2021 Best of Metal: #4 Gojira-Fortitude

Origin: Bayonne, France

Release date: 4/30/2021

Personnel: Joe Duplantier-vox/guitar, Christian Andreu-guitar, Jean-Michel Labadie-bass, Mario Duplantier-drums

Gojira came back strong with their latest release. Not as heavy as their earlier work, but definitely more dynamic in scope in comparison to their last album, Magma. This album has all of the classic hallmarks of a Gojira album with their staunch environmentalism, distinctive guitar runs and the stellar drumming foundation laid down by Mario Duplantier. Dude is just in a class by himself. By this point, Gojira has created such a distinctive sound as to be one of those bands that are kind of unclassifiable. Their genre is kind of just Gojira. This is one of those albums that was made to be played extremely loud.

4.5 flip flops out of 5

The list so far:

4. Gojira-Fortitude
5. Tribulation-Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
6. Dream Theater-A View From the Top of the World
7. Exodus-Persona Non Grata
8. Khemmis-Deceiver
9. Carcass-Torn Arteries
10. Omnium Gatherum-Origin
11. Be’Lakor-Coherence
12. Hooded Menace-The Tritonus Bell
13. Quicksand-Distant Populations
14. Harakiri For the Sky-Maere
15. Converge and Chelsea Wolfe-Bloodmoon: I
16. At The Gates-The Nightmare of Being
17. The Vintage Caravan-Monuments
18. Nervosa-Perpetual Chaos
19. Baest-Necro Sapiens
20. Agrypnie-Metamorphosis

Gojira-Fortitude

Gojira has been riding a pretty decent wave over the past few years and are rightly seen as one of the shining stars in the modern metal movement. Fortitude will do nothing but further burnish their stellar reputation.

This latest album feels like a nice blending of both old and new Gojira. You’ve got plenty of songs of that classic hard driving, odd time signature and sweep picking sound they are know for along with some very forward-thinking and progressive pieces to keep things interesting. I felt like their last album, Magma, was a bit too stripped down and straightforward. This latest album feels a bit more ambitious and in line with some of their classic albums. Standout tracks that feel like they are pushing the band forward are the Sepultura-influenced “Amazonia” (focused on the burning down of the Amazon Rainforest…the dudes still have a very environmentally conscious focus lyrically) and the very proggy “Hold On”.

It’s hard not to feel like this is the best album to come out so far this year. It’s not perfect, but damn, there are some serious riffs and percussive grooves to this one. This will be a good one to hear live once shows become a thing again.

4.5 flip flops out of 5