Damn, Magma is good. Maybe my favorite album in 2016 so far.
I stopped buying CDs long ago, but broke the streak when I picked up Adele's 25 earlier this year. And I'm all over Gojira's Magma now too. Feels good to pop the disc in and enjoy the experience.
What I'd really like is to play this album on vinyl to hear what that's like, but I don't have a turntable yet. No idea if my wife will even allow it!
I read somewhere that Joe and Mario Duplantier's mom wasn't doing well right around the time they were recording Magma, so they put everything on hold, rightfully so. I don't know what it was from, but their mom passed away and this probably had an influence on how the songs were written, recorded, etc.
I can't imagine the grief those guys were feeling, but I can sense the emotion. And some depression too. "Low Lands" in particular makes me feel this way.
The album is a bit of a stylistic change in comparison to the rest of Gojira's catalog, including atmospheric sounds and clean vocals. Not every song is like this obviously. When I first listened to the entire album, I'll admit I wasn't very impressed. I thought, "Wow, the second half of this is pretty weak."
The first single, "Stranded," gives you a good taste of what to expect. It's also one of my favorites.
Video for "Stranded" off Gojira's Magma
And then I gave the album another run-through, and another, and another, and now I'm absolutely hooked on the entire thing. Magma is a great blend of heavy riffs, Joe's killer vocals, slower & groovier stuff, atmospheric sound, and more of the classic Gojira sounds we all know and love.
As many others have said, you really do need to give this a few listens before you can appreciate it. Usually that's what people say when an album sucks, but not this time. But maybe it will suck depending who you are.
I still think this is a strong release, with the first six songs in particular, but give it a chance for yourself. At the very least, new music from these guys has encouraged me to watch their live shows, get into older stuff, and things of that nature. I'm glad Joe and the boys are back.
Interesting live performance in black and white.