Under The Influence #16: Kodama on “L’enfant Sauvage” by Gojira!
Major label debut and fifth studio album “L’enfant Sauvage” (or “The Wild Child”) from French Progressive Death Metallers Gojiria appeared in 2012 to Global critical acclaim. Inspired by the François Truffaut film of the same name, the story of Victor of Aveyron, who grew up in the forrest and is more of a wild animal than human being, it’s an insight into what makes us who we are. Musically, many have called it a masterpiece of modern Metal, taken to the next level.
James and Nik from Kodama comment: “L’enfant Sauvage is one of the few albums that all five of us can agree as being one of the staples of modern metal. With this album, Gojira proves once again that the old adage ‘less is more’ can triumph in metal, a genre over saturated with bands that play twice the amount of notes, to half the effect. The crystal clear production is self evident from the get go with ‘Explosia’ slamming through the ear canals and rattling the brain with a riff so simple it leaves you asking yourself why you didn’t write it first. Mario’s drumming is a calculated driving force behind bringing the guitars to life with tasteful use of syncopation, barraging fills, signature use of ride and more than a handful of ghost notes – evident in tracks such as Liquid Fire and L’Enfant Sauvage.
Their signature combination of larger than life tremolo work of “The Axe”, chug frenzies on “Explosia”, slower paced, weighty grinds during the likes of “The Fall” and The Gift of Guilt” with the open note hypnotism of “Mouth Of Kala” make their way into the mix, each showing to be a key ingredient to Gojira’s success – simple and ‘accessible’ guitar work, that within the context of the song as a whole, becomes an entirely different beast. Running themes of esotericism, ecology and self reflective introversion are starkly contrasted by Joe’s distinct vocal delivery, as always, provoking a sense of command and grandeur. These are some of the main elements of their song writing that we have greatly reflected on as a band.
So why did we choose this album? We feel it covers their strongest assets in spades. Despite the album following suit in it’s deceptively simple ethic of its predecessors, the album proves to be a streamlined and mature approach to utilizing each carefully crafted element of their sound, and has helped us understand why their songs are so memorable and re-listenable. Overall, it provides a strong message bolstered by well written songs that get your heart pumping and your mind racing. The hypnotic state they draw you into is definitely a goal of ours to be able to achieve and extend out to our audience. The new material we’ve been writing definitely hauls influence from their musical and lyrical ethos and how we hear Gojira, with the addition of darker, drawn-out and layered sections that will (hopefully) take you on a headbanging journey, and make you feel like you’re part of a story. Although our sound may not directly follow suit, this album is always one that we can spin to reset our brains, and make sure all five of our heads are pointing in the same direction and towards what effective metal can sound like in a modern era”
“White Rabbit” by Kodama is out now with the band currently tracking new material!