I was a teenage metalhead. It started the way any young person falls prey to an addiction. Introduced to gateway bands by fellow youths in search of a buzz. But If you do Skid Row or Whitesnake every day of your summer holidays by the time you go back to school in September it’s safe to assume you’re not opposed to a spot of Maiden, Metallica, Priest or the odd night of Anthrax and Megadeth.
I spent from ’89 to the mid 90’s mainlining Ministry, White Zombie and Led Zeppelin. I couldn’t get to work in the morning without a little AC/DC or a touch of Black Sabbath.
They’ll tell you at AA you never stop being an addict. One day at a time. I’d been clean for almost a decade (the noughties) when I first fell off the wagon. I heard an old Sepultura track on random while sitting on a night bus and I knew I needed a hit. Leviathan by Mastodon was the first full on metal record of this century that really put the monkey back on my shoulders. I try not to let it get in the way of my marriage, my job or my middle age pursuits but some days… Some days only the bluntest, grindiest, thud of a proper metal band will do.
These days that means Gojira. Magma is a lumpen thudding noise fest of growling and dirge. Lead track Silvera is as relentless and overbearingly abrasive as a song can be with a hummable middle eight. The drums pummel, the bass pummels, the vocals pummel, the guitar soars. It’s possible the equipment catches fire during the recording so ‘molten metal’ and ‘traditionally of the genre’ is this track.
I can quit anytime, I just don’t want to.