Album Of The Year 2021 – Number 13

Welcome to Day 18 of my ‘Album of the Year 2021 Top 30 Countdown’ series. And with Day 18, comes the inevitable ‘number 13’ spot. As I discussed on Day 13 of this series, I have no fear of what’s often considered to be the most unlucky of numbers. In fact, for many reasons, it is the very opposite for me. So it will come as no surprise to learn that the album that features in the number 13 position is an absolute behemoth of a record, one that should find favour with many of you, even if I may get a few voices of ‘it should be much higher, blah, blah, blah’…

…well, it’s my Top 30, not yours, so settle petal. Of course I jest – I enjoy the banter and the interaction I get, so hit me with your best shot!

If this is your first dalliance with my blog, or this series, fear not, because all the links you’ll need to rectify your oversight can be found at the foot of this post.

And with that, let’s get on with it…

Number 13

Gojira

“Fortitude”

Roadrunner Records

Release Date: 30 April 2021

Score Of Much Metal: 96%

I’ve never been the biggest Gojira fan before, so the inclusion of this record in my final top 30 is something of a surprise for me. Actually, that’s not true – I’ve never really heard much Gojira music before at all. I know, right? I dismissed them in their early days and never went back. 2021 was the year I realised my mistake.

‘Fortitude’ is complex, original, and intelligent. But it is also immediately appealing, drawing me in on the first listen, and then singularly failing to let me go. I have, since penning my initial review, read a mixture of reviews, from those as gushing as mine, to more reserved dissections, where a love of previous albums appears stronger. From my fresh perspective though, ‘Fortitude’ is ‘magnifique’!

The entire album is a masterful and eloquent body of work that demonstrates the breathtaking abilities of this French quartet, in terms of their songwriting prowess, but also from a lyrical standpoint, as well as their sheer ability as musicians. It is insane, and incredibly impressive.

And in the guise of ‘Hold On’ and ‘Into The Storm’, Gojira put a strong case forward when it comes to choosing my favourite individual songs of the year – I mean, have you heard these two beasts? ‘Fortitude’ is simply a fantastic album whichever way you look at it.

What I wrote at the time:

“I don’t swear in my reviews, but I really want to, because ‘Fortitude’ is…errr…flipping marvellous. 

It feels like a cop out to say that the music on ‘Fortitude’ sounds like no other band I know, but honestly, that’s exactly the case; this is some of the most unique music that I think I’ve ever heard. Gojira simply spread out in all directions, with seemingly nothing  off-limits. The result sees the French quartet encompassing everything from extreme metal, to ambient, progressive metal, to groove-led heaviness. 

I think the immediacy is the biggest surprise of all because just about every one of the eleven songs brings something to the table that, on a first listen, I felt I needed to come back to. And with repeated listens that I have devoured like a Tasmanian Devil, I hear new things, exciting things, mind-boggling things. 

Whilst I may not know much about the music of Gojira, I do know that they are held in very high regard for their environmental stance. It isn’t surprising to discover then, that ‘Fortitude’ is littered with songs and lyrics that tackle the band’s disgust at many of the ills being done to the planet by the human race.

Others may conclude a review like this in a more eloquent nature, but all I can say right now is ‘wow’.”

Read the full review here.

The list this year so far…

Number 14

Number 15

Number 16

Number 17

Number 18

Number 19

Number 20

Number 21

Number 22

Number 23

Number 24

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

‘Honourable Mentions’

Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here:

2020

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

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