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Gojira - Fortitude

Welcome to the Metal Music school of the 21st century, you are required to turn the volume to maximum, pay attention and follow every note !!

Everybody in metal music is saying that "Gojira" is one of the significant metal bands that the world needs to pay attention to, after you click play on the link at the bottom you will understand why!!

As a result of all this pioneering brilliance, much more is expected of Gojira than perhaps any other mainstream metal band. "Fortitude" arrives amid a flurry of entirely justifiable hype, much of it elicited by the huge success of the band's previous album, "Magma". That record was arguably a little less adventurous than some of the band's earlier efforts. Still, via the irresistibly catchy likes of "Stranded" and "Silvera", Gojira confirmed that they could deliver anthems and crowd-pleasers while maintaining the individuality and creative integrity that has always been a hallmark of their work.

"Fortitude" offers plenty of those joyous, none-more-Gojira moments that no other band could hope to emulate. Both "Born For One Thing" and "Another World" delivered the goods in advance of the full album, and while neither leaped out as an instant classic, both are full of nimble but cudgeling rhythms and those unmistakable churning riffs and bursts of harmonic scree.

"Amazonia" is the band in languorous groove mode, evoking Killing Joke's scorched earth power in the verses before serving up a lurching, descending riff that feels destined, in the not-so-distant future, to have huge crowds banging their heads in unison. "New Found" is another gem, with an opening riff to kill for and a mid-song drop in tempo that facilitates a genuinely gorgeous and epic climactic fade. Even better, "Sphinx" sounds like classic Gojira, but upgraded and somehow even ganglier than previous high points. Any reservations you might have while listening to "Fortitude" will vanish as soon as closer "Grind" erupts, administering at least two more magnificent riffs and enough bullish energy to slap back a tsunami.

The album sounds like one that could propel them the rest of the way to the top. They’re no strangers to melodies and hooks, but they’ve never crafted anything like this. Combining the comparatively direct approach of The Way Of All Flesh with the more expansive atmospherics of the last album Magma then throwing in a few complete curveballs, this is the most immediate yet surprising full-length they’ve produced to date.

(Photo: Jimmy Fontaine)

Lyrically they’ve emerged from the introspection and meditations on mortality that characterized "Magma", turning back out to the world around them. Gojira has always addressed environmental themes and they return to them here. Despite the fact that mankind appears to be lurching towards disaster, though, the overall feeling is not despair or even rage. Instead, there’s a sense of hope and positivity – an invocation of the power that still resides in the individual and the collective as the planet faces an existential crisis.

This is an important album, not only because it extends Gojira’s palette and cements their place as one of metal’s most skilled and uncompromising bands. They’re also one of the most inspiring as they call for strength, for action and above all for fortitude.

Listen to the album now on Spotify, Apple Music

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