Discerning metalheads may be inclined to agree that GOJIRA is one of the best things that has happened to heavy music in the past 20 years. It is the same after listening to GOJIRA Fortitude.

 

GOJIRA Fortitude: the genesis

GOJIRA Fortitude is the seventh studio album by the group Gojira. GOJIRA Fortitude has been released on April 30, 2021 on Roadrunner Records. Gojira Fortitude was recorded at the group's studio in New York, and was produced by Joe Duplantier and mixed by Andy Wallace.

 

GOJIRA Fortitude

GOJIRA Fortitude- GOJIRA Fortitude

Gojira intended to write a more cohesive and brilliant album than Magma, emphasizing a progressive sound using the incorporation of classic rock elements with a positive lyrical message.

Writing GOJIRA Fortitude started in early 2018 but was put on hold due to the band's touring schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic halted mixing of the album and its release date was postponed to a later date.

GOJIRA Fortitude debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and sold 27,372 units in its US debut week, which topped Magma 's chart and sales. The album topped the Billboard Hard Rock Albums and Top Rock Albums charts, as well as the UK Rock & Metal Albums .

Gojira Fortitude topped the charts in Europe and sold 9,900 copies in its first week of release in France. It peaked at # 3 on the ARIA charts. Fortitude was the best-selling studio album in the United States during its opening week.

 

GOJIRA Fortitude arrives at the right time ...

Even ignoring the humility, humanity and inspiring dedication of the French group to noble causes, the world of metal has enslaved himself to almost everything he has done since entering the larger consciousness with " From Mars to Sirius »Of 2005, then became truly stratospheric with the big label of 2012 debut« L'Enfant Sauvage ».

 

 

An always amazing live band, GOJIRA has conquered traditional metal by pursuing a unique journey and by taking everyone with it. There probably people who think they suck,

Because of all this pioneering brilliance, much more is expected from GOJIRA than perhaps any other. metal band traditional.

"Fortitude" comes amid a wave of fully justifiable hype, driven in large part by the huge success of the band's previous album, "Magma."

This record was arguably a little less adventurous than some of the band's previous efforts, but via the irresistibly catchy tastes of “Stranded” and “Silvera,” GOJIRA confirmed that they can deliver anthems and crowd-pleaser while still maintaining the individuality and creative integrity that has always been a hallmark of their work.

Five years later, the French have much more mainstream to serve, and while "Fortitude" will no doubt delight those for whom "Magma" was a foretaste of the group, it is not quite the unequivocal triumph that diehard fans were waiting.

 

GOJIRA Fortitude: listening

Both “Born For One Thing” and “Another World” delivered the goods before the full album, and while neither came out as an instant classic, both are full of nimble beats and those riffs and incomparable harmonic bursts.

 

GOJIRA Fortitude

GOJIRA Fortitude- GOJIRA Fortitude  

 

As always, Joe Duplantier's voice spirals through the melee, shrouded in reverberation but nonetheless authoritative, and the central hooks of both songs soar, supported by the even more deft and percussive genius of Mario Duplantier.

"Amazonia" is GOJIRA in languid groove mode, evoking the scorched earth power of KILLING JOKE in the verses before serving up a staggering, descending riff that feels destined, in the not-so-distant future, to huge crowds bumping into each other. head in unison.

“New Found” is another gem, with an opening riff to kill and a drop in tempo in the middle of the song that facilitates a truly gorgeous and epic climax fade. Better yet, "Sphinx" sounds like the classic GOJIRA, but updated and somehow even more thorny than the previous highlights.

 

 

GOJIRA Fortitude and experimentation

This is not all good news, however. GOJIRA has always been driven by the desire to experiment and expand their sound.

“Fortitude” is no different in this regard, but GOJIRA Fortitude's supposed curves are far from surprising revelations.

In particular, "The Chant" is a light but light affair, with undertones of stoner rock and a soft but mundane vocal chorus, while "The Trails" and "Hold On" seem to occupy territory that GOJIRA has already mastered and moved away from. . , but with the vocal melody pushed to the fore in a way that previous albums had only suggested.

 

GOJIRA Fortitude

GOJIRA Fortitude - GOJIRA Fortitude  

 

Granted, any reservations you might have from listening to "Fortitude" will vanish as soon as the closer "Grind" bursts, delivering at least two more magnificent riffs and enough bullish energy to fend off a tsunami.

It is an exhilarating end for an album which does not lack treble, but which is also loaded with several lulls and a few steps of evolution which are only partially successful.

In any case, "Fortitude" is another excellent album from GOJIRA and remains the ticket of traditional metal hottest and most distinctive around.

Unfortunately, if you remember how quickly and with what force your jaw hit the ground the first time you heard "Ocean Planet", "Explosia" "Stranded", "Fortitude" doesn't quite fire with the sound. same mercurial ferocity.

 

 

 

GOJIRA Fortitude's creative process

The creative process for Gojira's seventh album, Fortitude began sparingly in late 2017. Gojira intended to write a “groovy and airy album” with a strong theme and focused on sharing with audiences, an album where two energies coexist, "both very masculine and feminine".

The album was inspired as an encouragement for self-reinforcement, "to show the courage to face the world, to face the problems of tomorrow".

 

 

 

Gojira Fortitude: Recording and production

Having had sustained requests to tour around the world to support Magma, beyond the initial cycle, the band declined in order to focus on writing a new album.

Songwriting for the album officially began in early 2018 at the Silver Cord Studio in New York City, which would become "the cocoon for a two-year creative odyssey."

However, he was interrupted by a tour in Europe and writing ended after the 2019 Knotfest Roadshow tour across the United States and Canada.

 

 

Joe Duplantier produced the album, and the band recorded it at Silver Cord Studio at the end of 2019. Mario Duplantier recorded eleven drum tracks in eight days in one or two takes each.

Wallace mixed three songs before the first COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed, while the album was slated for release in June 2020.

Joe Duplantier, a resident of New York State, was visiting his father in southwestern France, which complicated the mixing process.

The group was then unable to reach Wallace in Florida due to the health situation. Then Joe Duplantier spent several months in a cabin in the Landes forest without listening to new leads and gave up his cell phone and his computer.

In July, the band returned to the internet and phone mixing process with Wallace. Wallace would prefer to be left alone in the studio, without assistants, being vulnerable to coronavirus infection due to his age, saying he was "infinitely upset not to be with the group".

The GOJIRA Fortitude release date was then pushed back to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then subsequently failed and another postponement was decided.

 

 

On August 5, 2020, the group released a new single titled “Another World,” their first single in four years.

On February 17, 2021, Gojira announced Fortitude and its April 30, 2021 release date via Roadrunner Records. On the same day, the group released an official video for their debut single, "Born for One Thing."

Force marked the longest gap between two studio albums in the band's career.

 

Fortitude Music and Writing Style

On Fortitude, Gojira took a different lyrical approach to that explored on their previous album, Magma.

The latter was strongly influenced by the death of the mother of Joe and Mario Duplantier, said Joe Duplantier. This time, the group "had the urge to fill the album with more joy, even if it does not appear. not like happy music ”. Mario Duplantier mentioned a slower composing process than before due to increasingly diverse musical tastes over the years.

While retaining their signature style, Gojira has extended its range to a “traditional dimension” of “classic bands”. The aim was to focus the music on the “big guitar riff” rather than the performance, with group cohesion emphasizing this point.

'Amazonia', which talks about the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest (specifically the Amazon forest fires in 2019), was released as part of a month-long fundraiser for a Brazilian advocacy charity of the natives organized by Gojira. Part of the album is a tribute to indigenous communities.

 

 

GOJIRA Fortitude: the interview

Joe Duplantier's Gojira was the Full Metal Jackie Radio show guest this past weekend, taking some time to discuss the highly anticipated new album Fortitude.

Duplantier also discusses the bar set by their album Magma and finally realizes the effect it has had on audiences, opens up about the creative process and offers his thoughts on a world on tour post-Covid.

Check out the chat in full below.

How exciting finally, we have the announcement of a new Gojira record. Fortitude will be released on April 30. Joe, Magma has therefore taken Gojira to another level. What did you learn about GOJIRA Fortitude which became the starting point for Fortitude?

Well you know Magma was a great experience and we shot and like you said it kind of took us to another level, but we didn't really realize that.

I see today when we release some stuff it's a lot more attention around the band and stuff, but I was working hard touring and doing interviews. I didn't see anything really happening other than my daily life with the band.

But when we started working on Fortitude, we wanted something different. Magma was a little, a little dark. We expressed intense emotions related to the departure of my mom during the recording of the album.

We talked about it, but on GOJIRA Fortitude we wanted to express something different, something more joyful and energetic. And I mean, cheerful, I mean more punchy, more flamboyant but the lyrics usually tell us about humanity and the evil that men do.

So in that sense it's not exactly a party album, but the sound is more rock, more exciting. I would say.

 

The title of the new album is Fortitude - a call for improvement. Why is it important for you to encourage this now?

I do not know. Despite the fact that I think humans are pretty fucked up and part of me wishes humans would disappear from this planet to leave these poor animals alone, you know, but I believe in the potential of us humans.

I think we have some great things to offer, and I always wanted to see the best of what we have in us coming out and that's what I try to do artistically and humanly in my life as a every day.

This is what we wanted to express in GOJIRA Fortitude too, to see people give the best of themselves and be strong and not despair and project a positive image for their future and for our future, and through discipline and decision and good intentions, we can better ourselves and a better display. So that's almost by default the energy and message we choose over, ah, let it burn.

 

Joe, creativity can be stimulating. How to make an album like Fortitude give you strength.

It's a good question. I enjoy every step of the way, even if sometimes it is painful. We almost have physical pain sometimes when we can't find the right part of the song.

And we work hard to create songs that are so strong that we can sit on them and they will get us places. You know what I mean?

So it's a great satisfaction when the puzzle of an album finally comes together and we have this bigger picture of what we're building.

Just like when you build a house, you know, brick by brick, you build something and then you step back and look at it and you're like, “Wow! It's going to be a good shelter when the storm comes ”and building an album is a bit like that.

It brings us such satisfaction when it finally comes together and we feel a power that we wanted to create, but that we don't necessarily feel in our day to day life.

You know what I mean? So it's basically about building something bigger than ourselves. And I like that feeling in theory. It is also very stimulating and inspiring.

Joe, writing and playing music is a process of continuous growth. What is different about your musical sensitivity today than when you started?

You know when we started we had this ambition to create something violent and dissonant and weird that was going to surprise you all the time.

And we were really focused on that death metal vibe that we had at the start. We've been heavily influenced by bands like Death or Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, really all bands from Florida, really [laughs].

But we had that rock dimension. It's more of a traditional dimension that comes from Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd, you know, growing up and listening to more classic bands.

And I think it's starting to come out and might come out naturally. Now that we're older and have a desire to create something that is perhaps more grounded and takes time to express itself. And it's really weird because we feel bigger.

It's a wonderful feeling to play things that were sort of played before. You know what I mean, like major chords or progressions that were present back then in the 70s or 80s, like with a band like Iron Maiden, for example.

So you can find a bit of that in our music too, and I really appreciate it. It's also a nice change from all those old songs that we still play to this day.

 

New York is your base, but you have been in Europe throughout the pandemic. What aspects of the travel protocol are indicators of the resumption of certain concerts?

I do not know. I took a little break from New York. I'm cheating on New York right now and I feel bad. I'll have to bring flowers when I get back.

But I had just visited France last year. And when the whole pandemic happened right after I finished Gojira Fortitude, I was supposed to go back to mixing with Andy Wallace and the same studio and everyone just said there was no need for me to travel and to take risks.

So I stayed there and put my children in a public school here in France, which allows them to improve their French, which is good.

Now I don't know what's going to happen. It's a little frustrating to cancel the whole summer of the tour and all of our plans. And then the following year, we're all in the same boat. So we'll see.

Looks like we haven't canceled anything as of summer 2021. So there's still this tour with Deftones that could be happening around September in the US, which I'm really excited about.

But it could also be canceled. Who knows? Hopefully in 2022 the industry will still be alive and we can still go on tour.

 

Gojira Fortitude: The titles

No. Title Length
1. “Born for One Thing” 4:21
2. "Amazonia" 5:01
3. “Another World” 4:25
4. “Hold On” 5:30
5. “New Found” 6:37
6. "Fortitude" 2:08
7. "The Chant" 5:13
8. “Sphinx” 4:00
9. "Into the Storm" 5:02
10. "The Trails" 4:07
11. "Grind" 5:34

 


 

Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.

 

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