I love technical death metal; I make no secret of it. Necrophagist
, later-era Death
, it's all my cup of tea. I do have a complaint with the genre though; it's stagnant. I find that lately, so many bands are concerned with filling as many riffs, tempo changes and the like into their songs that they, in turn, become tedious and vicious. It's not to say there's anything wrong with being overly technical, it's that most bands seem to forget you're still making music. That, in itself, is not a problem exclusive to the tech-death genre, but rather the technical/virtuoso idea in general. How many times have you sighed at the disappointing lack of songwriting skills of the Michael Angelo Batio
s and Buckethead
s of the world? If you asked me that question, the answer would be roughly 33,454. I think Gorod
is an exception to this sad and disappointing trend. They manage to be precise as un-botched laser eye surgery while still remaining memorable, all with a healthy dose of ball-punchingly awesome technicality.
To put this band in a nutshell, I'd say imagine if Necrophagist
had sweaty, raunchy sex with Quo Vadis
. Imagine if Muhammed Suicmez and company could write music that didn't sound like a chore after the first listen. Now, I'm not trying to slag on Necrophagist
, I just feel the main problem with them is I often find myself waiting for certain parts, as opposed to enjoying the music as a whole. What Gorod
manage to do is create unrelentingly technical death metal, and fuse it with a very healthy dose of melody. Amongst the slapping, tapping and insane fills care of the best female drummer I've ever heard (we'll get back to that), you'll find that you actually lose yourself in the songs. No, you may not lose yourself to the scope you would while listening to post-rock, it's more along the lines of losing your car keys, but it's still a nice touch. The easiest way to sum up their sound is to picture the intricacies of a band like Necrophagist
, minus some
of the wanking, throw in some Sound of Perseverance
(or Death 2.0), and last but not least, throw in some thrash, old-school death metal and hell, why not a pinch of the ol' Gothenburg sound too. I know, it sounds cluttered, but they pull it off.
I know that if you're like me, you probably have pre-conceived notions about women in death metal. I'm not necessarily saying I expect them to suck, I'm just saying it's usually the case. That's not it, though, there's also the idea of her being a novelty. I'll use Arch Enemy as my example. While Angela is a ferocious vocalist, her gender has been a pivotal element of the bands success. Sandrine, Gorod
's drummer, is a female. Did I know this upon my first listen? No. I know it now, though, and I don't care. Why? She is fuci
ng amazing, that's why. Her style is that of your typical tech-death drummer, but when you consider the amount of talent in the genre you have to bow down and appreciate. Throughout the typically mid-paced album, you'll hear her manage the endless time-changes like a trained veteran, throwing in occasional blasts and fills as she sees fit. Amidst the chaos, you'll also be glad to notice the tasteful array of cymbal work. All in all, Sandrine is not a novelty; she's just an unbelievable drummer who happens to have a vagina.
The bass on the album seems to go in and out of the mix at times, though when you can hear it, you'll be impressed. While I don't think the bass is fretless, much of the basswork on the album is evocative of the kind of stuff you hear Steve DiGiorgio playing, and anyone who knows anything about metal, will tell you that's most definitely a good thing. In fact, the bass is essentially what let me know this album was something special. While the ultra-precise riffing found in the intro track is obviously mindblowing, shifting between jazzy Cynic
like sounds and your Necrophagist
style shred, the bass at the beginning of Gutting Job
is just such a nice way to start the album off, though I use the term nice loosely as this is, after-all, a death metal album.
The guitars scream awesomeness, as is the case with mostly any great album within the genre. The main thing I appreciate with the guitars is that, while they're clearly capable, Arnaud and Mat never get ahead of themselves by turning the song into one 3-4 minute shredfest. All of the riffs are impressive, but they never go on for too long, in fact, nothing on the album goes on for too long except the album itself, which I'll get into in a bit. Sound wise, the simplest way to describe the guitar parts would be to imagine if Chuck Schuldiner and Muhammed Suicmez were to play in an Atheist
cover band. It's not to say the guitars are overly jazzy, either, so I guess it's something you'll have to hear for yourself. They're neo-classical without going too far. They're unique without sounding like as
On the issue of vocals and lyrics, well, at least the vocals are good. I know, "good" isn't exactly the most descriptive of adjectives, but it's really all there is to say. They're not overly guttural, and thankfully the whole pig-squeal style of vocalising is a rarity on the album. I guess the vocals are just sufficient. The lyrics on the other hand, for lack of a kinder word, are totally stupid. I know, it's hardly professional, but honestly, they don't mean a thing. Here's a nice sample from Track 4, Hunt to the Weaks
Brutal Shows // Crushing Pogos // Violence is Real
Death Through Holocaust // Fear in the Eyes // All have left this place
Hunt to the Weaks // A Cemetery Silence Crucify this Moment
See what I mean? That is absolutely meaningless. Seriously, the lyrics on the album are actually laughable
, they're what you get if you mix post-modernism (see: pointless) with the meaningless "neo-goth-who-sits-in-the-graveyard-until-dawn-writing-a-bunch-of-unrelated-words-on-a-sheet-of-paper" kind of poetry. They're silly. It's a bunch of unrelated phrases thrown together with little to no rhyme or reason.
This is an album I've waited forever to hear, and it bothers me to say I hadn't heard it until recently. I've always had a problem with bands like Psyopus
who use their music as a penis enlarger, neglecting the fact that to be a musician, you have to do more than show us how fast your fingers/hands move. Gorod are amazing, and, whether it be with their unrelenting technicality or the unrelentingly stupid lyrics, they're a band that never lets down. There's little to no faults on this album, but I'll point them out anyways. Firstly, it's easy to sit through the album in one sitting, but it's also just as easy to loose interest partway through, and then there's the lyrics, which I've probably mentioned more than I had to...they're just so ridiculous!
As always, I'll leave you with some lyrics.
City of sex and Death // Murdered Visions // Mind's Violence // Lust Anarchy
Murdered Osmosis // Phantasm Execution // Pooring Dismembered Bitch
Splattered Clitoris // Bloody place of Tears // GOROD, No Escape