(9/10) It took four years for French metal outfit Gojira to work on their next album. First ideas have been gathered by Mario Duplantier already back in 2013 when the band was touring through North America. But one of the main reason for using four years to come up with the new album was based on the fact that Joe Duplantier started to create his own studio from scratch. This took some time and the own studio also had an impact on the band's sixth album.
"Magma" features ten new songs that are all recorded, produced and mixed by the band in the new Silver Cord Studios in Brooklyn, New York. As mentioned, some first ideas have been generated already in the tourbus but most of the new album has been written in the studio itself, a freedom the band could make use of this time.
This approach have had a positive impact on the band. Being fully responsible means also having the full decision power which leads to a certain level of liberty. "Magma" is vigorous and intense, heavy and fragile, bright and dark, all in one.
"The Shooting Star" is the first track on "Magma" and it reflects the album title very well. Like magma the song comes with a slow floating groove. In fascinating monotony this tune creeps into your mind. It has some earworm potential and maybe it sounds weird, but I guess if Saigon Kick and Voivod would have written a song together, it would sound similar to "The Shooting Star".
After such an hypnotic beginning some harder riffs hits you with "Silvera" before "The Cell" shifts up a gear or two. At least in the beginning it's some wild riffs that introduce the song before it ends up in a more moderate pace. However, it's one of the mightiest tracks on the album. Brutal and awesome, that's "The Cell".
The first video for "Magma" was called "Stranded", the song that's next on the tracklist. It's a powerful song that includes a certain desperation, mainly based on the vocal lines.
We're getting close to a half time break and on "Magma" this one is called "Yellow Stone", a one minute instrumental interlude that sets the scene for the mighty title track. Almost seven minutes long, the number is one of the craziest ones on the longplayer. It covers many creative ideas and brings them together to an outstanding songs that includes slow and oppressive moments as well as fast shredding riffs. The vocals are hypnotic and partly even fragile, disrupted by an evil guitar sound. This combination adds a lot of suspense and excitement to this masterpiece which makes it to one of the best tunes the band has written up till now.
"Pray" and "Only Pain" can easily keep the high level of the previous songs, the first one enriched by some flute sounds. The most wistful number on "Magma" is called "Low Lands". It's also the most sphereful one that is kept rather silent. However, there is a constant layer of unease included that predicts an upcoming misery.
"Liberation" marks the end of this well-crafted new Gojira album and it is a contrast to all the other tunes. Gorjia goes back to the basics by using only the acoustic guitar and some percussions for this special number. Almost like the calm after the storm, this instrumental is a nice and smart finale of a crazy musical experience.
"Magma" has musical finesse, emotional depth and hard riffing guitars, all included in ten songs that belong to the best stuff this year - so far. Something you shouldn't miss.
- The Shooting Star
- The Cell
- Stranded (first single)
- Yellow Stone
- Only Pain
- Low Lands
Label: Roadrunner Records
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: June 17th, 2016