Follow-up Another World is more classic Gojira, with that drilling technicality slicing through the middle, but it also has big sing-along hooks that you could picture levelling an arena. Into The Storm is even more anthemic, but it’s the set-piece double-act of Fortitude and The Chant that head into new roof-raising territory. The title-track has a campfire groove and the loosest vibe they’ve ever allowed themselves while The Chant is a huge bluesy hymnal that the band describes as a ‘healing ritual’. It proves you don’t have to unleash the heaviest matter of the universe to have power and this is set to be a very special moment when live shows and especially festivals are a thing again.
Lyrically they’ve emerged from the introspection and meditations on mortality that characterised Magma, turning back out to the world around them. Gojira have 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 despondency, or even rage. Instead there’s a sense of hope and positivity – an invocation of the power that still resides in both 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. Hang in there, and Gojira will be right beside you.
For fans of: Mastodon, Behemoth, Tool
Fortitude is released on April 30 via Roadrunner Records – pre-order / pre-save your copy here.