Reviewed by Chris Hammond (Digital download)
Gojira- Fortitude (2021)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Style: Thrash metal, Technical death metal
Current Band Members:
Christian Andreu -Lead Guitar
Joe Duplantier -Guitar, vocalist
Mario Duplantier -Drums
Jean-Michel Labadie -Bass
01. Born For One Thing (4:20)
02. Amazonia (5:00)
03. Another World ( 4:24)
04. Hold On (5:30)
05. New Found (6:35)
06. Fortitude (2:07)
07. The Chant (5:12)
08. Sphinx (4:00)
09. Into The Storm (5:02)
10. The Trails (4:07)
11. Grind (5:34)
This French heavy metal started as Godzilla (later changing their name to Gojira) in 1996. There sound is a mixture of progressive and technical “Death” metal. Song themes cover spiritual and environmental themes while still staying relevant to today’s ever-changing music scene. The Duplantier brothers, Mario and Joe started the band in their teens and although Gojira went relatively unrecognized for the first part of their career they have garnered a huge following around the world.
Gojira is well known for its loud but yet controlled sound in live shows. They even hold the record for loudest concert sound ever recorded in the Stade de France, which holds over 80,000 fans. Gojira is an ever-evolving band of musicians who also take pride in their animal and environmental activism.
Gojira’s new album Fortitude (five years after “Magma”) explores the band’s ever-evolving and engaging metal sound. The musical sound that is explored isn’t as progressive as most other outings but it definitely has the fan-pleasing anthems that are so desperately needed right now. The lead song “Born for one thing” gets listeners in the mind frame of what to expect. Although not the most memorable song on the album it highlights the drumming talent of Duplantier. The next song “Amazonia” delivers crushing grooves that beg to be played to a live headbanging crowd. It has an industrial feel without being very industrial.
The Song “The Trails” has a very Pink Floyd-ish sound to it. Whispering vocals meld coherently with music in a perfect relationship. “New Found” has riffs a-plenty before turning chameleon and hitting tempo changes that please the mind and ears. Although powerful and by no means a weak song, “Another World’ gets lost amongst more memorable songs. Gojira hits listeners hard with “Grind”. Ultrasonic groove and tempo changes are only matched by the volcano eruption of intensity. “Hold On” is the Gojira sound that one may recall, but this mixture of vocals and instrumentation is surpassed by none.
Although not all the songs don’t hit like others on Fortitude, there’s more than enough meat and bones for Gojira fans to sink their teeth into. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another five years before Gojira stomps once again!
Rating 3.8 out of 5 Gojira’s stomps
Fortitude is available now for purchase on CD, digital download, and LP
Check out Gojira’s website for touring announcements and more