If you love any albums of Gojira I bet you will find your new favorite on this one.
I think there are two types of great albums: the first one will blow your mind in an instant and you don’t want to listen to anything else in a while, and the second one is hard to understand at first, and needs some time to reveal all its secrets and greatness until it finally overwhelms you.
It’s obvious, Fortitude is the second one, especially if you pick some song, and don’t listen to the whole album at once. Here we have everything that made previous albums so cool, and a lot of new stuff as well, some sounds a bit weird from the French guys. We already know the first three songs of Fortitude. Born for One Thing is a great choice as an opening, with all of its crazy guitar noises and vocals, but it’s not the most hardcore thing here. Amazonia, the next one could be an old-school Sepultura song, with Gojira’s very own taste added. I’m sure this will be a banger on shows, and I would be more than happy if they could do something similar to the Redrocks version of Pray with it. Amazonia is also important, because it’s not just a cool tribal-metal song, it’s also followed by a strong charity campaign to help recover the near-Amazonas wildlife with the money.
Hold On is the first previously unreleased song here, which has an 80’s prog-rock vibe, just to become more dynamic enough to be prepared for the next song. Fortitude is an intro to The Chant. I’ve loved this song since it was released, but this way they are more effective. Sphinx sounds like if Gojira would’ve released The Link today, one of the most brutal songs on the album, and I guess Into the Storm will be a fan favorite once live shows will be allowed again. The Trail is a beautiful ballad, and it’s placed perfectly on the album to give some room to breathe for the listener before Grind’s raw brutality hits.
Fortitude’s structure is just perfect, it will have your attention through the whole album and also knows when the listener should get some space and air. It’s a big step for the band since their songwriting skills are improved, this is their most coherent and consistent disc so far. I find the mixing a bit weird, like the main vocals sound too back in space, the backing vocals are sometimes muddy and I bet the drums’ levels are lower than on previous records. On the other side, guitars are clear and well defined. I think they wanted to do something like Tool, but at this point, they lack the experience and it will be improved next time.
I find the lyrics more simple than before, but this is not a bad thing. If you have a strong message to spread simple things could work better.
Almost every song on Fortitude has a strong hook, they are working together or separated, and the album has a very positive vibe. I’m sure most of us will mention it as their favorite Gojira record after a few listenings.