Track By Track   

Gojira: L’Enfant Sauvage track by track

We couldn’t help but talk yet about L’Enfant Sauvage, Gojira’s new record that will be out the 25th of June. The guys form Bayonne may make a big hit with their first release with Roadrunner Records. Since we can’t wait for it to be out, we will start with a track-by-track description of L’Enfant Sauvage.

It will force you to use your imagination to recreate the record’s music in your head. The track-by-track will be completed by the publication of the review in a couple of weeks. This review will make a good supplement to understand the record as a whole since it’s based on its analysis on a broader scale.

1 – Explosia

This track can be parted into three distinct parts. An explosive first one – hence the name, probably – in which you can hear a powerful Gojira, as usual, leaning heavily on the groove with these ripping harmonic guitar effects that contributes from the beginning to the specific sound of the band. The second part is more trippy, melancholy, driven by atmospheric black metal sounding guitars. The third part is heavier, with a slow guitar melody with a kind of “James Bond” sound going through big, muffled chords. These last two parts show an insistent Gojira relying on repetitive, heady sounds.

2 – L’Enfant Sauvage

The first single, sung in English despite its French title. Once again, it starts powerfully, even quickly, but it soon slows down to a pattern of mutted quivering guitar notes over the rhythmic impact of dotted notes. The track switches between these two parts until the last third, in which Gojira truly rocks: Mario blasts everything with his double bass pedal, and Joe Duplantier let sout some particularly insane screams in this eponymous song!

3 – The Axe

The track starts with a launching double bass and a guitar building a melancholy melody with quick tremolos. This atmosphere lasts during the first half of the song, alternating with different rhythmic patterns: heavy with mutted guitar impacts or slow. The melancholy grows when a resonant guitar melody is added on top of the heavy rhythm. As we get closer to the end of the song, Joe’s voice becomes incantatory, distant, giving a kind of a spiritual aspect to the track. In this song, Joe Duplantier’s approach of the guttural singing is quite melodic for that matter. The progression in “The Axe” sounds really hypnotic.

4 – Liquid Fire

This track is pounding hard just before going back to this quiet melancholy that seems to stand out in L’Enfant Sauvage. Some really catchy singing lines are noticeable, and on some of them (in the chorus), a robotic effect or a particular layering has been used, giving this central part of “Liquid Fire” a grandiose aspect.

5 – The Wild Healer

It’s an instrumental interlude repeating a synthetic loop over and over again, a bit like a slow arpeggiator, with a very deep guitar melody in the background. This approach evoques what an artist such as Devin Townsend would do.

6 – Planned Obsolescence

“The Wild Healer” stops suddenly to make way to the brutality of “Planned Obsolescence”, a title with, once again, a quite “in your face” beginning. It then calms down to a slower section with guitar parts evoking Devin Townsend’s sound again. This impression is strenghten by a tampered clear voice and some other massive vocal parts. The track ends up suddenly, just like it started, followed by a very quiet, almost trip-hop synth outro.

7 – Mouth Of Kala

On this track, really heavy parts alternate with haunting ones. During the chorus, Joe’s voice is once again layered to bring a new dimension to it. The end of the “Mouth Of Kala” is rhythmically more deconstructed, with massive impacts of mutted chords in a pattern repeated over and over again before fading progressively.

8 – The Gift Of Guilt

A particularly melodic and insistent guitar tapping lits up this track, coupled during the chorus with a very catchy guttural singing line. On the other hand, during the verses, the band sounds rhythmically very powerful and technical. The tapping from the chorus is repeated halfway, starting from a lull before increasing in intensity until the end of the track. This second part is sung with a lot of intensity before fading to an instrumental part, with what sounds like layers in the background. An especially moving final.

9 – Pain Is A Master

Calm and enigmatic start, with some effects and a feminine voice whispering in the background, for “Pain Is A Master”. But the awakening comes soon enough! The rhythm is pounding, and we can hear the usual guitar tearings. Joe’s singing seemingly went through a saturation effect. During the second half of the track comes the chorus sounding just like a break, with Joe singing in a clear, layered voice. This chorus alternates with an insistent part carried by an hypnotic, deep and muffled guitar rhythm reminding – once again – of Devin Townsend’s sound, Ocean Machine era.

10 – Born In Winter

“Born In Winter” is characterized by a crescendo structure. It starts very lightly, carried by a clean guitar tapping. Joe Duplantier sings in a clear voice, very quietly, almost whispering. Getting to the half of the track, the harmony darkens a little before the saturation takes over, the tapping gets more complex (with a kind of a “guitar-hero” vibe), with an emphatic singing. The track gets to another level with a powerful rhythm before going back to the tapping, and ending just like it started, except without the voice.

11 – The Fall

This track starts on a slow tempo based on a deep synth line – which may actually be a saturated bass sound with effect – and some guitar noises. Some chords are added for a very doom-sounding chorus, especially when we start to hear a very deep death voice (is it really Joe’s?) a la Novembers Doom, contrasting with a more emphatic clear singing. Starting from there, “The Fall” has a kind of a “wave” structure, alternating between an angry, typical Gojira rhythmic section, and another one, quiet and eerie, in which the voice stays monotonous and, as we can guess, is mixed with a robotic effect and some vocal layers. “The Fall” ends on a chorus, and then a chaotic noise of saturated guitar.

L’Enfant Sauvage : out the 25th of June via Roadrunner Records.

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