Gojira "Magma"

After all the hype this received, I really expected to turn on the album and be instantly blown away. It's sad that there are so many Meshuggah references to Gojira, which I've personally never been able to put my finger on, and if the intro riff to "The Shooting Star" is what people are referring to than I'm so sorry that all you hear in Meshuggah's music is that one note baritone riff. 
     The chorus "when you change yourself, you change the world" in "Silvera" is nice, but it's not anything to toss Magma up as an AOTY contender. If anything, it distances the album from a confident space in metal relevance to a far away land where local band ideas are being heralded as revolutionary. By the time "Yellow Stone" splits the record in two, nothing has really been accomplished besides another rock anthem in "Stranded" that just doesn't sound like it's going to catapult the band to heightened success. Moments like the lead guitar wail in the title track are obvious to be Gojira's crowning jewel and pieces that they must be incredibly proud of to repeat endlessly and without end, but they just fall flat for anyone with a respectably broad metal palette that left me cringing for the band. It boils down to the band just being meh songwriters that probably don't listen to enough music to know how mundane they truly are. That, or a producer who failed the band with a taste of modern direction. Even Dethklok had a wider range in metal performance.
     There might be a bigger message at play, or maybe Gojira is just prog that I don't get, but at a foundational level it's nothing Burst didn't accomplish much more dynamically time and time again during their pitiful, but alarmingly creative, career. Gojira seem to be everyman's metal wild card, but to those of us who know better and can see past the stickers and advertising, understand there's always an Opeth to fall back on, and a proper Meshuggah release perhaps not too far ahead.

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