Review Summary: Process of a New Decline in quality...
Expectations are a bitch, but when I think back now it was pretty foolish to think that Gorod
a French technical death metal band, could release an album that could even come close (or surpass) their magnum opus: Leading Vision
. Leading Vision
was a breath of fresh air in the technical death metal scene; it was unique, it wasn’t filled with sterile sweeping and tapping, no it opted for catchy riffs and excellent groove sections. Now, instead of progressing their own unique sound (like the one from Neurotripsicks
to Leading Vision
) it seems like Gorod are imitating generic technical death metal bands, making Process of a New Decline
nothing more than a run-of-the-mill tech death album, crushing all expectations. Sure there are a few good songs to be found, but nothing that can save this album from mediocrity.
The album opens with one of their relatively stronger tracks, Disavow Your God
which starts off great, and doesn’t slow down with excellent, memorable and groovy riffing. A tapping section follows, it starts off good - but then eventually it becomes overbearing due to how long it lasts - although it is still pretty impressive and the song regains its momentum afterwards. All the good qualities about Disavow Your God
can only be said for just a few more songs, namely A Common Hope
and Almighty’s Murderer
which feature the aforementioned catchy and groovy riffs, except Almighty’s Murderer
is more inconsistent, faltering after the first barrage of riffs, but even then it’s stronger than a handful of songs found in the album. However none of these songs reach the standard of some of the better songs found on Leading Vision
and are nothing too special but still, they are the closest thing you’ll get to a Leading Vision-like song.
A noticeable aspect of the album, heard from the onset is the production. Now, I’m not saying the previous albums had anything “dark” about them, and the production wasn’t murky or anything – they were actually very clean and had a crisp sound to it, but Process of the Decline
goes overboard, the album sounds... shiny. The constant, unnecessary shredding found in most of their songs and the extremely (annoying) melodic leads just evokes a “happy” sound, found in progressive/melodic metal albums, which vastly decreases the appeal of this “death metal” album.
So after Disavow Your God
, the album plunges into mediocrity with Programmers of Decline
, which is a perfect example of the new generic tendencies found on the album. It begins with a piss poor excuse of a riff and pointless shredding which just doesn’t relent, the song tries to save itself later on but it fails miserably and presents us with an abysmal groove. No doubt about it, this song (and many others) could easily thrown into an Obscura
or The Faceless
album and fit in perfectly, receiving the usual technical death metal bashing; “all shred, poor songwriting” (which it is). The following songs all do this, it’s ridiculous – it’s as if Gorod are striving to imitate their lesser peers. The Path
features clean vocals, which seems to be the new trait of trendy technical death metal; incorporating Cynic-like vocals, not only are they just out of place, its horribly executed. Splinters of Life
has the least wank found in the album, it just chugs at mid-tempo with unmemorable riffs, the song turns out to be just as boring as the sterile over-the-top shredding found in the rest of the album. Watershed
is another example where Gorod try to pull off some pseudo-progressive and excessively melodic s
hit, the other example being The Path
, the two songs are quite similar and just as bad as each other.
The bass is somewhat audible, but it doesn’t carry the same presence it did in previous albums, especially Leading Vision
where the bass was enjoyable and made an impact since you could hear it throughout the majority of the album. Make no mistake though, the bass does provide a suitable backbone for the rest of the music; it just lacks the “oomph” found in Leading Vision
. The drumming obviously sounds different due to Gorod’s new drummer, and I don’t really have any complaints with it. It’s impressive and I’m pleased that it wasn’t overdone like the guitars.
Overall Process of a New Decline
begins with a promising and misleading start and finishes off by being the biggest disappointment the year has offered us so far. Gorod just took many huge leaps backwards with this album, becoming cookie-cutter technical death metal which is a shame because I believe Gorod had the potential to produce album of the year. Yeah, this is really technical and wanky stuff, but there’s no substance to be found and each listen deteriorates whatever redeeming qualities that could have been found. Hopefully Gorod can return to form with future releases, but the possibility of that happening is fairly slim due to the direction taken in this album.