Process Of A New Decline
posted on 9/2009 By:
While last year saw a slew of quality tech death albums (Origin, Decrepit Birth, Hate Eternal, Brain Drill, Trigger the Bloodshed, etc), one could argue that 2009 has been even better for technical death metal with the likes of Obscura, Ulcerate, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Augury (and lets not forget the upcoming Sickening Horror) and the highly anticipated third album from France’s Gorod.
As with (mainly) Obscura and Augury, the line between death metal savagery and indulgent, busy melodies is often crossed, which means the beauty will be in the eye of the beholder as many will see this as a soulless, noodling, riffless cacophony, while others (me included), will understand Gorod’s sound, rife with brilliance.
As much as I appreciate a simple chug and lurch, the fact remains, Gorod and their ilk have simply changed the game when it comes to death metal. In the case of Gorod and Obscura (though Gorod is less twangy and bass-centric), like their peers before them (Death, Cynic, Atheist, etc), the technical prowess comes glossed with a sense of hyper melody and harmony that often goes by unseen in the maelstrom of notes and blast beats. One only need listen to the opening duo of “Disavow Your God” and “Programmers of Decline” to hear what Gorod has to offer as the track is awash with simply gorgeous harmonies and solos that at times are utterly breathtaking, even more so when taken in as a whole with the rest of the razor sharp riffage. Admittedly though, as with most uber technical death metal, staying power and memorability isn’t the forte but Gorod do manage to hold your interest due to the almost playful and jazzy sense of pacing and bounciness that keeps things from being too gruff or brutal.
The rest of the album offers as many highlights as the opening two tracks. You are past being blown away by the musicianship, though “Guilty of Dispersal” does offer a highlight of the album's last half with some just truly breathtaking solos and harmonies. Also, the controlled pace of “Splinters of Life” is a nice touch as it shows Gorod can deliver a measure of restraint once in a while. There's a couple of surprises too as the orchestral intro to the “The Path,” as it gives the tech noodling some graceful semblance of atmosphere that tech death sorely lacks and some clean vocals and delicate acoustics arise in “Watershed.”
As good as A Process of a New Decline is though, it’s a victim of a numbers game, with the new Augury release simply blowing my socks off a few weeks ago and my tech metal tank being somewhat full already this year. Still, Gorod is inarguably one of the very elite tech death bands around, and their ability to mix complexity and harmony into a symbiotic vortex of skill and song writing is masterful.
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