Album Review: Gojira – Fortitude

Following on from the success of 2016’s Magma, France’s Gojira are gearing up to once again recast the mold with seventh album Fortitude.

So how do you top a successful previous release? Well, how about a spiraling cacophony of riffs and thunderous vocals. This is what the opening track “Born For One Thing” offers before the album leaps into the indigenous folk instruments and Sepultura-inspired groove-metal rhythms of “Amazonia”. Released as a single recently, proceeds from this song will benefit The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) who advocate for environmental and cultural rights of indigenous tribes in the Amazon who have suffered immensely – victims of deforestation, land loss, forced labor, violence, and harassment.  It continues Gojira’s career-long tradition of harnessing their music as a vehicle for environmental activism.

“Another World” has to be my particular favourite track on the album. Its combination of great guitar tones, varying tempos, and attention-grabbing vocals has even more appeal than the previous track. I would imagine this one is going to be a live hit in the future.

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The album goes into a slightly more harmonious route with the next track, “Hold On”, which complements the balance of heaviness from “New Found” perfectly. Title track “Fortitude” is swooning and hypnotic and serves as almost an extended introduction to “The Chant”. Not only is the continuity absolute genius but is easily the band’s most melodic material to date and I have to say I’m totally on board.

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Now don’t get used to this melodic wave as you ride through to the end of the album. “Sphinx” is the track that binds the album together as it almost serves as the band’s battle cry. It spirals into the aptly named “Into The Storm” and anybody that says “the band have sold out” are clearly not listening to the same album I am currently playing. This is an album that’s going to stick with me for a long time I can feel it.

“The Trails” is another delight tinged with melody with a splash of macabre, with final track “Grind” trapping the emotion that I’ve felt whilst being on this musical journey.

A modern-day masterpiece for the ages.

Fortitude is released April 30th

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