Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gojira : " Magma"

I have been out of the loop with these guys as the only album I have owned was "From Mars to Sirius"which had a pre-djent thump to it and a killer guitar sound. Two albums have passed since that point and the change is tangible, though the proggy side of the band still shines. It is done in a pretty tasteful manner, and there is not an overdose of Meshuggah worship. The band is a little more melodic this time around. The tasteful use of clean vocals is a light of the opener, but the wow you with some guitar majick on the second song. But from this point they begin to cater to a more conventional metal sound to the point that "the Cell" reminds me of a more technical Fear Factory. After the first two songs I'm expecting a little more. They redeem themselves with a tasty groove on the hammering "Stranded". At this point in the album it is clear They know how to write some hooky riffs, but I haven't been as impressed with any of the vocals following the first song.

The title track finds the band continuing to drag out a bag of tricks with wacky guitar tones. The vocals are a little more Killing Joke. A similar vocal performance is given on "Pray" which hold more tension that is chugged out where the chorus would be. The Killing Joke influence on metal is further displayed on the trade off of melodic vocals, though the instrumental portions of the song seem to play is safer here. I like the use of melody better on "Low Lands" . It is more introspective. I would not say this album is particularly dark, which might effect how it doesn't sound all that heavy to me. The clean guitar tone that opens a stripped down "Liberation" offers a glimpse at another side of the band but feels more like an outro  rather than an actual song.

This album sounds awesome. These guys are very talented. I am not sure this is something I would really get playtime out of, when I want the itch scratched that is in this sonic place I would listen to Killing Joke instead. For younger fans of the band who don't know any better it will find a place in your heart even if this album is not as heavy as what you might expect from them. It's very tasteful even with the excursions into mall metal. I'll give it an 8.

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