Sunday 23 May 2021

Album review: GOJIRA - Fortitude


01. Born For One Thing
02. Amazonia
03. Another World
04. Hold On
05. New Found
06. Fortitude
07. The Chant
08. Sphinx
09. Into The Storm
10. The Trails
11. Grind

Gojira used to be one of those bands that everyone else seemed to love but I just didn't get what the fuss was about. Then, after hearing their last album, Magma, a couple of times something just clicked. Suddenly, I just couldn't get enough of them.

The hype surrounding Fortitude has been monumental, and I can see how this may be off-putting to some people, as seldom does a band live up to it. In fairness, they're an extremely talented, hard-working band who deserve every accolade that comes their way. Gojira are a monster like their namesake, and they're coming to crush your city in the near future whether you like it or not.

If there's one band that seems to have had an influence on this record more than any other, it's Sepultura. Not just classic Sepultura, but the more recent, brutal-yet-progressive version of the band too. I'm not just saying that because Gojira have written a song about the crisis in the Amazon and used tribal percussion, but Gojira have that tight, Sepultura-esque riffing and drumming throughout. I wouldn't be surprised if Gojira were also heavily influenced by Pantera and Carcass too. I can hear that technical groove-laden DNA of 90's Metal, but in a modern contemporary context.

Both the musicianship and production are top notch. Fortitude is the result of a band being absolutely on top of their game. It's a masterclass in modern Metal, with musical depth and lyrical intelligence. The latter is a huge part of their appeal for me. It's a nice change to have a Metal band singing about current environmental and social issues instead of serial killers or Satan. 

Amazonia may be the finest Metal song you'll hear all year. The Chant is very melodic for Gojira, but is no less powerful with its emotive theme and atmosphere. I also can't get enough of the super heavy Sphinx.

Fortitude may not be as brutal overall as their previous records, but it feels more developed. Personally, I like it more than their other albums, and I can see it achieving a more mainstream appeal without compromising the integrity of the band at all. 


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