L'Enfant Sauvage (album)

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L'Enfant Sauvage
Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage cover.jpg
Studio album by Gojira
Released 26 June 2012
Studio Spin Studios, Long Island City, Queens, New York
Genre Technical death metal, progressive metal, groove metal
Length 52:23
Label Roadrunner
Producer Joe Duplantier, Josh Wilbur
Gojira chronology
The Flesh Alive
(2012)The Flesh Alive2012
L'Enfant Sauvage
(2012)
Les Enfants Sauvages
(2014)Les Enfants Sauvages2014
Singles from L'Enfant Sauvage
  1. "L'Enfant Sauvage"
    Released: 27 April 2012
  2. "Liquid Fire"
    Released: 4 June 2012
  3. "The Axe"
    Released: 18 September 2012
  4. "Explosia"
    Released: 27 September 2012
  5. "Born in Winter"
    Released: 25 March 2014

L'Enfant Sauvage (French for "The Wild Child") is the fifth studio album and major label debut by the French progressive death metal band Gojira. It was released 26 June 2012 via Roadrunner Records.[1]

Background[edit]

Gojira was going to tour with Lamb of God and Dethklok, but because of Randy Blythe's arrest in the Czech Republic, the tour was cancelled. Gojira subsequently announced a headline tour of their own, which began in January 2013 with support from The Devin Townsend Project and The Atlas Moth.[2]

During the recording of the album, Joe Duplantier became a father. "It's a trip man, it's amazing. Of course I'm very influenced by what happened and talking about birth and becoming a dad is not completely disconnected, it's relevant in a way, but everything is influencing me when I'm writing."[3]

Writing and composition[edit]

L'Enfant Sauvage is inspired by François Truffaut's film of the same name which tells the true story of Victor of Aveyron, a child who was found alone in the woods with behaviors closer to a wild animal than a civilized human."We are part of this world. And also there is this idea that an enfant sauvage, a child that grew up in nature, is not confronted with others, with emotions, with guilt and identity, so it would be a state where you are closer to the essence of things."[3]

Frontman, guitarist and songwriter Joe Duplantier talks about the meaning of the album by saying, "When you become a musician, you don't have a boss telling you what to do so you have to be very responsible." He goes on to say "With freedom comes responsibility, so I'm asking myself, 'What is freedom? What does it mean to me?' L'Enfant Sauvage reflects on that. There's no answer though. There’s just life and questions."[4]

Duplantier expanded on this idea in an interview with The Quietus, explaining that "Since the beginning, since the very first demo even, I've been obsessed with the human condition, the soul, why we are here, and is there an answer to that question - the mysteries of life in general. Are we a body? Or are we more than that? And if we are more, then what are we? I'm full of questions, but there are no answers really, just intuition, and a strong intuition that we are more than just flesh and blood."[3]

Touring and promotion[edit]

Music and lyric videos have been released for five songs off the album: "Explosia",[5] "L'Enfant Sauvage",[6] "The Axe",[7] "Liquid Fire",[8] and "Born in Winter".[9]

The band toured North America in support of the album with The Devin Townsend Project and The Atlas Moth in 2013, and also launched a worldwide tour that concluded in 2015.[10] In March 2014 the band released a DVD/CD live album of their performance at the Brixton Academy in London on March 24, 2013 entitled 'Les Enfants Sauvages' through Roadrunner. It also featured a 60-page hardcover book featuring photographs of the band taken around the world in the course of the last few years of their touring, spanning over 150 shows.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 86/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[12]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[13]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club A−[14]
BBC Music favorable[15]
Blabbermouth.net 9.5/10[16]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[17]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork Media 8.1/10[18]
PopMatters 8/10[19]
Spin 8/10[20]

L'Enfant Sauvage was met with universal acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic (a review aggregator site which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 from music critics), based on 10 critics, the album has received a score of 86/100, which indicates "universal acclaim".[11]

Writing for the BBC, Raziq Rauf wrote that "This is as flawless an extreme metal album as you'll hear, in 2012 or any other year", adding that "Gojira is one of the finest bands of our generation, and with L'Enfant Sauvage they’ve created another album to suit such a reputation." In his review of the album for The Guardian, Dom Lawson gave the album a perfect rating, writing that "Their fifth studio album sustains their trademark blend of unfathomable heaviness, structural invention and ecological-cum-existential poetry while subtly enhancing its dramatic and emotional impact", concluding that "overall this is a ferociously original piece of work that reaches its electrifying zenith on The Gift of Guilt: six minutes of sledgehammer sorrow built from riffs that sound like warning shots fired from the planet's doomed and turbulent core. This is metal taken to a higher plane of brilliance."

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
About.com Best Heavy Metal Albums 2012
The A.V. Club Loud’s best metal, punk, and hardcore of 2012 2012
Entertainment Weekly Six best metal albums of the year 2012
Loudwire 10 Best Metal Albums of 2012 2012
PopMatters The Best Metal of 2012 2012

Commercial performance[edit]

The album sold almost over 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 34 on The Billboard 200 chart. In comparison, the band's previous CD, "The Way of All Flesh", opened with 4,200 units back in 2008 to land at No. 138. It also reached no. 7 on the French chart, and no. 17 digitally.[26]

It peaked at no. 6 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart and no. 13 on the Top Rock Albums chart.[27]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Mario Duplantier and Joe Duplantier. Lyrics by Joe Duplantier.

No. Title Length
1. "Explosia" 6:39
2. "L'Enfant Sauvage" 4:17
3. "The Axe" 4:34
4. "Liquid Fire" 4:17
5. "The Wild Healer" (instrumental) 1:48
6. "Planned Obsolescence" 4:39
7. "Mouth of Kala" 5:51
8. "The Gift of Guilt" 5:56
9. "Pain is a Master" 5:07
10. "Born in Winter" 3:51
11. "The Fall" 5:25

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from AllMusic.[27]

Gojira[edit]

Additional[edit]

  • UE Nastasi - mastering
  • Edward O'Dowd - design
  • Paul Suarez - engineer
  • Josh Wilbur - engineer, mixing, producer
  • Gabrielle Duplantier - photography

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[29] 34
France (SNEP)[30] 7
Norway (VG-lista) 12
Swedish Albums Chart 28
U.S (Billboard)[30] 34
UK Albums Chart[31] 53

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gojira: "L'Enfant Sauvage"". Pitchfork Media. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  2. ^ John. "Gojira - Official Website - U.S. HEADLINE TOUR!!". www.gojira-music.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Quietus | Features | In Extremis | 'We Are Part Of This World': Gojira Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  4. ^ "L'enfant Sauvage". Gojira-music.com. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  5. ^ Gojira (2012-09-28), Gojira - Explosia [OFFICIAL VIDEO], retrieved 2016-05-07 
  6. ^ Gojira (2012-05-24), GOJIRA - L'Enfant Sauvage [OFFICIAL VIDEO], retrieved 2016-05-07 
  7. ^ Gojira (2012-09-19), Gojira - The Axe (LYRIC VIDEO), retrieved 2016-05-07 
  8. ^ Gojira (2012-10-12), Gojira - Liquid Fire (LYRIC VIDEO), retrieved 2016-05-07 
  9. ^ Gojira (2014-03-27), Gojira - Born In Winter [OFFICIAL VIDEO], retrieved 2016-05-07 
  10. ^ "Gojira - Official Website - L'enfant sauvage World Tour is over". www.gojira-music.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  11. ^ a b c d "L'Enfant Sauvage reviews at". Metacritic. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  12. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage Review". heavymetal.about.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  13. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "L' Enfant Sauvage review". AllMusic. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  14. ^ Bergman, Keith. "Gojira: L'Enfant Sauvage". avclub.com. 2012-06-27. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  15. ^ Rauf, Raziq. "L'Enfant Sauvage". BBC Online. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  16. ^ Ogle, Ryan. "L'Enfant Sauvage". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  17. ^ Lawson, Dom. "Gojira: L'Enfant Sauvage – review". Theguardian.com. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  18. ^ Currin, Grayson. "L'Enfant Sauvage". Pitchfork Media. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  19. ^ Brown, Dean. "Gojira: L'Enfant Sauvant". PopMatters. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  20. ^ Fury, Jeanne. "Gojira, 'L'Enfant Sauvage'". Spin. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  21. ^ Bowar, Chad. "2012 Best Heavy Metal Albums". About.com Entertainment. About.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  22. ^ "Loud's best metal, punk, and hardcore of 2012". www.avclub.com. 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  23. ^ Anderson, Kyle (December 19, 2012). "Best and Worst 2012: The six best metal albums of the year". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  24. ^ "10 Best Metal Albums of 2012". Loudwire. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  25. ^ "The Best Metal of 2012". PopMatters. December 6, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  26. ^ http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/gojira-s-l-enfant-sauvage-cracks-u-s-top/
  27. ^ a b "L' Enfant Sauvage - Gojira | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  28. ^ "Pré-Order the new album "L'Enfant Sauvage" Now!!". gojira-music.com. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  29. ^ "Nielsen SoundScan Charts". [dead link]
  30. ^ a b Gojira's L'Enfant Sauvage Hits Charts In US, France bravewords.com. 4 July 2012. Retrieved on 8 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Gojira UK chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 June 2013.