Oh my god! It’s Godzilla! Oh wait...it is actually the new album from Gojira that is taking the metal world by storm with its massive sounding guitar arrangements and extremely powerful lyrical content.
The French progressive metal masters in Gojira have really raised the bar with their sixth studio release, “Magma.” Over the years one has come to learn that Gojira does not simply reproduce the same exact sounding album. The early days of Gojira are definitely different from this current sound that can be heard on the new album. They have always shown a desire to push themselves as songwriters and it should come as no surprise that, “Magma,” is sort of the pinnacle right now in Gojira’s career. Everything I enjoyed about their last album, “L”Enfant Sauvage,” has evolved into a more focused and determined state of musical expression. Honestly, the songwriting with its almost straight forward progressive hard rock style matched with these monumental metallic elements, allows for the band to dish out brilliant song after song.
The music on, "Magma," draws you in right from the first song, “The Shooting Star.” Gojira builds a very atmospheric calm environment that evolves quickly into a massive distorted delivery of crushing emotion. Vocalist and guitarist Joe Duplantier’s voice echoes with great force over the drum and guitar arrangements. Compared to the first song track number two, “Silvera,” starts off with more aggression and attitude. The vocals have that unforgiving shouting like growl which are then met by a more melodic style at times. I really liked the guitar playing on this track and felt the band created some outstanding riff sections. Track three, “The Cell,” has a very fast tempo intro part that displays the tremendous talents of drummer Mario Duplantier. Again, the music is presented without any restraint and the emotional energy from the song is constantly being unleashed upon the listener.
Probably my favorite song on the album and in my opinion the track that helps make this album one of the best releases to come out this year is, “Stranded.” Simply a moving piece of music that contains a simple yet addicting heavy riff and some really memorable lyrical content. My favorite part is when the band is hammering out this angry sounding riff section and you hear Joe shout, “Don’t lock the door on me, you’d kill me face down dead...”, with such raw emotion.
At about midway through the album you realize Gojira is not showing any sings of slowing down and the songs continue to offer so much creative diversity. The album’s title track is a very spiritual sounding piece. “Pray,” is a song that starts with a chugging guitar riff that eventually mellows out for a bit until the band unleashes a burst of intense musical fury. Keeping to the raw aggressive tone that was heard on, “Stranded,” the album’s eighth track, “Only Pain,” delivers yet another bold chorus of guitar chord destruction. I liked the song’s raw expression, however, I felt it was not as moving and well composed as, “Stranded.” The last two songs on the album are a strong finish with the six minute piece, “Low Lands,” and then the final acoustic driven instrumental song, “Liberation.” I honestly felt as though the band could have just concluded with, “Low Lands.” To me the instrumental outro did not match up well with the other tracks and did not offer much to the album.
Gojira once again has found a way to capture the metal world’s attention with their tremendous recording talents. “Magma,” is an album that some might argue is the album of the year, but we shall see as there is still time for other releases to come out. As stated before, compared to previous Gojira releases, the songwriting and recording on the album is raise to newer heights. For a band who has never settled for a repetitive sounding formula, Gojira maintains their artistic unique standing in the metal world with, “Magma.”