Absolutely Huge Sounding
In a year already absolutely brimming with phenomenal albums, for some of the most anticipated records of the year the task has really been set with nothing less than full a on ‘A Game’ both expected and needed. There have already been some top bands this year who have quickly discovered that 2016 really was not the time to release an album which is even slightly average. With a rumble of build up over the last few months, it became clear that whilst we were going to be served with a very heavy Gojira album, we were also going to be getting a very different one. Well should you consider it as a risk, or whatever you want to call it, it has absolutely paid off as once again these French Metal masters have displayed a level of ingenuity and intelligence many within this scene can only dream of having.
The album as a whole is perhaps a little less ‘in your face’ than their previous records. Mario Duplantier has dialled in the blast beats quite a bit and the riffs on the most part at a slower pace, but it doesn’t lose that heavy, sinister, edge Gojira have been able to hone and craft for so long now. It had been a long four years since the band had released any new material, a time period which the Duplantier brothers sadly lost their Mother. The level of grief and despair entwined across the album shows that this band truly became the most important outlet for them, allowing them to grow as musicians in the process.
The two singles Silvera and Stranded, with their gargantuan levels of stomp, sit well on an album containing some even heavier moments in Pray, which has Mario Duplantier literally sounding like an automatic weapon
malfunctioning behind the kit as the band explode in fits and starts, to lighter moments like album closer Liberation.
There will likely be a fair few who will turn their nose up at the change in approach on this album and grasp for their copy of From Mars To Sirius and that is absolutely fine, but with this easily being their most ‘accessible’ release, Gojira are likely to pick up swathes of new fans on the release of Magma. This is an album which could very well serve as the ‘gateway’ record for people getting in to Gojira. The only real downfall on the record is the inclusion of two instrumental tracks which act more as interludes than anything else - for an album which feels relatively short they didn't feel like a necessary route to take.
The production on the album is also absolutely top notch. All four members of this band have truly been able to flex their power with a sound which constantly feels like it’s about to cause the earth to cave in. We’ve already mentioned him a few times, but yet again Mario Duplantier has shown us exactly why he is one of the most talented drummers in Music at the moment. It’s his chaotic precision which drives each track - really feeling like he is leading the way from behind the kit.
Overall then, whilst probably not their best, this is still an incredibly strong Metal record. Gojira have recently staked more than a claim as the best live band in the scene at the moment and with the kind of trajectory this album could potentially push them towards, we’re looking at a band who can only get bigger at the moment.