Gojira – Magma album review

France's soul-searching juggernaut Gojira evolves once more

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Even on something as brutal and dense as The Cell, a definite highlight for fans of drummer Mario Duplantier, Gojira sound exhilarated by the concept of limitless space and the freedom to roam. The lyrics reflect that refreshed, enhanced perspective, too: Joe Duplantier’s cry of ‘When you change yourself… you change the world’ would seem overly earnest and a little mawkish delivered by anyone else, but the Frenchmen’s sincerity has long been a major selling point and Magma once again exudes heartfelt rage and a sense of genuine, if cautious, hope.

JOE DUPLANTIER, VOCALS/GUITAR

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR SOUND BETWEEN L’ENFANT SAUVAGE AND MAGMA?

“Less distorted, more contrasted. We worked harder than ever before on these songs, and as a result we feel much stronger about our sound. One of the main things that changed is probably the singing: I’ve been wanting to sing more, and scream less, for a while now.”

HOW MUCH PRESSURE DID YOU FEEL TO MEET EVERYONE’S EXPECTATIONS?

“Not much. When we compose a record, our goal is to relax and play the music we want to hear in that moment, forget about the outside world and the pressure. When we get to the point where we enjoy our jam, we know we’re on the right path. That being said, it’s not always easy to relax with parental obligations and all of the important things in our lives outside the music.”

WHERE DID THE STRANGE RIFF IN STRANDED COME FROM?

“I was jamming with a whammy pedal I’d received from Digitech, and it inspired me. I liked that it reminded me of good, ol’ fashioned Pantera. It’s the only riff like that on the record, every song being different.”

WHAT DOES THE NEW ALBUM REPRESENT FOR GOJIRA? WORLD DOMINATION?

“Not really, but we definitely would welcome it! It’s mostly a representation of the last three years of our lives as
a band and individuals. We toured quite a bit on L’Enfant Sauvage, and learned a lot about the approach to our craft. We put a lot of that experience into it. This album holds a lot of sweat and tears and transcends world domination.”