Already becoming one of the most widely acclaimed albums of recent years, find out why the French band’s seventh album has captured the attention of so many in the Metal community.
One of the most awe-inspiring acts of the twenty-first century, no other artist over the past two decades has managed to galvanise quite the same level of intrigue and hype as the French Metal band, Gojira.
In a carefully constructed balance of Prog-technicality, eruptive breakdowns and an authentic message of environmentalism and oppression, it comes as no wonder why the band have gathered so much momentum with each new release.
Now, reviving the sense of unity and passion amongst fans with their latest album, Fortitude, the band are set to be listed alongside some of the biggest names in Metal; provoking a new surge of life into the industry scarcely seen since the emergence of Metallica.
Forming a quarter of a century ago, the band have never been ones to shy away from making their ideologies known. Always environmentally motivated and aiming to raise awareness of ongoing climate issues, the message captured in Fortitude doesn’t come as a shock to fans, but rather shows Gojira making their voices heard more eloquently than ever before.
The opening three tracks (‘Born For One Thing’, ‘Amazonia’ and ‘Another World’) all demonstrate this refinement best. Back with a vengeance, it is here where the band deliver their message most profoundly and provide the signature, heavy sound expected by the eagerly awaiting listeners.
Progressive, refined and incomprehensibly heavy, it feels although these first three singles are used to appease listeners before the band begin to experiment with their sound; gradually pushing the album into new, unforeseen territory.
As indicated by the album’s title, the premise of the album centres around humanity’s resilience and ability stand defiant in the face of oppression. Nowhere is this more overtly demonstrated in the tracks ‘Fortitude’ and ‘The Chant’, which discuss the ongoing genocide and exploitation seen throughout Tibet.
Whilst remaining unmistakably Gojira, the withheld, stripped-back sound captured here begins to reinvent the band- counteracting the technically-precise heaviness they are most renowned for and unambiguously shedding light on the most controversial issues in recent history.
Largely underpinned by slower rhythms, increasingly withdrawn vocal melodies and atmospheric, harrowing echoes throughout, it is at this stage where Fortitude deviates from its predecessors and truly shows the band’s sound evolving into something more unique than ever before.
Pushing the boundaries one step further, these tracks set social media alight with the brand new incorporation of guitar solos- something not yet seen throughout the previous six albums. Yet, whilst for many bands this would imply an higher level of technicality, for Gojira, this remains on the contrary. With Joe Duplantier’s held-back, emotion-fuelled solos and sombre vocals, the tracks resonate with listeners in a new way– generating a moment of unity an authenticity which elevates the spirit.
Although exploring new horizons and venturing into personal mantras with the album, those seeking the initial ferocity of the band’s debut release, Terra Incognita, are guaranteed to be satisfied by the most experimental and technical tracks: ‘New Found’, ‘Sphinx’ and closing track, ‘Grind’. Here, signature pick-scrapes, unorthodox drumming patterns and thunderous growls are delivered in abundance, providing an unmissable nod to earlier tracks, ‘Satan is a Lawyer’ and ‘Space Time’.
Honing in on their roots by channelling funk-inspired rhythms and unforgiving technical precision, the band prove that there is no set direction for the future of their sound, simultaneously providing both their most stripped back and most technically diverse work side by side.
At an overall glance at Fortitude, it becomes immediately apparent that the album has become a defining moment for Gojira. Creating a landscape of different sounds with each track, the band seem to have captured their distinctive sound with more clarity than in previous albums.
Ascending into an urgent call for action with tracks including ‘Amazonia’ and ‘Into The Storm’, the band remain loyal to their most successful hits and continue to carry their ongoing environmental message in the most brazen way yet. However, it is the careful descents into new, heart-rendering tracks that allows Fortitude to resonate with audiences quite so profoundly.
Flowing with utter ease between abrupt, L’Enfant Sauvage-inspired hits into the atmospheric and mature layering of the title track, Fortitude has become the band’s most nuanced and refined album to date- certain to leave an unshakable impact on the metal industry for years to come.
Fortitude is out now and avaliable on all major streaming platforms.
To check out our single reviews for some of the tracks, click on the links below!
‘Born For One Thing’ Single Review
What are your thoughts on Fortitude? Let us know via the comment section!