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Gojira – Magma | Album Review

French metal saviours Gojira have returned from a four-year absence with an album that has made us question if anything else is even worth listening to.


Source: Album Artwork

Last year we put out an article posing some questions about the new Gojira album. Was it going to be as good as what they’ve done previously? Was it going to be very different? Will people still care about Gojira after four years of recorded absence?

The answer to all of those questions is: “Yes”. Magma is a very different record to what a lot of people will have been expecting from Gojira. For a start it’s less traditionally heavy. There’s very little in the way of the scorching fury that was present in their previous work. When it does drop, like it does in ‘The Cell‘, it drops like a piledriver from Thor but that’s only because there are songs like opener ‘The Shooting Star‘ that don’t even have any screaming in them. Songs like ‘Pray‘ and the slow build of the title track have more in common with bands like Tool and Mastodon than they do with previous Gojira work.

Some have dubbed Magma as more ‘simple’ than other Gojira albums. From a purely instrumental point of view there is that case to be made, but if you give it the time it deserves you notice that the eye of technicality has been shifted from blistering riffs, to song structures, timings, the build of the tracks, the overall feel of the album. There are scores of bands who can play their instruments as well as Gojira, but only a handfull who could write an album that flows, builds and slams quite like Gojira do on Magma.

It is possible that some of the more ‘I Only Liked It When It Was Heavy’ fans will say that Gojira have sold out. That by bringing the heaviness down on some tracks they’re trying to become more popular. These people are of course morons. You only need to listen to the track run of ‘Silvera‘ > ‘The Cell‘> ‘Stranded‘ > ‘Yellow Stone‘ to realise that Gojira haven’t sold out. They’ve matured. They’ve taken the four years they’ve been away to write one of the most intricate, fascinating and mature heavy metal albums of the last few years.

If you like Gojira, listen to this. If you have never listened to them, this is the point to get you into them. If you are a fan of heavy metal then buy this album because albums this good are few and and far between.

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