New Gojira music rates as one of the most highly anticipated things of 2016. It’s taken a few years but the French heavy metal behemoth are back with their new album, Magma.
The haunting effect that starts off The Shooting Star blends seemlessly into some of the darkest & broodiest metal you’ll hear all year. Before the vocals have even kicked in the song is a whirlwind of noise that strains your neck muscles.
The beat that accompanies the echoy vocals is incredible with the song taking on a more sorrowful approach.
The sombre intro is swapped for a more ‘expected’ Gojira style with Silvera. The heaviness is ramped up & the vocals spit venom. The guitar work on show is incredible, Gojira are at the top of their game & they are becoming one of the top bands in heavy metal.
Their sounds is unmistakable yet album after album they continue to push boundaries & seem to never want to just phone it in. If Gojira released an album that sounded like cuts from their last album, L’Enfant Sauvage we’d all still be praising the hell out of it. Instead they’ve returned with an album that builds on their past but doesn’t try to live in it.
No where is that more obvious than with Stranded, a song that is so damn good you’ll be hitting repeat several times before its fully registered in your brain. Amazingly catchy but oh so heavy, it’s everything that shows off the evolution of Gojira but so much more. Easily one of the best songs on the album by far.
Stranded is going to be amazing live!
If there is any song that doesn’t have quite the same impact it’s probably Magma, the song is great but the ones that came before set a hell of a high bar. The longest song on the album (near 7 minutes) it can get a little repetitive & won’t live as long in the memory.
10 tracks long, it’s all over far too quickly & you’re left begging for more. The almost chant like quality of Pray with its destructive drum beat gives way to the screeching riffs of Only Pain, a track that combines the heaviness that has come before but throws in really catchy vocals. It’s a brutal attack, summed up by the mid-drift away scream & drum/guitar combo that is just fantastic. The instruments sound like they are in pain, crying out for help!
Low Lands slows things down somewhat, offering a more chilled & soulful approach. It’s use of cleaner vocals has that haunting effect that is prominent in a lot of Gojira’s work. It’s one of the best ‘slower’ songs the band has thrown together, something that becomes apparent at the half way point as the main vocals get turned up & a whispered back-up is added. One of the lengthier songs on the album, its final flourish of heavier vocals & faster guitar work ensures it doesn’t bore.
Seemlessly slipping straight into a simple stripped back guitar melody & quiet use of hands drum beat, Liberation might seem odd as an ending to a glorious album but it’s just a continuation of the song that came before, Lowlands. See the two as just part of the same song & it makes for a killer ending to one of the best albums Gojira have created & one of the best albums of 2016.
A unique band that continue to create songs that excite, educate & leave you exhausted. 2016 has already seen some amazing albums, so much so that a top 10 could be written already. It says a lot that Magma hasn’t just broken into that 10 but potentially pushed its way to the number one spot.
Full Track List:
1. The Shooting
3. The Cell
5. Yellow Stone
8. Only Pain
9. Low Lands
Gojira - Magma (Roadrunner Records)
The Final Score - 9.5/10
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