Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Initial Impressions: Gorod: A Perfect Absolution

I will give my standard response to technical death metal first.  I like technical death metal when it sounds organic.  When it sounds like it is not overly sterile and machine-like.  When there is a human element.  I do not like polished technical death that sounds like Pro Tools is as much to credit for the composition as the individual musicians.

Gorod has been around for a little while.  They were previously called Gorgasm but changed their name to avoid confusion with another band with the same name.  Gorod is a French technical death metal band.  France is not real well-known for technical death but a lot of the bands I have heard from the country seem to have their own unique style.  I was anxious to see if Gorod would be the same way.

This is very technical stuff here.  There are a lot of noodling guitar lines and fluctuating song structures.  But at the same time, there is a more organic feel than you will find in groups like Brain Drill.  Gorod do a pretty good job of avoiding the technicality for the sake of technicality that a lot of other groups fall into.  Yes there is a lot of technicality but it is framed around an actual song, not just a series of technical riffs piled on top of each other without any clear direction.

The last half of this album is where things get really interesting.  This is where a lot of the technical riffing and noodling takes on an almost jazzy improvisational style.  In particular the funk-laden opening of "Varangian Paradise".  Another improvement Gorod makes on typical technical death metal is the variation in vocal styles.  Yes there are some harsh, death metal growls and roars but there is a lot of other styles as well, including some clean singing.

Gorod brings a bit more to the table than a lot of technical death metal bands.  That is why I enjoy this album quite a bit.  They enter the realm of Decrepit Birth, Obscura, Psycroptic, and the like as technical death metal bands with some actual personality.  

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