While it debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200, which also takes audio and video streaming into consideration, Fortitude was able to hit #1 on the Top Album Sales chart. It moved 27,372 units in total across the country if not just including pure sales.
Other fresh albums on the charts include DJ Khaled’s Khaled Khaled, which sits atop the Billboard 200 at this moment, as well as Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain, Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album and Young Thug/Young Stoner Life’s Slime Language 2. There are also some contenders that have remained on the charts for at least the past few months, such as Justin Bieber’s Justice, Rod Wave’s SoulFly, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (The Moonlight Edition), Pop Smoke’s Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon and The Weeknd’s After Hours (Deluxe).
Fortitude attained Gojira’s highest opening week sales out of any of their albums so far, easily beating the 17,000 units sold by their previous album Magma in 2016, in spite of its critical acclaim and general commercial success. Magma was their previous commercial high, and peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard 200. The record before that, 2012’s L’enfant Sauvage, sold just 11,000 copies and peaked at No. 34.
While Fortitude is bringing home the bacon, it’s not as critically successful as some of their older works. mxdwn’s Victor Nica called it “A logical step forward, an uneventful step backwards.” It’s still distinctly a Gojira album, but it doesn’t push boundaries like Magma or their breakout albums From Mars to Sirius (2005) and The Way of All Flesh (2008). The memorable riffs and progressive song structures are still there, but they became much more reliant on melodic hooks and borrowed from several current trends in alternative metal. Still, many fans are welcoming it, and Gojira are clearly doing their part to keep progressive metal in the mainstream.
It was more popular in the United States than elsewhere. Fortitude hit No. 1 on the Current Rock Albums and Current Hard Music Albums charts as well, and hit No. 2 on both the Current Internet Albums and LP Vinyl Albums charts.
As for the album’s performance abroad, Gojira debuted at No. 2 on the album sales chart in France, which is their home country. It was the highest charting position of their career there as well. Other countries that found Fortitude in the Top 10 include Australia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat