One of the most anticipated releases of 2016 is finally in stores! The French titans of modern metal had already presented two videos, for the songs “Stranded” & “Silvera” taken from “Magma”, that were instantly embraced not only by their fans but also from the greater part of the metal community. But listening to an album in its entirety is necessary to get into the complete range of its emotions and that’s how this record should be listened; as a whole emotional trip, in its full 44 minutes of glory.

“Another day in the dark…”

The main feeling of “Magma” is gloomy, but cathartic. Brothers Duplantier had to deal with the loss of their mother and that influenced both the lyrics and the music of their sixth record. That being said, what you will hear is not only another metal album but a soulful piece of modern art.

“Be ready to fly…”

The album kicks off with an unusual song, for this band.  “The Shooting Star” is a, melodic, slow-tempo, low key song, with an ALICE IN CHAINS influenced main guitar riff. It features only clean vocals that are heard in most of the other songs too. Followed by the already known track “Silvera”, on which the riffs have a PANTERA feeling and the lyrics a message about the need to save the environment, by changing ourselves. That one is setting the mood for the even heavier “The Cell” with its fast guitar playing causing serious headbanging.

The production is bulky and clear, while the mixing leaves room for all the musical organs to be heard and the mastering lets you hear them as loud as you want. Coming next is the album’s “hit” “Stranded”, were GOJIRA incorporates some –older- KORN influences in guitars and vocals but, make no mistakes, this isn’t nu metal.

In the middle of the album there is a short, doom metal, instrumental dominated by a heavily distorted bass called “Yellow Stone” that should be longer! “Magma”, the song that named the album is a composition that is based on a paranoid guitar melody and more choir-like vocal harmonies with lyrics that you will want to learn to sing. “Pray” is the song that brings to mind “L’ Enfant Sauvage” with its main riff and the screams of Joe Duplantier.

“Only Pain” is the hardest composition of the ten and once again the (angrier) Jonathan Davis influence can be heard on vocals. “Low Lands” is another mid tempo atmospheric song that sounds like KYLESA’s latest songwriting style, with beautiful and hopeful lyrics that seem to be a farewell to the bros’ mother. This one ends with a soothing acoustic guitar part. Also acoustic is the outro track “Liberation” which actually is liberating for the listener after all these deep and heavy emotions portrayed by Magma (=a mixture of –really hot- molten rock, volatiles and metals that is found deep beneath the Earth – How fitting title is that?)

“When you change yourself, you change the world”

GOJIRA have progressed and mellowed their music on this album and they have done it because they needed to. There is honesty in that move, one can clearly realize this. The result not only was worth the four year waiting but to me it seems that it is most rewarding. It is their shortest album to date but it is their most heartfelt. An album that many people can relate with, enjoy, find comfort or inspiration and connect parts of their life with. I think that it will not only be the album of this year for the –thinking- heavy metal listeners but for many more years to come.

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