I had only “discovered” Gojira a few years back and had quickly fallen in love with them. They are just the right blend of groove, death, and progressive metal with a splash of thrash and I’d personally throw them somewhere in my top ten. Their recently released music videos Stranded and Silvera were awesome. I played them so often at home that my two year old would often run up to me and say “Daddy, Gojeewa Gojeewa” until I booted up the ol’ youtube and watched him mosh around the living room. Magma was therefore an obviously highly-anticipated release in our household. June 17th eventually rolled around and I gleefully plugged in my 5.1 headset, poured a scotch and settled down to enjoy what I was anticipating to be one of the best albums of the year. It wasn’t.
I decided to give the album a full week of airtime before I came to my final verdict. My initial feeling was that it was somewhat underwhelming. The structure was there; the time-changes, groovy riffs and shamanic vocals…but it lacked force. The opening track, Shooting Star, is a very melodic and clean track with a riff that is highly reminiscent of SOAD’s Spiders (You’ll know it once you hear it), and although not a bad track, it is most certainly a strange choice for an intro. Luckily, we jump right into Silvera right after, which is a killer track and set a better pace. The Cell was far too thrash for me and although I could appreciate the amazing technicality of the drumming and time changes involved, it’s just wasn’t a great track. Stranded picks the album back up again and I’d say is easily the best track on the album. We get a short, instrumental track after that before the title track Magma. I didn’t like it, and after a week of trying to, I still don’t. It was lackluster and the rest of the album kinda follows suit.
The four tracks that follow are really nothing special. They are good, tight tracks definitely in the vein of the older Gojira, but nothing stood out the way that I was hoping it would. It’s a sub par album from a very talented band and that is probably the most disappointing part of all. Even my son could tell the difference. After stranded finished playing, he would stand behind me and do his typical “Daddy, Gojeewa Gojeewa” and wouldn’t accept that what was coming out of the speakers was Gojira. I had to go and play some L’Enfant Sauvage or Flying Whales so he’d stop complaining. I may have to, unfortunately, go and do the same thing for myself.
You can listen to the whole album on youtube, just click the link below. Let us know your opinions in the comments.
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