Gojira’s journey from the sleepy suburbs of Bayonne in France was never going to be easy. Theirs is a story of one of the most incredible ascents in the history of metal music with Joe and Mario, the band’s vocalist and drummer at the forefront. The band was formed in 1996 as Godzilla and rose from obscurity during the first half of their career to global recognition in the second. In our ranking of all their albums, we look at the band’s first two albums, which were powerful live performances that established their growing reputation as the next big metal music act in France. Their third album was the critically acclaimed From Mars to Sirius, which was widely covered by the British press. After signing with Prosthetic Records, the band’s influence grew, with the album, The Way of All Flesh charting on the US Billboard 200. Gojira are considered one of France’s best exports to the US. With several Grammy Award nominations under their belt, Gojira are also the first French band to top the US Billboard Hard rock Albums chart. Here are all seven Gojira albums ranked.
7. Terra Incognita (2001)
Starting us off is Gojira’s debut album, whose cover art summed up the album as a whole. According to Joe Duplantier, the album was a reflection and an exploration of one’s soul, which remains a mystery. The music can’t really be pinned down to one genre, but it can be classified as progressive death metal. The album seemed a little inconsistent in terms of track quality. It’s safe to say that at the time of its release, many people didn’t even know that France had a metal scene. Although not a bad debut, the whole album wasn’t as intriguing as other albums that the band released later on.
6. The Link (2003)
In real sense, Gojira’s debut album, Terra Incognita, suffered from several inconsistencies, and it was clear that the band were yet to find their sound. In the second album, the band kept things a little fresher, and the album sounded more progressive. The album features some great songs, such as “Indians,” which is a typical Gojira song. The song features some great riffs and incredible guitar work. As the song nears the end, we get to see the band’s great technical qualities, with Christian Andreu, the band’s lead guitarist shining throughout. Compared to their debut album, The Link was a step in the right direction for the band.
5. From Mars to Sirius (2005)
Coming in at number five is the self-produced album, From Mars to Sirius, which was primarily written by Joe and Mario Duplantier, although Christian Andreu also had some contributions. The album features some great artwork on its cover that signifies the resurrection of a dead planet. The album tackled some interesting themes such as climate change, life, death, and rebirth. The album garnered positive reviews from fans, with many fans noting the influences of bands such as Pantera and Neurosis. The album featured some heavy bass drumming with some crazy riffs and growling vocals. With a total playtime of over 66 minutes, the album was way too long. However, the album was progressive and one of Gojira’s most impressive albums. My most favorite song in the album was “Flying Whales,” which paid homage to the whales and their amazing intelligence.
4. Fortitude (2021)
The writing process for this album began in 2018 but was kept on hold due to the band’s touring schedule. Covid-19 came, and the album’s release date was pushed further. However, when the album was released, it proved to be quite popular, becoming the band’s highest-selling album in the US during the first week. Although it incorporated guitar solos and some classic rock elements, it had a more progressive sound, and the lyrical message was quite positive. The album featured some great tracks, such as “Amazonia,” which received a nomination for Best Metal Performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards. The album debuted at #12 on the US Billboard 200 and was ranked position three on Rolling Stones’ list of The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2021.
3. Magma (2016)
Magma stands as one of the most anticipated metal albums of 2016. In this album, the band departed from their prominent use of clean vocals and was dedicated to Duplantier’s brothers’ mother. Right from the unorthodox opening song, you can tell that this album was something different. The album was met with positive reviews from critics and received a score of 79 out of 100 from Metacritic. The album came top in Metal Hammer’s list of Album of the Year awards and earned Gojira their first ever Grammy Award nomination.
2. L’Enfant Sauvage (2012)
When Gojira released this album, it was clear that they were at their peak lyrically, and they had finally found their sound. The album, whose title can be translated to The Wild Child, is the band’s fifth studio album and was released in 2012 via Road Runners Records. The album opens with the track “Explosia,” which features heavy drumming and squealing and Mario Duplantier’s choppy and unpredictable rhythms. The album’s title track displays Gojira’s relentless blend of beauty and brutality, and it’s a summation of the whole album, which oozes quality and depth.
1. The Way of All Flesh (2008)
Coming in at number one on our ranking of all Gojira studio albums is the 2008 release, The Way of All Flesh which was recorded at the band’s home studio and produced by Joe Duplantier. The album talked about the things that human beings have to go through in their lives until they die. It is Gojira’s most dense musical album, and it eclipses the rest in terms of creativity, thoughtfulness, and lyricism. The album debuted at #138 on the US Billboard 200 chart and peaked at number one on the Top Heatseekers Chart.