Gojira

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I was hoping to hear some new material at Download. I saw them at Sonisphere in 2014 and was impressed by them live, even in the 11am first-band-of-the-day slot.
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner

Is MAGMA the new album title? And is June 17th the release date? They keep being enigmatic but it certainly looks like it. I can't wait for this...
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
Quite different to their usual style, much more catchy riffs. I like it, but we'll have to see what Gojira traditionalists say,
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
I'm not blown away but I definitely like the song. The main riff is grat, very distinctive and Gojira-ish at the same time. The calm part towards the end surprised me - it's something new and I like it. At first I thought that the chorus is meh but it's growing on me. Song structure is simple, more to the point just like they said. Personally, I love their progressive side, so I hope the album will also feature that kind of stuff, but I know that a lot of interesting ideas can be encapsulated in the short song formula as well. I haven't listened to it on my headphones yet - I have to do it, because I'm really curious how their new studio and more of Joe's production input sound. From the speakers it sounds really good and similar to the previous records.

Don't like the video, though... It's nicely made but it's pretty far from the vibe I usually get from them. The cover artwork, though, is fantastic:



I'm hyped!
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Song is a bit poppier/more commercial but it's still just one friggin' song and they won't pick something too complicated for the first single anyway.
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
Nope, their approach on this album was to write shorter, more to-the-point stuff. Quote from the interview that I posted earlier in this thread:
they worked with 12 songs for the album before ultimately deciding on 10. "We want a short album," he says. "Something less epic than what we usually do. People's attentions are shorter now. So a lot of the songs are four minutes."
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
1. The Shooting Star
2. Silvera
3. The Cell
4. Stranded
5. Yellow Stone
6. Magma
7. Pray
8. Only Pain
9. Low Lands
10. Liberation
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
I haven't listened to it on my headphones yet - I have to do it, because I'm really curious how their new studio and more of Joe's production input sound.
...and it sounds perfect. Clear and crisp. It's less massive than L'Enfant Sauvage (not as many layers, I guess), but the production is impressive as always.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member

I like it better than the first song, way less commercial. Although I read some comments before I listened and I expected arena rock keyboards and singalongs based on how much they hate it :p
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I really like how they've developed, if this is any indication of how the rest of the album will sound. I can imagine the purists finding it too easy listening, though.
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
Another solid track, I really like what I'm hearing thus far. Again - simple but memorable song with clear musical ideas behind it. I think I liked the previous single a bit more, but nothing makes me nervous about the album at all. I just hope at least a couple of tracks will be more progressive. Can't wait...

The video is nicely made but I'm somewhat not digging Gojira in the urban environment. :p Btw. aerial shots started looking cheap since drones became popular, lol.
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner

That's a very cool studio. It's great that they have their own space like this. I wish I could record there. Maybe in another life... :p
 

Srogyy

Ancient Mariner
The new album is out there... if you know what I mean.

Here are my first impressions... In short - it's a very good record but I'm slightly disappointed. It is definitely the lightest and the most melodic Gojira album, which was expected and I have nothing against that approach. It's refreshing. My biggest gripe (and maybe it's just me) is that the album lacks some kind of centrepiece. To me The Way of All Flesh, although overall very strong, is elevated in particular by a couple of exceptional tracks - The Art of Dying, Vacuity and maybe Oroborus too. I find all Magma tracks good (with exception of one quasi-track), but I can't help thinking there's not enough meat to this album.

Soundwise etc. it's all great. Significantly less massive this time, but they haven't lost their identity. You can hear they are using their usual devices to create something different. Songs are structured very well. There's a LOT of clean vocals and while it sounds good on the album, it makes me a bit nervous when I think about concerts. Joe really struggled with the clean part of Stranded live to the point that they apparently started using a backing track, I think.

Here it's at 3:31. Lot of troubles...


And here at 3:20 it sounds like a perfectly clean backing track, doesn't it? Hell, he even says something over it.


Track-by-track breakdown:

The Shooting Star is an atypical opener for them - calm and steady, a bit hypnotic I'd say, with very interesting cosmic-sounding melodies. I really like it, but I'm not sure whether it fits as the first track. Pray would be much better. Speaking of Pray, lets jump to it - I'm not sure if I can call it my favourite song overall, but it features my favourite moment on the album. I'm talking about the part from the beginning until vocals kick in. That rhythmic buildup is so epic. Yeah, it would be a great intro to the whole thing. I hope they will open shows with it. Unfortunately the song doesn't burst into any Art of Dying-like epicness, which I initially expected. Nonetheless it still stands out.

The two singles Silvera and Stranded turn out to be pretty strong even in the context of the whole album and are probably the catchiest. I think that Stranded may be in fact my favourite track overall (it would be Pray if the rest of it held up to the tension of the opening). The Cell is a song of similar type, it would make a good single, I like it. Especially that melodic intro. Yellow Stone is a simple instrumental interlude with bass as the lead instrument. Sounds amazing. Gojira usually come up with really cool interludes - The Wild Healer from the previous album is just brilliant. Yellow Stone is probably not equally good and elaborate, but very cool in a quite similar way.

At first I thought the title track is so-so and the psychedelic part (although ok) didn't fit well. The intro/main riff sounds like it was based on the extended Oroborus intro that they played live. I'm kind of bummed about it, because I love that live bit and IMO it was much better than what it apparently developed into in Magma. You can listen to the part I refer to here (0:40 - 2:00):


The chorus, however, stuck in my head for the whole day, so there must be something about this song... It will probably grow. Next track, Only Pain, I did not remember after one listen, to be honest. I'm relistening to it now and it's okay, but probably the most forgettable on the record. It's one of the more aggressive ones (others are Pray, Silvera and The Cell - the rest is pretty mellow for Gojira). After that comes Low Lands. I love how this track flows, the arrangement is great. It's something atmospheric again. It reminded me of Born in Winter from L'Enfant Sauvage. Very nice.

And then there's Liberation... I have no idea what the hell is that supposed to be. It must be something of personal value to the band, because musically I see no reason for it to be on the record. Maybe it's the first jam after brothers Duplantier's mother passed away (which influenced the album for sure), that was my first thought... I don't know, but it doesn't sound good to me. Maybe if they decided to develop this idea instead of using a demo, the outcome would be better. In this case, Low Lands definitely sounds more final and should close the album.

Of course I may change my tune about some things once the album sinks in.

My prediction for new songs on the album tour setlist: The Shooting Star, Silvera, The Cell, Stranded, Magma, Pray. Initially I thought about Low Lands as well, but I think it may turn out to be a too fragile arrangement not to mention vocals.
 
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