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Gojira continues its quest for world domination

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Gojira: Magma

Heavy Metal

Review by Simon (Sep 11 2016)


20 years into their already impressive career, Gojira have finally dropped their long awaited new album. After the career breaking 2005 monster 'From Mars to Sirius' and the superb 'Les Enfants Sauvage' in 2012, fans have been patiently waiting and wondering what this unique band will do next? Gojira's career trajectory has followed a significant curve upwards and when the pedigree is this good, expectations are sky high.


Magma's birth was significantly delayed by the death of Joe & Marco Duplantier's Mother. The sadness and grief of such an event has done nothing to quell their outpouring of emotion, allowing the listener to delve even further into the minds of Gojira.

'Magma' takes off with 'The Shooting Star'. A stirring, mellow opener that almost deceives the listener into thinking that massive Gojira riff will kick in any second, that it's just around the corner...but it never arrives.......and it doesn't need to. The floating, almost ethereal tone of The Shooting Star keeps the listener entranced...."learn the skill to stay alive...survival". Moody, menacing and brooding, The Shooting Star is just the beginning.

By the time Magma arrived, we had already been blessed with a couple of very strong tracks, 'Silvera' being the second one to arrive. It's a bursting crush of noise - the wall of sound that we have grown to expect from this incredible band. Accompanied by a wonderful clip, 'Silvera's riff kicks in immediately....throttling you through a hyper ride of intense sound and pressure. "Quit moaning about fate and change. Stand up on your feet and rise" Joe tells us before pronouncing "dead bodies falling from the sky, we are the ape with vision of the killing".

One of Gojira's unique strengths is their ability to take what might be a fairly standard, straight forward riff and give it steroid injection - luring you in with subtly...before kicking your head in with crushing rhythms. With the first single taken from the album 'Stranded', guitarists Joe Duplantier and Christian Andreu take a pretty basic approach with the opening strains before confronting the listener with some superb fretwork "a growing sickness in the heart, defective lack of control" cries Joe before repeating "don't lock the door on me, you'd kill me face down" Lyrics made even more pertinent knowing the Duplantier brothers have had a torturous few years preceding this album.

It must be said that Magma is not you typical Gojira album - but then again...what is? The extensive use of clean/layered vocals is most prevalent on the title track. Not unlike the album opener 'The Shooting Star', 'Magma' follows a similar path - keeping you waiting for that moment you think is coming...but never does. That is not to say its not a complete track, quite the opposite. Its a song that confirms what the band have set out to do with this album - challenge their fans, offering them the immersive Gojira experience, while taking them down a new path of songwriting, arrangements, sonics and depth..."embrace the light on the other side" these guys have bared their souls - exchanging their grief for their music.

The next track 'Pray' is the best track on the album. Surely it was written to play live. It opens with the perfect balance of threat, menace and looming doom....before the monstrous riff and syncopated drums kick in.....It sets the tone for the rest of the song without being repetitive or overplayed. It accents the chorus beautifully "no faith in your world, create my own to thrive"....before drifting into the darkness of the closing riff that just has the ability to pummel you one last time.'Only Pain' is perhaps the most lyrically reflective track . Opening with a typical Gojira 'go for the throat' barrage, Joe cries "since day one you try your best, to get what you need the most". ..."I'm the lamb who was's just another offering". More mid tempo riffing over over the top of beautifully clean layered vocals sees the track come to a fairly abrupt end - you cant help but think that this track might have had a few more minutes to go - but in keeping with the rest of the album, the track is fairly short and tight.'Low Lands' is the third single and possibly Gojira's most progressive effort to date. Another slow burning, brooding tune again challenging the listener and again another track with some deeply personal lyrics "tell me what you see in the after life"......"all the voices trapped underneath the ground". Phrases that stay with you long after the track has finished.


A couple of times a year you will sit down to hear the new album from a band you have admired - whether it be a long time relationship or a recent dosen't matter. What matters is you love it from the moment you hear the first note. Magma is the album that could well propel Gojira into the metal stratosphere. From festival second stagers to headliners, from uber cool 'have you heard of these guys' to merchandise clad fans attending gigs across the globe - all in agreement that Gojira are the most exciting metal band in the world in 2016.If I can find any fault with Magma it is in its length - its too short! Take out a few instrumentals and you are left with a spinal cord of cutting edge, progressive modern heavy metal. Magma oozes emotion and it pours its heart out on every track. Magma = masterpiece.

Youtube clips!

Track listing

#1: The Shooting Star (5:42)
#2: Silvera (3:33)
#3: The Cell (3:18)
#4: Stranded (4:30)
#5: Yellow Stone (1:20)
#6: Magma (6:43)
#7: Pray (5:14)
#8: Only Pain (4:00)
#9: Low Lands (6:04)
#10: Liberation (3:35)


#1: The Shooting Star
#2: Silvera
#3: The Cell
#4: Stranded
#7: Pray
#8: Only Pain


#5: Yellow Stone

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