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Review of the Album "Magma" by French Progressive Death Metal Band Gojira

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A Photo of Magma Flowing

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Magma is More Than Just an Album Title

Magma is the 6th studio album by French progressive death metal band Gojira. I had been really impressed by their 2008 album The Way of All Flesh so naturally, this one was going to be listened to and analyzed. Magma was recorded and released at a time when Joe and Mario Duplantier lost their mother to cancer.

I can hear influences ranging from Agalloch to Novembre and even System of a Down. Joe Duplantier mentioned that the sound for the band would be different which as we have already discussed the case is if we compare the sound to 2008 which was eight years earlier. He also mentions that there is what he calls Pantera sounding material. However, there is an industrial feel to this album as well but Pantera? The System of a Down influence is heard in the song called “The Shooting Star.” There is a reasonable chance that lyrically Joe and Mario were writing when they had their mother’s death on their mind. To go through the kind of adversity that these two guys went through they learned how to survive. As this first song says survival is a life skill to be learned but is everlasting love really dying?

The Process for How the Album Magma Was Recorded

The background for what would eventually result in the completion of Magma goes back to 2014 when Gojira relocated to New York City and construction on their own music studio in Queens commenced. However because of the death of Joe and Mario’s mother in 2015, recording of the album was put on hold. Mixing of the album was completed in February 2016.

"Silvera"

In spite of that adversity faced by these two brothers, the result that we get from Magma is a rather decent set of songs. “Silvera” is one of those songs that still has the feel of a good metal song and the song has what should be an inspiring message. The song says that we you change yourself you change the world. That is basically saying that if you change your thoughts you can change your life. The online magazine Consequences of Sound ranked Magma as the 33rd best out of the 50 best albums of 2016. 2016 isn’t even that long ago considering that we are in 2021 but Magma is a very refreshing modern metal album that is not too overwhelming and it still has some heavy riffing in it.

Final Thoughts About the Album Magma

“The Cell” sees Gojira really speed up in the beginning as the song lyrically is about what happens when we are trapped in the egoism of our minds. Looking at Magma, this is an example of how to write an album that is a departure from your earlier releases if you are a band. Songs such as “Pray” have that sound that lets you know that it is industrial, like Fear Factory. When you have no faith in your world it is better to pray for a better one. “Low Lands” is a song that may have been written about the mother of Joe and Mario Duplantier. Lyrically the song is trying to say that when someone has passed away and into the next plane of consciousness they are away from what is being described as the plagues of this world they are put out of their misery and they will not face the pain of this world as they go into an even higher state of consciousness. Magma ends with a rather nice classically influenced instrumental song called “Liberation.” For the time in which Magma was written it is an album that is rather refreshing while offering a good enough departure from the previous albums of France’s Gojira.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian