Monday, 4 June 2012

Gorod - A Perfect Absolution

01. Birds Of Sulphur
02. Sailing Into The Earth
03. Elements And Spirit
04. The Axe Of God
05. 5000 At The Funeral
06. Carved In The Wind
07. Varangian Paradise
08. Tribute of Blood

Ok, a little background for the uninitiated.  Gorod is a tech-death band from France that's always kind of stood apart from the pack in my opinion.  Ever since I heard their first album, Neurotripsicks, back in 2006 I was hooked.  Their trademark sound is comprised of very technical guitars intertwined between heavy bass chugging and excellently precise drumming.

Where to start with this album, well the vocals are a good place.  Guillaume Martinots death vocals are replaced by Julien "Nutz" Deyres on this latest album.  The first thing you'll notice is the range of different sounds in the vocal arsenal of Deyres.  A lot of the mainline vocals don't sound horribly different from what Martinot brought to the table, but there are lots of exceptions.  From the pig-squealy intro to "The Axe of God" to the low, spoken-word style vocals in "5000 at the funeral" to the excerpts of actual singing ( a rare instance for Gorod up till now) in a couple of the tracks it is clear that "Nutz" is a decent vocalist with a good range of tricks in his bag.

In terms of guitar work not much has changed since "Process of  a New Decline".  The guitars are technical as ever, without going into the realm of "technical masturbation" which is easy as hell for tech-death bands to fall into.  The thing I love about Gorod, and have loved ever since their first album is their songwriting ability.  The guitars flow with the song and help pull the pieces together, instead of just presenting meaningless chunks of riffing and chugging.  The bass guitar is just as detectable as the leads in the mix and it all just fits together so well.  A bunch of "trademark" riffs return from older albums as well, in certain songs, and you'll never doubt you're listening to a Gorod album.  

I've always used the term "groovy" to describe Gorod, and this album is just as "groovy" as anything else in their catalog.  Death metal DID in fact evolve from blues to a degree, and the bluesy groove has not been lost by Gorod.

Now, the crazy stuff, exactly why I love Gorod more than the other contenders in this crowded genre.  Gorod brings a lot more to the table than just chugga-chugga-riff-riff, and throw in some stuff that may make some metalheads go "what the fuck man?", but in the best way possible.  From the slow meandering bluesy riffs of pianos, guitars, and what I think is a cello at the beginning of "5000 at the funeral" to the wacky "Starsky and Hutch" style rattles and guitar wah-wah-ing and eventually what my brother referred to as "Death-Mamba" in the middle of the same track, with sounds that almost make you think you're headbanging in the Caribbean, Gorod never fails to amuse.  Throughout their discography you can grab little snippets of things that make you go "what?" and that's what I love the MOST about them.

My only complaints at all would be that some of the vocal work gets a bit boring at times, and as cool as the "Death-Mamba" and "Starksy and Hutch" stuff was, it was a little out of place.  I gotta say  something negative, don't I?

So, to conclude, this album definitely did not disappoint this long time Gorod fan, and even makes a great place to start for curious listeners.  This album is technical, but flows in a way many other tech-death bands could learn from.  Gorod is consistently improving, and have been with every album since their debut.  Definitely pick this one up if you're a fan of tech-death or just groovy metal in general.


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