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Album Review : Gojira – Fortitude

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Review by Tammy Lomax for MPM

Here I am back again writing about Gojira, which is still bonkers for me to get my head around.

The end is nigh and they have released their album ‘Fortitude‘ and my face is buried so deep inside it.

An opinion neighbours around experience, that is where we can base a good judgement and perspective, respecting the highest level of standard that Gojira have already brought over the years, ‘Fortitude’ is the new chapter for the band and we do expect them to offer an even higher standard, if that’s even possible.

Bands are known for pushing it too far too soon, like trying to run before they can walk, or the flip side to this is not pushing it enough and sounding samey repetitive and predictable, another word for ALL this is also “spoilt for choice”, being open minded is key, if someone doesn’t like something that doesn’t mean that everyone will follow.

There are comments already suggesting that ‘Fortitude’ is a little bit disappointing and not what some peers expected especially after waiting five years but I feel Gojira have pushed this album in a slightly different direction because of the purpose and meaning behind the album.

There is zero denying that Gojira have added a few chunks of melodies throughout, tracks ‘Fortitude’ and ‘The Chant’ are purely melodic with some vocal chanting, ground stomping bass tones and simple riffs. They compliment each other and their position within the album is spot on.

The Chant’ official music video was also released, written by Joe Duplantier and directed by Russell Brownley, the video was filmed on location in India’s West Bengal region in December 2019.

It examines the plight of refugee children from Tibet who fled their homeland in an attempt to preserve their culture following China’s invasion of the country in 1949. Gojira treats heavy music as a living and breathing entity, morphing, transforming, and changing in each iteration.

The layout of all the tracks is a healthy balance overall and the album gives off some real raw earthy tribal vibes throughout. I found the twists and turns in the album were not overly complex and as a whole I felt very nostalgic by the creativity and art behind it all.

After repeated listening you begin to really appreciate and understand the depth and hard work they have put in making this album and whilst under the current pandemic too, reflection being key at the moment, they hit the nail on the head.

Now, throw me a drummer any day, it’s a complete soft spot for me when it comes to a band, I’ll never get sick to make the point of how good Mario Duplantier is, he has incredible footwork and his precision and speed is dissolving and had to be admired, I will never get bored of listening to those agile double bass drums and his time signature changes which are on always on FIRE!.

‘Fortitude’ is not as aggressive as their previous album ‘Magma’ and there are some tracks that are a bit more radio friendly in places, this has not put me off, quite the opposite because Gojira are educating and spreading a powerful message and sometimes bands do decide to go more commercial so they can touch a wider audience.

I believe if you have a natural passion and love for a band, it doesn’t really matter what they do, it can all be appreciated, well, not unless it’s completely pants and gone off in a completely different direction, then I have no words.

We can’t take all our possessions with us when we die, we are constantly consuming, selling, replacing. We are insignificant to the bigger picture, be grateful and take in the nature around you. Not everything can be bought by money, though it can make some difference.

So the track ‘Amazonia’ is having a powerful impact, Gojira are donating all the proceeds to raise awareness for the Articulation Of Indigenous Peoples Of Brazil, including items being auctioned such as Joe Duplantier’s hand engraved signed guitar, a hand engraved bass from Metallica’s legend Rob Trujillo, and a bunch more of other “stuff” is being sold to make a difference for these beautiful people in Brazil.

‘Amazonia’ is just a “BOINGING” quirky track, it’s captivating and sets the grooviness for the rest of the album, the concept in general is so inspirational.

‘Another World’ was released again at the same time as ‘Born For One Thing’ and originally came from the album ‘The Way Of All Flesh’, released October 2008.

I totally love the idea of adding the track into ‘Fortitude’, it’s very simple and authentic but also very fitting with the other tracks, a great selection and match made in heaven.

Let’s talk about some of the new tracks.

‘Hold On’ has some great movement pace wise, it feels kind of mystic with the chanting and that riff a couple minutes in, sweet mate, this is Gojira.

‘Into The Storm’ was the fourth single released before the album itself and it’s amazing what they can create with a simple one-note progression, they slowly build and within a minute you are thrown into all the groovy baby and there’s a great tone with the guitars.

‘New Found’ is a bit delightful and pretty incredible, it’s definitely one of my favourites alongside tracks ‘Born For One Thing’ and ‘Grind’.

‘Grind’ does close the album and it excites me so much already for their next release!!

There is something a bit different that intrigues me, there are sections of polyrhythmic and syncopated beats which absorb my attention and make my ears prick up, I feel like I’ve been left on a complete cliffhanger.

As for many, the album has been anticipated, the french metallers have done it again, they have created something beyond just art. Their seventh full length album IS consistent and at it’s finest and their overall sound in this album reminds me of their old stuff like rough and raw album ‘The Link’, fabulous job done.

New album ‘Fortitude’ out now: http://gojira.lnk.to/fortitude

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