Gorod
Process of a New Decline


3.5
great

Review

by Tyler Munro EMERITUS
July 17th, 2009 | 87 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gorod's weakest album has the band straying further from their death metal roots and, as expected, succeeding more often than not.

I've always differentiated between Necrophagist and Gorod much in the same way Nick Butler explains the difference between Yndi Halda and the bands they seemingly derive from. To be specific, that Necrophagist write songs that lead to a singular climax (in most cases, a solo or a lead); this puts them in the Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky mold, while Gorod have always compared comfortably to Yndi Halda, in that their climaxes (very rarely a singular solo) are often encompassing parts of a larger, more cohesive and already strong sound. While this is still the case with Process of a New Decline, Gorod have for the first time taken a step in the opposite direction. For the first time, Gorod has me thinking they've, if only at times, stumbled towards adequacy. And they've done this while trying to do exactly the opposite.

What that means–the notion of them stumbling towards adequacy by attempting so vehemently to deny it–is that Gorod has attempted to do too much, too quickly. Process of a New Decline does its best to mix Neurotripsicks' harsher, more varied vocal attack with Leading Vision's hyper-melodic, almost mocking demeanour. Where they struggle is in the attempt to combine the two sounds while still attempting to progress beyond them. This is something I feared upon the announcement of a new drummer. To first make it abundantly clear: Sam Santiago is significantly better than ex-drummer Sandrine. It comes naturally: she is a woman, I am a sexist. But his virtuosity, if you can call it that (and you wouldn't be wrong if you did), propels Gorod to new, eccentric heights. It allows “Programmers of Decline” and “Diverted Logic”, the band's worst sequence of songs (and sequentially the bands worst songs since the Gorgasm days) to be little more than overbearing, borderline masturbatory spells of jingo-jango (what?) technicality. Most importantly “Programmers of Decline” embodies the earlier notion that Gorod might be drifting towards their contemporaries rather than further above them. While by no means a bad track, it's certainly a step-away from intriguing; that is, of course, until the highly francophonic sounding, neck-snapping groove that end-caps the otherwise adequate song, thus tricking the listener into thinking what he heard was anything but ordinary. And ordinarily, ordinary isn't a bad thing, but with such high expectations, it's hard not to feel a little let down. Of course it isn't all bad (well, “Diverted Logic” kind of is), since “Programmers” does make use of Santiago's expertise in providing varying speeds that flip-switch between a surprisingly punky intonation and a relatively strong Gorguts inclination (his start-stop-blast instinct is prevalent throughout the album). It just also makes me miss Sandrine's restraint (which admittedly can be chocked up to a lack of talent) which was a welcome pacemaker for the band's likelihood to occasionally go balls-to-the-walls (this is not a shout out) insane.

Harping on the band only makes the album seem worse than it is, though. Process of a New Decline is quite good, actually, but it certainly does nothing to prove the cliché of 'third time's a charm'. It isn't. Charming, however, it occasionally is. As they started doing on their last album, Gorod have maintained a real sense of enjoyment and fun in their playing, embodied in part by bassist Barby's propensity and paradoxical ability to both shred uncontrollably while still maintaining a melodic backbone for the rest of the group to build off of. The guitars have only gotten better and, to some extent, a little sillier. Arnaud and Mathieu will and should be remembered for their work on this album. It succeeds at being both rhythmic and wankish, and at times, almost mocking. Whether it's the extended dual-tap-a-thon that highlights the already outstanding “Disavow Your God” or the smaller bouts of 'na-na-na-na-boo-boo'-like leads that are laced throughout the album, their spider-fingered propensity is endearing and impressive enough to make even the most cynical baby boomer ask “Eddie Van-Who-len?”. If you're wondering, that's a really expansive (read: long-winded) way of saying that most-everything that's defined the band in the past has remained. Oh, and the solo at the end of “Guilty of Dispersal” is awesome.

So what went wrong? In truth, very little. The only real problem with Process of a New Decline, besides Guillaume's sometimes inconsistent, frequently layered and massively varied vocals is that there's just too much of it. Surprising, since the album clocks in at a modest 50 minutes. It's just that it tries to cohesively be both fun and aggressive, melodic and technical and usually all at once. It works surprisingly more often than not, but it results in Process of a New Decline being a surprisingly draining listen. A grower, for some. But if you've got the patience you shouldn't be disappointed. It might not be as breezy of a listen as you'd like, and as a result you might find yourself drifting before it's over, but Gorod have crafted yet another album that works from front to back. The experimentation is so-so: the cyber-clean, Cynic-influenced vocals are more of a shock than they are necessary, but the band's spacier, more drawn out passages are a welcomed and unique change for the band. Thing is, they're usually all part of the same track (notably “Watershed” and “The Path”), which is just a further testament to how dense and overwhelming this album can be. But calling Process of a New Decline anything but a success isn't fair. Neither is calling it a disappointment, because it's not. At least not entirely. Though it is certainly their weakest output yet, Process of a New Decline nonetheless makes it a point to look down on its contemporaries, but in a strengthening, burgeoning scene currently being revitalized by the return of proto-powerhouses Cynic and hopefully Atheist, Gorod has some tightening up to do if they want to hold their crown.



Recent reviews by this author
Masked Intruder Masked IntruderAtheist Jupiter
Aeon Path of FireAdam Haworth Stephens We Live on Cliffs
Autopsy The Tomb WithinOrbs Asleep Next to Science
user ratings (217)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Squib (2.5)
Process of a New Decline in quality......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
July 17th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wish em-dashes didn't show up as "�". shitty encoding. oh and yeah shout out to nick butler cuz he gave me a good starting point for this otherwise whack review.

Wizard
July 17th 2009


19406 Comments


Really good review. I have this on order right now and looking forward to hearing this.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

OllieS
July 17th 2009


2031 Comments


Review was super-complicated, you must like this band a lot man! Review ruled hard though.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 17th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really hope someone enjoys the eddie van halen pun, that's the first thing i came up with a few months ago when i got this

Wizard
July 17th 2009


19406 Comments


Review was super-complicated, you must like this band a lot man! Review ruled hard though.

Coke has reviewed all three of their albums. But he hates this band so...

I've always differentiated between Necrophagist and Gorod much in the same way Nick Butler explains the difference between Yndi Halda and the bands they seemingly derive from.

I think that including Nick Butler's name is a little unnecessary. Sure it applies to all of the people on this site, but outsiders will be left scratching their heads. I'm just not fond of personalizing reviews too much.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 17th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If we could mask links, I would mask the one in question (though, I'm not sure if he put it on here...). I dont know, I felt like giving a little credit where it was due.

asdemonsburn
July 17th 2009


793 Comments


better tech death albums that came out this year:

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Oracles
Centaurus-A - Side Effects Expected
Obscura - Cosmogenesis
Augury - Fragmentary Evidence



Tyler
Emeritus
July 17th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Oracles
Centaurus-A - Side Effects Expected
Obscura - Cosmogenesis
Augury - Fragmentary Evidence

Nah. Augury comes close but it wore off me fast considering the effort I put in to dig it.

Yazz_Flute
July 17th 2009


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is better than Fleshgod Apocalypse and Obscura's new albums. Haven't heard the other two.

Review was really good. Programmers of Decline is still my favorite track though, even though most of the reviewers seem to be putting that song down. I agree that Diverted Logic is probably the worst song though.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

asdemonsburn
July 17th 2009


793 Comments


no way in hell this album is a 4, sorry to break it to you guys





Yazz_Flute
July 17th 2009


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh ok

asdemonsburn
July 17th 2009


793 Comments


yo bro u should check out Beneath the Massacre, SIQQ BAND

Thor
July 17th 2009


10192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album rules man, though Leading Vision is a more unique listen.

weareshadenow
July 17th 2009


175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album because I like this band, crazy shit right?

DrReg
July 18th 2009


127 Comments


Review is good. Band is good. Am going to check this out now.

feav233
July 18th 2009


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

did not like it as much as leading vision but still a good album, and one of the best tech death bands out there imo

Yazz_Flute
July 18th 2009


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

did not like it as much as leading vision but still a good album, and one of the best tech death bands out there imo


I think all of sputnik concluded this over a month ago.

masterofcum
July 18th 2009


428 Comments


album is sweet

i like neurotripsicks best

SynGates
July 18th 2009


2467 Comments


surprisingly surprising. I like Programmers of Decline though.

glocks4sale
July 18th 2009


61 Comments


Excellent review, it's obvious you really understand this band and it shows through in the review.

But anyway, I really like this band's sound-- especially the "dual tap-a-thon" in that song.





You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy