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"There is light in this world I fight for," one of the most powerful lines throughout the album (found at the title track @ ~1.50), one which Joe sings more enthusiastically than any other line. And there is light to find in this album, but you have to dig deep.
I have personally been waiting for this album for just under 4 years since their previous effort; 'The Way of All Flesh.'And whilst that album changed the face of prog-death, their follow-up could not be more anticipated or openly appreciated once released. But, for such a well respected band like Gojira, could these expectations be met, or is the album just a fill-in for Roadrunner to release a more purchased and mediocre Trivium effort?
To interpret this album correctly, you must approach it with a neutral stance. No drooling fanboy bullshit that has engulfed the metal community for years (just look at my previous reviews: Chimara are shit, but I love them). So once you get past the fact that L'Enfant Sauvage has a avent-garde style cover (which the Duplantier brothers love) and is close enough to Elephant Sausage in english as you would get in metal, you find yourself listening to an almost-hour long effort, split up into 11 grueling tracks. The same problem arose with TBDM - too many songs. "But too much of a good thing isn't bad for you, right?"
The lead riff for almost every song has a fret slide, something that really gets on my nerve. It's not even like it balances throughout the song, anyway. Zakk Wylde uses his squeals more effectively in the song 'Addiction' by Dope - and they're everything that is wrong with metal. The riffs are catchy, but lack-luster; they hold little variation. And whilst it's important to use the same turning for every separate album, it's the same old fashioned open D tuning as every other album they churned out. If you listen to this album expecting amazing and life-changing guitar solos in an odd-time signature, you will be disappointed. And whilst the guitars sound off, almost purposefully, they fit the tone and experimentation of the album perfectly. Even just listening to 'Pain is a Master,' while the riff matches Joe's voice so perfectly, it's breathtaking. I mean that in the most metal-ly way.
The title track of the album so concisely matches the underlying theme of the album. And whilst this album is not a concept album, Joe gives a precise explanation to its message - even if it's nothing more than a ploy to sell more copies to industrial suckers for sap. But this track is an absolute standout, flawless in almost every way - if taken independently from the album as a whole. Mario's bell pierces the thick, rich bass riffs, whilst Joe's voice circulates a post-grunge style, similar to that of the new Decapitated. But the song does host the small issue of being boring as fuck. 10 seconds of build-up, going into a Gojira-style cliche riff with drum infused polyrhythms on the bell. This is more pointless than the minute build-up to 'The Art of Dying.' The song is fantastic in itself, but boring compared with the rest of the album. In fact, the whole album is boring.
But it's brilliant, a masterpiece. No, I'm not contradicting myself here. In the same way that Morbid Angel can put out a shitty effort that sounds good, Gojira can put out a good effort that sounds shit. There's nothing new in this album. No fantastic new concept style that will change the face of metal as we know it. Not even the auto tune in 'Liquid Fire' can change the style of Gojira. And thats how everyone likes it, its everything you want in a Gojira work. Its artsy, its mighty, it's boring, it's Gojira in its finest hour. You see, I've found the one thing that is wrong with this album - its originality. And that's the only thing wrong with this album. That's a good thing, because everything matches so perfectly otherwise. If you change the originality, you change Gojira, and then you get the same thing that happened to Metallica. It's called Trujillo-symptom. It's a good thing Gojira have a solid lineup.