It’s the hottest day of the year. Stepping outside feels like walking into a furnace, and the pollen count is so high that even the bees are saying “yeah, that’s enough, thanks”. All because apparently, the sun has arbitrarily decided that in the space of twelve hours, everyone in the UK has to die by melting. Continue reading
Covers are a funny thing in music. Nowhere else in art is this level of flattery both respected and derided. Copies or recreations of painting or sculpture are often labeled as “influenced by” or worse, a forgery. All the remakes Hollywood keeps ramming our eyeholes with are mostly flaming hot garbage at summertime in New York City. With cover songs, the best ones are often not a note for note recreation of the original, unless it is an underrated artist or a little known song. From ‘Yesterday” to ‘Cum On Feel The Noise’, Covers have earned a place in our musical culture not only as a novelty. Others can take a well-known song and take it to new heights. Mastodon has done some stellar covers (‘The Bit’ from Melvins, ‘Emerald’ by, Thin Lizzy) and has now added all-time classic rock anthem ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin to the mix. Done in tribute to their late manager Nick John on the Stairway To Nick (Reprise Records) 10″ single for Record Store Day 2019, since Nick was a massive Zep fan. Tragically he passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2018. Mastodon will donate the proceeds from this release to research for that very disease. You can actually say they did it “because Nick John would have wanted it that way”. And you’d be right. He’d be touched. Continue reading
Rolling Stone‘s list of “The 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time” came out earlier this month, and ever since its release, the site has been sharing the personal lists that were sent in by some of heavy metal’s biggest names. So far we’ve seen the “Top Ten” from Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Lars Ulrich, and Corey Taylor, and today we have another one. Continue reading
This past year will go down as one of triumph over tragedy, more so than any other recent memory. It seems that across the board suffering in the world and on a personal level has been paramount in people’s minds. The same can be said for French metal gods Gojira, whose Magma (Roadrunner) is nothing short of brilliance, created from a place of angst and suffering on a level the band hasn’t dealt with before. Not only is it is a technical and artistic marvel, it stands apart on an emotional level for the creators, as well as the listener. The if the best art is made from a well of pain, Gojira hit the bottom of the well and came through an ocean on the other side to get here. Continue reading
Car Bomb has finally released Meta to the world, and as I’ve said before, this is a must own record for 2016. Continue reading
After losing their mother to cancer in 2015, brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier of Gojira have had to dig deeper than they would have ever wanted to write the follow up to 2012’s much lauded L’Enfant Sauvage (Roadrunner), and this unfortunate event has clearly been at the heart of all aspects of their latest release. From Magma‘s (Roadrunner) muted grayscale artwork to the the record’s lyrical themes and pervading feeling of solemnity, this is a piece of work driven not only by grief but by grim determination.
Reading this, you’d be forgiven for thinking that listening to the album would be a thoroughly depressing experience, but while the background to the record is certainly not the happiest, the music contained within is inherently Gojira. Just a more thoughtful, ambitious and expressive one.
Joe Duplantier turns in what is surely a career best vocal performance, his familiar throaty roar sitting naturally besides quieter and somewhat surprisingly more vulnerable tones, adding further depth and texture which allows the band to wander organically from their familiar path without ever sounding jarring or overtly calculated.
Drummer Mario Duplantier excels himself, driving some songs with fierce, occasionally scarily complicated jazz-infused rhythms while allowing others the space and time to breathe by either keeping it simple or backing off completely. Second guitarist Christian Andreu complements his counterpart’s playing as perfectly as ever, and oft-forgotten hero, bass player Jean-Michel Labadie plays his heart out, even taking centre stage with the short Sabbath-esque instrumental ‘Yellow Stone’.
There’s a big Angel Rat (MCA) era Voivod influence on opener ‘The Shooting Star’ and title track ‘Magma’, while ‘Stranded’ and ‘Only Pain’ feature the screeching cat guitar sound that Dimebag Darrell employed in Pantera‘s ‘Becoming’, only with a typically Gojira twist. Songs like ‘Pray’ and ‘Low Lands’ build patiently before exploding with groove-laden, lurching riffs and bursts of speed while ‘The Cell’ is the only song built almost entirely for pace, only slowing down for a mid-paced chorus and yet another crushingly heavy, lumbering riff which it uses to build towards the song’s climax.
Recorded at Silver Cord Studio in New York, a studio designed and owned by Joe Duplantier himself, the band have never sounded better. Each instrument is mixed with crystal clarity and the album flows from one song to another perfectly, its mood ebbing and flowing like the tide as you get swept along by wave after wave of aggression and introspection.
While Magma may not be the record some Gojira fans might have expected, there is no question that this is absolutely the album they should have made. Oppressive, cathartic, and thick with raw emotion (especially lyrically), yet uplifting and far more accessible than you’d believe possible, this collection of songs represents a band at the top of their game, allowing themselves to explore and break down more boundaries, while also serving as a fitting eulogy to the memory of the Duplantier’s mother.
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French extreme metallers Gojira have cancelled several upcoming shows, following the passing of Joe and Mario Duplantier’s mother. The shows affected are:
Jul 06: Rockhal – Esch Sur Alzette, LU
Jul 08: Z7 Konzertfabrik – Pratteln, CH
Silver Cord is a brand new recording studio based in New York. Designed and owned by Joe Duplantier of Gojira, the studio will serve as the band’s headquarters for the next couple of months as they produce their 6th studio album. Silver Cord will be available to other artists/bands/producers starting June 6th, 2015.For bookings and inquiries visit http://www.silvercordstudio.comSilver Cord Studio on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/silvercordstudio
Posted by Gojira on Monday, April 6, 2015
A gradual career build-up and relentless touring are at the core of Gojira’s current success. Marcus J. West caught up with Joe Duplantier (guitars/vocals) to discuss the band’s touring rigours, the importance of gradual career building, his fondness of nature and opening for Ghost. Continue reading