky riffs, and impressive instrumental skills is simply infectious, especially in albums like The Way of All Flesh and The Link. But Magma is a bit of a different beast, as it opts for an alarmingly simple approach to their signature sound. The groove metal element is still retained, but there's almost a post-metal quality about the way the album is presented. We now have much more buildup and subtle dynamic shifts in many of the tunes, and this is clear right from the slow-burning opener "Shooting Star," a song which immediately brings a sense of minimalism to the forefront. During the verses, a single guitar/bass note is repeatedly being played at the bottom while Joe Duplantier's clear vocals take charge above it. While "Silvera" picks up the pace substantially with Mario Duplantier's technical drumming and swifter guitar chugs, "Shooting Star" is a clear foreshadowing of the album's tone. Speaking of vocals, Joe's clean vocals are much more prominent. Harsh singing is still present, but it's more thrash-based in nature instead of being gravelly; basically Joe's shouted vocals are especially frequent. In any case, it's not like Gojira's technical side has been entirely erased here, as moments like the punchy-yet-melodic "Silvera" or the amazingly intricate polyrhythmic intro of "The Cell" demonstrate.

But strange moments do pop up more than once as a result of the band's stylistic shift. The somber instrumental piece "Yellow Stone" is certainly in character for the band, given how their melancholic guitar-driven interlude "The Silver Cord" from The Way of All Flesh sounded. But it still seems completely crazy that they would place an acoustic ambient/folk song at the very end of the album, especially one that lasts for as long as it does (almost 4 minutes, in this case). But "Liberation" does represent this album's experimentation nicely, and the preceding track "Low Lands" is another odd song that emphasizes a doom-laden atmosphere and somber melodies over outright heaviness. If there are any songs here that represent Gojira's more traditional sound from past albums, they would be "Silvera," "Stranded," and "Only Pain." Here, you get to hear all the intense double-bass drumming, heavy guitar distortion from Duplantier and Christian Andreu, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie's monstrous grooves. This is most notably heard on the fantastic chorus of "Stranded" which subtly slides into a 6/4-time riff while Joe Duplantier belts out some of his most intense harsh vocals yet. But I feel as though the more adventurous songs are also the most exciting ones; they may seem simplistic at first, but despite (and partially because of) their minimalism, they command the listener's full attention through their subtleties. It would also be sensible to mention the event that likely influenced much of this album's tone and style: the tragic loss of Joe and Mario Duplantier's mother, Patricia Rosa. So the somber and downbeat vibe of Magma would certainly make sense because of this as well. While I don't think this is Gojira's best record, and it definitely seems like a transitional one, it's an incredibly exciting one at the same time. It can be tonally inconsistent once in a while, but the unusual experiments and minimalist songwriting choices definitely stick out in a genre filled with technical wizardry and complexity. Magma may be from a different Gojira than we're used to, but it's still an excellent piece of work.

 Magma by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.82 | 21 ratings

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Magma
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Insin

3 stars Gojira's latest is a bit underwhelming. Simplified, often less heavy, and less energetic, it still checks all the boxes so to speak, but it's woefully inconsistent. At times it's forcefully aggressive, and other times it channels slower, mediocre groove metal, complete with chugs and forgettable (and even annoying) riffs, Gojira's quality fluctuates with their differing levels of heaviness, and with both their experimentation and lack thereof.

Magma sounds a lot like Mastodon in places, but instead of doing a fill every other measure the drummer plays off the chugging guitars, and sometimes that's the only way to really tell them apart. It's definitely in some of the riffing, but the clean vocals really create this similarity. The singing that possibly makes up a majority of the vocals doesn't have much feeling to it, even though it's performed well otherwise. Gojira's strong point doesn't seem to be the relative softness and slowness of pure groove metal, or sludginess either.

A few of the songs have promisingly heavy sections, but they typically end up sputtering out. None of the main riffs are particularly strong, vicious, or memorable, and the rest end up just being chugs. I hear some polyrhythms in songs such as The Cell or Low Lands but the way they are performed makes it seem like Gojira is including them just to fulfill requirements, and they are integrated in disappointingly bland ways and without much passion. Most of the album is in 4/4 anyway.

The two instrumentals on this album take up a small percentage of Magma's runtime but they emphasize the lacking nature of this album and how Gojira doesn't seem to know exactly what they're going for. Neither of them are the sort of wanky prog instrumentals composed just to show off the musicians' talents, they are rather interludes and segues although they don't even seem to accomplish that. Any subpar doom or groove metal band could've jammed out Yellow Stone, hit record, and slapped on some cool effects. It's not even a proper interlude because it still sounds like the rest of the album. Liberation could've been a decent intermission, but instead it closes the album, a choice I don't understand. It sounds different from the rest of Magma, some acoustic noodling and hand percussion played together to get an ambient, chill vibe. Low Lands actually had a bit of buildup and it's one of the more memorable tracks, more atmospheric, but it doesn't seem as though it deserves a coda.

As much as it may seem like I've shat all over this, it's really not that bad. Magma is proving to be a grower, as others have said about the singles. Despite inconsistency in quality, it's good to hear that Gojira can write slightly different styles of songs. Still, there's not a whole lot going into this. They're still trying to fulfill all the requirements for their sound but it's lacking the complexity, the heaviness, and most importantly, much of the inspiration.

Top tracks: Silvera, Low Lands

 From Mars to Sirius by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.93 | 156 ratings

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From Mars to Sirius
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Gojira are something of an anomaly in the metal world; they've influenced countless new extreme metal bands in their wake, and yet very few artists have been able to successfully replicate their style. To the newcomers of the band, they may initially come off as Meshuggah with a more emotional (and of course environmental, when referring to the lyrics) side to them. While this can be true at times, the ambient interludes (such as "Torii" or "The Silver Cord") and moments that showcase the brutality of their classic death metal roots suggest more influences beneath the surface. Additionally, each album has its own personality and sound: Terra Incognita was more akin to the band's demos, containing more full-on death metal than their later releases; The Link had both a more tribal and progressive feel; The Way of All Flesh is extremely grim and focuses on the relationship between life and death; L'Enfant Sauvage has a tighter sound and the songs are less drawn-out. So where does From Mars to Sirius fit in? Well, it's a giant sprawling mess of a record, that's for sure.

The longest album by the band at this point, From Mars to Sirius focuses on longer compositions while increasing the guitar distortion and heaviness to the highest degree. Also worth mentioning is this record's special attention to an environmental message, even going as far as making an album cover that looks eerily similar to the logo of the organization Sea Shepherd, which aims to preserve marine life. The typical Gojira trademarks are all present; you've got the low-tuned chugs, a nice variety of tempos, and melodic guitar lines that cut through the wall of distortion. Unfortunately though, the record also emphasizes one of the band's trademarks a little too much: the repetition. Repetition can be fine if it's executed tastefully, but here it just sounds like it was incorporated to fill up the running time. While songs such as the aptly titled "The Heaviest Matter of the Universe" and the simultaneously melodic and harsh opener "Ocean Planet" do an efficient job of trimming the fat, songs like "Global Warming" and especially "Where Dragons Dwell" honestly don't. The latter is seven minutes long, but while the first half holds a nice sludgy groove with some nice vocal variety, the second half is the same riff repeated... over and over and over and over until it fades out. Other songs are guilty of this as well, and it doesn't enhance them in any way. There aren't any subtle changes in the songwriting except for a few different drum fills here and there or some vocal shouts, so there isn't much to invest in.

Luckily the album's strengths do make up for this, if barely. The soft interlude "Unicorn" is a well-paced break from the constant heaviness, and the songs that combine heaviness and frequent instances of melody (like "Ocean Planet" or "Flying Whales") balance the two elements very nicely. "Flying Whales" is certainly a standout in general, with a peaceful clean-guitar interlude setting the stage for the bludgeoning distortion and overall intensity that follows. In fact, "In the Wilderness" ends up being a great follow-up as well, despite returning to the one-dimensional heaviness and having an overly long ending. Luckily, the chromatic riffs and higher-pitched vocals during the chorus are effective and evoke a sense of chaos, saving the tune from the same fate as some of the other ones on here. The lyricism is well-done too; while the environmental message can occasionally be a bit overbearing, it's evident that the band really care about their cause and put a lot of thought into the poetry being sung (or growled/screamed) here. In songs like "Flying Whales" or "Where Dragons Dwell," fantasy themes indirectly provide symbolism related to the environmental theme and are sung with just the right amount of conviction.

There's nothing really terrible about From Mars to Sirius, but it really would have benefited from being pared down. Many of the songs feel a bit directionless because of weak, unnecessarily repetitive endings and their overall length. The album constantly seems to tread the fault line between being resonant and being completely uninteresting. While not a bad record by any means, I can unfortunately call it the band's worst.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

 The Link by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.40 | 43 ratings

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The Link
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Admittedly, Gojira's first album Terra Incognita, while still solid, suffered from a few inconsistencies. First among them (and most common among many bands) was that they hadn't fully found their sound yet. Also, some parts and experiments were either very awkward or very mismatched in execution. With The Link, though, Gojira have seemed to break away from these issues and have released an album that's fully unique in the metal world.

With the album, you can immediately tell that the band now use more variation to their advantage, bringing a more progressive style and ultimately keeping things fresher. Some sections are very odd for a death/thrash metal band, including the ambient style of the two major interludes "Connected" and "Torii." The former uses a tribal aesthetic, which would be utilized more in the future with the band. The latter has a very soothing quality with a very calm, warm guitar sound to it.

Now, we get to the metal. Wow, how to describe some of it... If you guess that it's brutal, then you're right... but it'd be a MASSIVE understatement. When Gojira need heaviness, they immediately go to work and don't play around. Let's take "Remembrance" for example. After the slow, tribal "Connected," this track comes bursting out at full force and never lets up. One has to commend Gojira for their precision as well. The biggest example is Mario Duplantier, who has an amazing display of variety and speed mixed in with precise machine-gun double bass drumming, almost reminding one of Thomas Haake of Meshuggah.

There's also the single, "Indians," which continues in a typical Gojira fashion, and yet adds the aforementioned tribal elements for quite a nice surprise. The song is also quite progressive, bringing in many off-beat fills and riffs along with nicely varied guitar work. The ending section probably displays the band's technical abilities better than any other part of the album.

If there's a member of this band that's understated, it'd have to be Christian Andreu, the lead guitarist. When he shines, he uses so much variety and skill, and yet he isn't heard all that much. He's more of a subtle musician in the band, and normally I'd say that's fine, but sometimes the band goes through some dull spots of repetition. It'd just be cool to find more of his guitar work somewhere in the record.

Those "dull spots of repetition" comprise my biggest gripe about the CD. When Gojira go all out, they really don't let up. However, as Gojira's been criticized heavily about, the album creates some slightly repetitive grooves that can go on for quite a while. Lets use the last track "Dawn." It starts out as a wonderful instrumental that builds up to nicely crafted metal section, but after this, it just sort of... dies. The song gets doomier and darker, and just sulks in repetitive futility for about 4-5 minutes until it fades.

Other than that, though, the rest of the album is fantastic and unique. Gojira's style, blending Thrash, Death Metal, Progressive music, Groove Metal, and experimental music, is very different from most of the bands today. The Link captures those elements perfectly, and is quite a step up from their debut. Highly recommended.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

 Terra Incognita by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.82 | 34 ratings

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Terra Incognita
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Most bands have some sort of progression in their particular established sound (be it good or bad), and it seems perfectly understandable to mix things up once in a while. Even with a band like Metallica, who obviously received a large amount of backlash for simplifying their music and following more unfavorable trends during the 90s, at least took a gamble and tried something different. Gojira, the progressive death metal darlings of Bayonne, France, definitely took a slower and more subtle approach to evolution; whereas some bands are completely abrupt in their musical shift(s), Gojira always retain their death metal brutality while mixing a few new tricks with each passing album. Most notably, each album has gotten more melodic and featured more vocal variety. Proof of that? Terra Incognita, the band's first record (after numerous demos, of course) is primarily rooted in straightforward death metal, during the early days before they starting branching out their sound at bit more.

While containing many hints of the group's future and still being both technical and progressive to an extent, Terra Incognita is also a lot more raw and rough around the edges. Songs like "Love" and "Clone" are extremely pummeling numbers and showcase Mario Duplantier's double-bass pedal work quite extensively during the heaviest sections. Of course, even early Gojira material isn't complete without certain soft interludes to balance out the intensity, with sparse bass-driven "04" and the two "De Tonnes" songs fitting the bill. None of this stuff is really what makes the record as unique as it is, however; what really makes it stand out is just how bizarre and dark the whole vibe is. Perhaps some of this comes from how isolated and slightly murky the production sounds, but it's also from the weird experiments that are attempted. For instance, while "Love" is primarily a very heavy death metal song, the intro is this weird chromatic clean guitar segment that sets a different tone for the song entirely. "Blow Me Away You(niverse)" is another good example; while most of the song is your average midtempo song (albeit with a large emphasis toward high screams), a complete instrumental freakout comes out of nowhere with atonal guitar playing rushing forth and odd clear vocal harmonies combining with intimidating growls. It's a frantic change of pace, but one that's refreshingly in its unpredictability. Moments like these are what really make the album work.

Sadly, it comes at a price: inconsistency. While this album isn't completely disjointed-sounding, some songs should have been left out of the final product altogether. "Satan is a Lawyer," aside from having possibly the most ridiculous Gojira song title ever, has Joe Duplantier attempting this weird rapping during the verses. That's awkward enough, but the song never really catches fire; the riffs are tired, the drumming is a little dull, etc. Other songs suffer from bad musical concepts as well, such as the plodding "Lizard Skin" and the (quite frankly boring) clean "eerie" interlude "On the B.O.T.A." No song on here is terrible, but bad track placement and half-baked ideas take away from what works so well. This also extends to the other problem, being that the album is a little too straightforward sometimes. While it's already ahead of the game since many death metal debuts are more generic than this, the complaint I'm mentioning is more from a retrospective standpoint. After listening to the band's other efforts and hearing how much they've progressed, some of the music on here starts to sound a bit "cookie-cutter" after a while. Regardless, Terra Incognita was still a very solid first step for the band. While many bands struggle to find their footing with their first efforts, Gojira already found a sound they could expand upon with each successive release. Even if this only provides a glimpse of what the band would become, it's still a great standalone effort and deserves more attention.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

 L'Enfant Sauvage by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 74 ratings

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L'Enfant Sauvage
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by SteveG

4 stars Members familiar with this French band will know that they play Progressive Death Metal with a heavy emphasis on Thrash. Their last studio album, 2012's L'Enfant Sauvage, is as good as it's predecessor, 2008's The Way of All Flesh.

The big jump in the quality of the band's music from 2005's From Mars To Sirius was that it was improved by two factors: better songwriting and greatly improved production values. The improved production values remain for 2012's L' Enfant Sauvage as does the improved songwriting. My only problem with this is that it feels like the band might have hit their plateau in progressing, which always gives me cause for concern with Progressive Death groups.

What is an improvement over 2008's The Way Of All Flesh is the band's improved playing skills. These four gents are firing on all eight cylinders and songs like the lead track Explosia are just what the name implies. The playing, songwrting and vocal performances are explosive on several tracks of this album and are evened out by relatively 'calmer' numbers like Born In Winter before the fireworks start up again.

The album ends on a high note with the strong closing track The Fall. I just hope this band does not get sterile with over producing and other distractions that really is not called for in Extreme/Tech metal.

Now, I have to go back and pretend that I only like old prog. 4 stars for this fine effort.

 L'Enfant Sauvage by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 74 ratings

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L'Enfant Sauvage
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 7/10

A Fun and Heavy Record, But There's Some Deja Vu.

'L'Enfant Sauvage' is the fifth studio album by French Progressive Death Metal band Gojira, released in 2012. Their previous work has already made a great impact in the metal community, for their catchy, heavy and groovy rhythms executed with excellent musicianship and songwriting, seen especially in their sophomore release, the 2005 'From Mars To Sirius', which incorporated a sludgy and primitive production that made the music sound so visceral and earthy. 2008's 'The Way Of All Flesh' had a much cleaner production, which gave the sound a greater Progressive Metal feel. 'L'Enfant Sauvage' unfortunately feels no different from its predecessor. Same production, same kind of grooves, same kind of occasional experimentation. But the reason why this is not necessarily bothersome is because, well, it's a formula that works.

Songwriting wise, the band has stepped down a tiny bit, because some of these songs simply don't have the kick they should, for not being that memorable. Others however, such as the fierce and potent intro 'Explosia', 'Pain Is the Master' or 'the Gift Of Guilt' give us some of the best musicianship in 2012 Metal, without abandoning those catchy riffs the band are popular for. 'Born In Winter' gives a nice touch of variation to the whole picture, and 'The Fall' gives a strong ending to the album. The second part of the LP does in fact gain a whole lot of momentum in comparison to the first half; almost all of the tracks shine, while in the first part you'll find good riffs here and there, but never anything that will particularly impress your memory.

It's unfortunate that Gojira didn't step out of their comfort zone on this one: 'L'Enfant Sauvage' however ends up being a guilty pleasure, but in a completely different sense than what usually the meaning of the term is: this is a very good record nevertheless, that has much more ups than downs, because of the groovy rhythms that are always present, even though perhaps the songwriting is toned down; it's a good listen, despite the static state in which Gojira seem to be stuck in.

 L'Enfant Sauvage by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 74 ratings

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L'Enfant Sauvage
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by IcedPorcupine

4 stars Gojira "L'enfant Sauvage" 7.5/10

Lets get right to it.

This album was released a decently long four years from their previous release back in 2008 titled "The Way Of All Flesh", which is brought about because of a few things, one of which a label change. Gojira is more than happy to be releasing this LP under the Roadrunner label, and the quality of this emotion has spread well to their music. The production value has improved vastly (in my opinion) from the first couple albums they released "The Link" and "Terra Incognita" and the wall of heavy I love Gojira for has also shown some great changes, for better or worse depends on one's preference.

Before the release of the album, there have been short clips uploaded to the internet by the band of them recording the album (in New York City) and displaying all the wild and awesome techniques they utilise to create the unique Gojira sound. Among the videos is a clip of the behemoth of a drummer, Mario Duplantier, pounding away on a heavy steel door, microphones set up everywhere. I was greatly interested in this idea. This is album is going to be good.

Upon it's release, June 26 2012, I used the first bit of free time to purchase this album, and listened to it intensely and repeatedly over the next few days. I was not disappointed.

Kicking off L'enfant Sauvage ("The Wild Child" for those who don't speak French) is the explosive track "Explosia"and it does more than a fantastic job of starting this simply awesome album. Right off the bat it sets up the incredibly heavy mood of music that is Gojira, with the slow and definite intro riff. Following this is a series of technical drumming rhythms and guitar sections, over-flowing with guitarist and vocalist, Joe Duplantier's, intense ability to manipulate the guitar to speak in tongues with the music and to the audience. The effects he can conjure up are simply amazing. Ending this track is an amazing and yet simple, a but also heavy riff, which goes on, fading out, for around two minutes, allowing the listener to anticipate the next track.

The title track is the second song on L'enfant Sauvage, and it sure does an incredible job of being on the album it's named after (or vice versa, whichever happened first) The song begins with a quiet guitar riff opening up to another heavy riff, allowing the song to begin in proper Gojira fashion. Simplistic, yet brutal and progressively heavy. The song seems to follow a fairly simple structure, i.e. intro, verse, etc, but it delivers all that it needs to, so this should not be a problem for some of the most picky prog metal fans. Around the 2:20 mark opens up an incredible section of brutally heavy guitar and bass riffage that I simply love in Gojira. Perfectly placed in the song, and delivers no disappointment. The end half contains a bridge and more of the intro riff, followed by it's quite outro riff.

The third song, "The Axe" shows to be a fairly simple song, but does not let me down. It is filled with Mario's ability to play the bass drum loud and definitely there, and is quite excellent despite a more or less simple song. It is a track that belongs on a Gojira record, that is for sure.

Following "The Axe" is the song "Liquid Fire", this song also kills the doubt that Gojira is still awesome as they have been. It's contents involve Joe's fantastic ability to use his incredible and unique voice, accompanied by the technicality that Mario possesses on the battery. It also follows well the algorithm of L'enfant Sauvage.

Placed just before the LPs middle is an instrumental interlude "The Wild Healer", a short two minute section of a repeating riff with simple drums. Nicely placed to help transition the listener into the next, fantastically heavy, track.

At L'enfant Sauvage's middle is "Planned Obsolescence", an awesome track indeed. Heavy from the get go, with no messing around. This is the intensity that the band does so well, placed perfectly after a mellow interlude, "The Wild Healer" is similar to the transition from "From Mars" to "To Sirius" Found in their 2006 release "From Mars To Sirius" It is a fantastically awesome transition from light to heavy. It is the first track to focus attention on the intense ability Mario contains in blast-beats.

The remaining half of the album contains more or less, the expected second half of L'enfant Sauvage; The intensity is still hanging around, and Gojira is mostly able to keep their energy up and running. It is all accented quite well with their heavy attitude shown through the instruments. A track I would like to single out from the remaining five ("Mouth of Kala", "The Gift Of Guilt", "Pain Is A Master", "Born In Winter" and "The Fall") is "The Gift Of Guilt" This song possesses more of what I love from Gojira, and was my instant favourite off the album. It's starts of with a light tapping guitar part, into the heavier version of the same riff, much like From Mars To Sirius' "Global Warming", and goes into the bulk of the song. The contents of this song is more heavy and extreme Gojira, with the riff holding on to more of Joe's awesome ability to morph the sounds coming from his guitar into unique squeaking and yelling. Despite all technical elements of the song, it holds on to a fairly simple chorus, though the chorus delivers well and displays little room for disappointment, if any were to be found if looked for anyway.

All in all, this album is quite simply a 7.5/10; yes it contains an incredible amount of awesome, and is definitely worth the wait of four years since The Way Of All Flesh, but it still lacks something. It's difficult to say what it needs, but I find it slows down a bit after the middle point; L'enfant Sauvage opens very well, and holds on to its intensity easily into the middle, but starts to slip a bit towards the end. This does not mean that it becomes anywhere near bad towards the end, I just feel that they should close the album as, if not more, powerful as they opened. Despite this, however, upon seeing them play selected tracks from the album live, I can say the live performance of any songs played were beyond awesome. These songs are definitely meant, whether intentional or not, to be played live. I can say I look forward to next release, being the the EP "Sea Sheppard"

 L'Enfant Sauvage by GOJIRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 74 ratings

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L'Enfant Sauvage
Gojira Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "L'Enfant Sauvage" is the 5th full-length studio album by French metal act Gojira. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in June 2012. Gojira have experienced a constantly rising popularity curve since the release of "From Mars to Sirius (2005)". "The Way of All Flesh (2008)" only cemented their position as one of the leading hybrid death/thrash metal acts and they've toured extensively in the wake of that album, which has further helped gain them popularity and a reputation as one of the tightest playing live acts out there.

...while some artist opt to release a new album each year or maybe every second year, Gojira are not as productive, but listening to "L'Enfant Sauvage" it's pretty obvious why that is. These guys are perfectionists. Not only have they honed they technical skills but they have also spend valuable time on songwriting details that ultimately makes "L'Enfant Sauvage" another very strong release by the band.

The music on the album pretty much continue down the same progressive hybrid death/thrash path as they've travelled for a couple of albums now. Sharp precision drumming, heavy rythmic groove based riffs, atmospheric sections (which often remind me of Killing Joke and their melancholic sound) and those trademark semi- growling/raw yet strangely melodic vocals by lead vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier. He probably has one of the most characteristic extreme metal vocal styles on the scene today. That mix of rawness and melodic sensitivity is rare. I'm thinking of a vocalist like Phil Anselmo in his prime. Not that Joe Duplantier sounds like Anselmo, but his vocal style features some of the same raw/melodic qualities as the former Pantera vocalist also did/does. In addition to his raw vocal delivery, Joe Duplantier's vocals are often doubled with more melodic sounding vocals. I'm not sure if it's vocoder created vocals, but there is a robotic quality to them.

The 11 track, 52:25 minutes long album features quality tracks throughout, but tracks like "Exlosia", "L'Enfant Sauvage", "Liquid Fire", "Pain is a Master" and "Born in Winter" (where Duplantier tries his hand at singing clean vocals and comes away pretty successful), stand out to me.

"L'Enfant Sauvage" not only features excellent musicianship and quality songwriting, but also features a strong, clear and powerful sound production to boot. All in all "L'Enfant Sauvage" is a very strong release by Gojira and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition.

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