Gojira - Magma (Roadrunner)

An uncompromisable amount of emotion has been entrusted in Magma
Release Date: 
17 Jun 2016 (All day)

The statement ‘most important metal band today’ has been thrown about quite a lot in honour of the Frenchmen who had the overwhelming task of a follow up theL’Enfant Sauvage.... Not an easy undertaking. I will encourage those few to get off your sassy horses with the comments ‘not heavy enough’. Let’s be mature, we are fully developed human beings – we are not barbarians – we are not simple creatures who all we require in Heavy Metal is a violent bashing of instruments, lyrics with little to no substance, we're not soulless beasts.... Nor are we pop fans. Magma has been cultivated and shows such sophistication; the band itself are teetering on the edge of progression and we're all curious to see what is over that line. With rebellious flair Gojira are primarily focused on pushing their own boundaries and the precincts of title.  

A relentless pain is imminent throughout Magma – and a constant question feels like its being asked.... In past albums we could always rely on Gojira’s technicality and in the past this is what has governed their sound; their sheer technicality and their ability to obliterate all knowledge you think you had on their style. An uncompromisable amount of emotion has been entrusted in Magma. At first I was left speechless – however I have managed to pick my jaw up off the floor and assemble some words together.....

The Shooting Star begins ominously then ascends you with punchy guitars, split riffs and a plethora of hope. Immediately you recognise the freedom Gojira have given themselves in the material in order to test these waters. You will not get a deluge of drum hammering as per we are use to – however what you will get is a side step to clean vocals. This is new. This is very new. Don’t freak out - with the atmosphere pumping from this song it would almost feel silly to bring in Joe’s renowned guttural vocals.

On the other side of the coin you have Silvera with straight out detonation. A riff for the ages; reminiscent of the days of From Mars To Sirius. Silvera is utterly exquisite. The raucous of Joe Duplantier arrives and we are swept away in a fit of rage expressed through his wraithlike vocals complemented by a technically apposite drum archetype – or what is most commonly known as ‘the signature Gojira sound’. You experience Silvera being crafted as the guitars shred along and thread around you as you desperately try to make yourself a part of it.

Already you have realised and hopefully accepted that Magma has opened your eyes to a fresh position with your favourite Frenchmen, as you identify with their progression. Would you call it an evolution on their sound? I would be more inclined to say that Gojira have brought forward the integrity of modesty and left out the fuss.  

The Cell is a deluge of swift and sharp drums and guitars - the Duplantier men and a sturdy preface to the sludgiest predicament you could find yourself in. Heavily down tuned guitars solidify the sombreness in this album. It takes you down some dark avenues and leaves you with no sense of optimism; this is atmospherically ideal.

To put it frankly Stranded is flawless. Just flawless. Such poignant lyrics – the pain in Joe’s voice is more than evident and crushingly beautiful. Paved by depth and atmosphere, the profundity is groundbreaking. Dare I say timeless....

Magma; heavy in an enigmatic and obscure way; is taking you back to the bands primordial side. The lads have stripped it back – to a time before the awards, before the crowds, before the shine; before the bullshit. Magma is so damn instinctive and unpretentious. A truly genuine piece of work. If you find yourself scratching your head, first ask yourself what you were expecting - If you were expecting a vague; unemotive and unnecessarily brutal album then you have missed the point all along friend. Take a step back and reassess what you believe Gojira to be. Magma promises you nothing yet delivers on everything - It is a significant step in their progression and one that leaves us guessing. It is evident by the end that the human condition in this case is left sobered and solemn.....