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Gorod: A perfect absolution

30/05/12  ||  The Duff

Gorod are back after a brief E.P., entitled “Transcendence”, with “A Perfect Absolution”. I’m assuming that the writing for this record took part concurrently with the E.P., because the time between the two releases has been virtually nothing. I doubt this is a quick-fix to a failed mini-project because the E.P. was sold exclusively by the band, sales unlikely projected to be skyrocketing so the E.P.’s distribution soundly managed. Also, not only is this still tech death but also a concept album which would imply a greater ambition than hurriedly moving onto the next effort, so stick them fries up your nostrils.

The band’s last full-length record, “Process of a New Decline”, was released in 2009. I dug the shit out of that record, spins gearing up for my review of “A Perfect Absolution” proving it to be one of my favourite tech death records. It has the flare and buoyancy, catchy riffing plus aggression of “Leading Vision” but also a more upbeat, delicate melodic sensibility, and well, “Leading Vision” puts Gorod up there with the greats, “A Process…” the highest echelon of tech-death outfits. If you need to ask, Job for a Cowboy isn’t a party of such.

One thing that reviews of “A Perfect Absolution” (conceptually about the Russians of the 10th century) have stated is that this is Gorod without the Gorod, and I’m largely in accordance with this. They have afterall lost about two-fifths of the band, co-writer guitarist Arnaud Pontaco for one, and are also only just settling into their new drummer who made his first record-appearance on the “Transcendence” E.P. That’s a bit of a bitch-chunk of your core sound lost to the ethos. So how do we find the replacements?

The new vocalist, criticised as a regular scream-o guy, I can’t truly fault. He adopts Guillaume Martinot’s unmistakably broken Frenglish accent, deep growls while bringing something higher-pitched as found on Decapitated’s “Carnival is Forever”, gradually becoming the rage these days as technically accomplished musicians strive to find their place. So they’re branching out; it’s not as if Guillaume could sing anyways, although his lows sure made my balls tingle with fear. And a bit of joy. One such appears at the beginning of “Axe of God”, and judging from studio footage, the man himself does indeed make an appearance if his unshirted insistence and gorilla tits are anything to go by.

The drumming isn’t much lost with the departure of Samuel Santiago, if at all. I don’t much mind, the appeal of Gorod has always been the guitars, which is where we get to the somewhat nondescript nature of “A Perfect Absolution”. The real playful interplay has been forsaken for something more straight-up, but the essence of the 2009 band is predominantly still here. The melodies are less catchy and intertwining, less beautifully rendered overall so instead we have a more obvious tech-death record combined with more regular a style of pure death metal riffs – this isn’t Gorod setting many trends, unfortunately, but rather conforming to a tech death style popularized in America despite its genesis being bands such as Necrophagist and the likes. Fortunately, this is still a task approached by a European band, and to be honest, we’re just shit-hot motherfucking better at it.

So in conclusion we have a minorly patchy offering that still holds some of the band’s best work. I was never much fond of the “Neurotripsicks” style, back when the band was Gorgasm (Fr), so I’m pleased they’re continuing the path forged on “A Process of a New Decline”, if only evolving less bull-headedly towards something stronger; stagnating some but I stress the songwriting remains impeccable as ever and also we have some of the most minor key Gorod material, making this less upbeat than “Process…” for those of you who aren’t musical puritans and general megalomaniacs like me.

8

  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Listenable Records
  • Website: Gorod MySpace
  • Band
  • Benoit Claus: bass
  • Samuel Santiago: drums
  • Mathieu Pascal: guitars
  • Nicolas Alberny: guitars
  • Julien “Nutz” Deyres: vocals
  • Tracklist
  • 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