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MAGMA

Gojira

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Gojira Magma album cover
3.85 | 60 ratings | 4 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Shooting Star (5:42)
2. Silvera (3:33)
3. The Cell (3:18)
4. Stranded (4:29)
5. Yellow Stone (1:19)
6. Magma (6:42)
7. Pray (5:14)
8. Only Pain (4:00)
9. Low Lands (6:04)
10. Liberation (3:35)

Total Time 43:56

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Joe Duplantier / vocals, guitars
- Christian Andreu / guitars
- Jean-Michel Labadie / bass
- Mario Duplantier / drums

Releases information

June 17, 2016
Roadrunner Records
RR7479-2

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MagmaMagma
Roadrunner Records 2016
Audio CD$5.42
$4.39 (used)

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GOJIRA Magma ratings distribution


3.85
(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

GOJIRA Magma reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Necrotica
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If Gojira's last effort L'Enfant Sauvage presented a more streamlined sound, Magma is the next step in stripping it down. Abandoning the technical death metal sound that got them popular in the metal world might seem like a betrayal to some, but I've always seen Gojira as more of a progressive metal band anyway. They've often eschewed the modern tech-death tag in favor of a sound that, while brutal, is heavily textured and dripping with atmosphere all the same. Gojira's way of combining beautiful textures, chunky riffs, and impressive instrumental skills is simply infectious, especially in albums like The Way of All Flesh and The Link. But Magma is a bit of a different beast, as it opts for an alarmingly simple approach to their signature sound. The groove metal element is still retained, but there's almost a post-metal quality about the way the album is presented. We now have much more buildup and subtle dynamic shifts in many of the tunes, and this is clear right from the slow-burning opener "Shooting Star," a song which immediately brings a sense of minimalism to the forefront. During the verses, a single guitar/bass note is repeatedly being played at the bottom while Joe Duplantier's clear vocals take charge above it. While "Silvera" picks up the pace substantially with Mario Duplantier's technical drumming and swifter guitar chugs, "Shooting Star" is a clear foreshadowing of the album's tone. Speaking of vocals, Joe's clean vocals are much more prominent. Harsh singing is still present, but it's more thrash-based in nature instead of being gravelly; basically Joe's shouted vocals are especially frequent. In any case, it's not like Gojira's technical side has been entirely erased here, as moments like the punchy-yet-melodic "Silvera" or the amazingly intricate polyrhythmic intro of "The Cell" demonstrate.

But strange moments do pop up more than once as a result of the band's stylistic shift. The somber instrumental piece "Yellow Stone" is certainly in character for the band, given how their melancholic guitar-driven interlude "The Silver Cord" from The Way of All Flesh sounded. But it still seems completely crazy that they would place an acoustic ambient/folk song at the very end of the album, especially one that lasts for as long as it does (almost 4 minutes, in this case). But "Liberation" does represent this album's experimentation nicely, and the preceding track "Low Lands" is another odd song that emphasizes a doom-laden atmosphere and somber melodies over outright heaviness. If there are any songs here that represent Gojira's more traditional sound from past albums, they would be "Silvera," "Stranded," and "Only Pain." Here, you get to hear all the intense double-bass drumming, heavy guitar distortion from Duplantier and Christian Andreu, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie's monstrous grooves. This is most notably heard on the fantastic chorus of "Stranded" which subtly slides into a 6/4-time riff while Joe Duplantier belts out some of his most intense harsh vocals yet. But I feel as though the more adventurous songs are also the most exciting ones; they may seem simplistic at first, but despite (and partially because of) their minimalism, they command the listener's full attention through their subtleties. It would also be sensible to mention the event that likely influenced much of this album's tone and style: the tragic loss of Joe and Mario Duplantier's mother, Patricia Rosa. So the somber and downbeat vibe of Magma would certainly make sense because of this as well. While I don't think this is Gojira's best record, and it definitely seems like a transitional one, it's an incredibly exciting one at the same time. It can be tonally inconsistent once in a while, but the unusual experiments and minimalist songwriting choices definitely stick out in a genre filled with technical wizardry and complexity. Magma may be from a different Gojira than we're used to, but it's still an excellent piece of work.

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Magma' - Gojira (74/100)

Gojira remain crushingly heavier than the vast majority of "commercial" metal bands today. That said, Magma lends the impression they've come closer to quiet introspection than ever before. With that, I get the mixed reaction from fans. For whatever reason, I'm reminded of the way The Mars Volta reinvented themselves in 2009 with Octahedron; they're simply taking their essential style down a more subdued path than we're used to hearing from them.

This has been the most interesting time to talk about Gojira at least since the release of The Way of All Flesh in 2008. They had fallen off my personal radar for a few years, and I haven't been enamoured as much with From Mars to Sirius and The Way of All Flesh since around the time the two came out. A polarized reception like Magma's, if anything, seemed like a sign that Gojira might be reinventing themselves in a way that could make them exciting again. A more melodic, atmospheric and airy album could not possibly have been popular with their fanbase, but that's not to say they don't do it really well.

Of any of Gojira's albums, this is definitely the biggest grower-type they've yet released. Because it's not as intensely heavy and urgent as the others, the layers take more time to grow. Considering I've always considered that their sheer heaviness was one of Gojira's best, it really is refreshing to hear them without those extremes. From this, their other defining traits come through more clearly. Their massive-sounding atmosphere still makes it sound like they're recording in an underwater cavern, the progressive grooves are extremely hooky, and the melodic accents carry their weight several times over. Gojira have effectively channelled the same urgency in tighter confines. The writing isn't quite as consistent as it could have been, but there's more than enough solid material here to suggest their change of pace was a good idea.

The mellower (at least relative to past work) approach works well for Gojira's subject this time around. Although their music's almost always related to their personal convictions, Magma draws the music even closer to home. The Duplantier brothers' loss of their mother affected and moved them a ton; it would be more surprising if their next album hadn't been inspired at least in part by that experience. From this, Gojira's most powerful lyrics have inevitably stemmed; even if their clean vocals aren't quite strong enough to deserve such a prominent role on the album, the words and lyrics are powerful enough to sell it through. Even if Magma was inspired by a real-life loss, they still manage to touch upon grander ideas: the afterlife, the loss of love, and the will to carry on in spite of pain. They're not the sort of lyrics you can fully appreciate on paper alone; the music's celestial atmosphere is what gives the words their spiritual weight.

There are a few fantastic songs here. "The Shooting Star" is a slowburning opener that quickly impresses the fact upon the listener that they're in for a subdued Gojira. "Silvera" was the first song I checked out from the album, and it's still probably my favourite, with punchy dark riffs that sound like they were drawn from The Way of All Flesh. "Stranded" has one of the coolest-sounding riffs I've ever heard from the band, and "Low Lands" is a solid way to climax the album, trailed afterwards by the gently acoustic "Liberation". Although the album has definitely grown on me over the course of listens, I have started to feel that Magma is conspicuously frontloaded when it comes to its quality material. All of the songs here are solid, but I find a harder time in remembering great moments from the second half of the record. I support Gojira's subdued evolution, but the lack of standouts nonetheless puts this below their best work. Other than that, there are no gripes to be had with the band's softer approach. The same intensity as always is here-- it just takes a bit more digging on the part of the listener to get it.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Magma" is the 6th full-length studio album by French progressive/groove metal act Gojira. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in June 2016. Itīs been four years since the release of "L'Enfant Sauvage (2012)", but itīs not an unusual release cycle for Gojira as there were also four years between "The Way of All Flesh (2008)" and "L'Enfant Sauvage (2012)". They have always been a meticulous act, who would rather spend a few more years perfecting their material rather than release an album a year they arenīt completely satisfied with.

Stylistically there have been a few changes since "L'Enfant Sauvage (2012)", although Gojiraīs trademark progressive/groove metal style is overall intact. This time around lead vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier experiments quite a bit with clean vocals in addition to his more regular raw vocals, and that is pretty new in Gojiraīs musical universe, and it has a great impact on the bandīs sound on "Magma". The tracks are also generally a bit more simple and atmospheric compared to the more riff heavy and often relatively complex structured material of the past.

The change is heard right from the opening track "The Shooting Star", which is quite an atmospheric slow building track featuring clean vocals. "Silvera" follows and is a much more riff heavy and aggressive track though (the main riff is absolutely killer), so itīs not all mellow and melancholic atmospheres. Even the more heavy tracks like "Silvera" and "Only Pain", feature a good portion of atmospheric parts though. Other noteworthy tracks include "Stranded", which features quite the distinct sounding pitchshifter riff ("Only Pain" actually features a very similar sounding riff), and the atmospheric title track, but "Magma" is generally a consistent high quality release.

"Magma" features a powerful and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion, itīs another intriguing and adventurous release by Gojira. Compared to the preceding releases by the band, itīs a lot more accessible and instantly catchy, and I think thatīll win them a new audience, but donīt make the mistake of thinking this is mainstream hook laden material, because thatīs after all not true. Thereīs still a good degree of complexity in the songwriting and execution of the music, which should ensure that older fans of the band, should be able to enjoy it too. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Gojira's latest is a bit underwhelming. Simplified, often less heavy, and less energetic, it still checks all the boxes so to speak, but it's woefully inconsistent. At times it's forcefully aggressive, and other times it channels slower, mediocre groove metal, complete with chugs and forgettable ... (read more)

Report this review (#1583328) | Posted by Insin | Sunday, June 26, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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