Fueled by unbridled emotion, Gojira's sixth full-length album and second for Roadrunner Records, Magma, confront the fragility of life, the aftershocks of loss, and what lies beyond this realm. Musically, the French quartet - brothers Joe Duplantier [vocals, guitar] and Mario Duplantier [drums], Christian Andreu [guitar], and Jean-Michel Labadie [bass] - gracefully swings between quaking and quivering guitars, mind-bending percussion, chillingly elegant melodies, and cosmic atmospherics. The band has always dealt in extremes, uncovering light in darkness and finding beauty in heaviness. Magma continues that tradition, while expanding the sonic palette.
The first single "Stranded" tempers a wailing banshee whammy screech with a death march of distortion and drums. Amidst the sonic groundswell, Joe delivers a hypnotic chant. The battering ram riffing of "Silvera" spirals out into a metallic explosion that ruptures the senses. The trudging guitars of "Shooting Star" see the frontman paint a breathtaking picture of ascension to the heavens, simultaneously highlighting his vocal vulnerability. The airy instrumental "Yellow Stone" offers a reprieve mid-album before building into the ponderously pummeling climax of "Only Pain" and "Low Lands." Everything culminates on the delicate solo jam between Joe and Mario - "Liberation."
The group has challenged itself and heavy music since forming in 1996. Their 2012 offering, L'Enfant Sauvage, garnered unanimous critical applause courtesy of Pitchfork, Q Magazine, Alternative Press, The Guardian and more. Metallica, Slayer, and Mastodon have all invited the band on tour.
"I hope people enjoy the trip," Joe leaves off. "I hope they can disconnect from the chaos of their lives for an hour and have a nice moment of raw emotion and energy. Even though we went through a hard time, we put everything we could into this. It's the pure essence of what we are now."