Review Summary: Gorod heighten their prog influence, resulting in an overall advancement in their sound for the first time since Leading Vision
Gorod have shifted in terms of their perception by the modern death metal scene, from being one of the leading lights of tech-death to just another band populating a largely stagnant scene. Process Of A New Decline
and A Perfect Absolution
definitely did them no favors (somewhat appropriately given the title of the former) in retaining their position at the head of the scene, as both exhibited a fairly generic approach with less impressive song writing than found prior. A Maze of Recycled Creeds sees the band heighten their prog influences, and they succeed in making their first real progression since 2006.
The most immediately evident thing about A Maze of Recycled Creeds is that the production has taken several steps up. It's extremely clear but also quite dynamic, giving the guitars more room to breathe. This works doubly well due to the increased variety of instrumental styles and prog-metal features, as the vocals are diversified from their band's typical mid-range death metal growls to something more akin to a Gojira
style-roar, and there is a greater use of relatively clean guitar tones across several sections.
Broadly, the overall tempo of the band is taken down a notch, and the songwriting is somewhat more segmented into traditional riff patterns. The band pick their spots a lot better in regard to their explicit tech-death aspects, as most of the riffs are simplified for the most part (more in vein of prog metal). and a little catchier, whilst the overt technicality of the band is better shown in breaks and progressions; this is clearest in tracks like Dig Into Yourself
which exhibit fewer of the band's previous sonic trademarks. The greater prog influence becomes especially apparent from a use of broad, jazzy chords in several tracks, such as Celestial Nature
and in the greater overall tonal variation across the album. The band is also more confident remaining at a consistent tempo, resulting in more cohesive songwriting overall.
A Maze of Recycled Creeds isn't a hugely groundbreaking album in the broadest sense, but it's a major improvement for Gorod following a pair of largely forgettable death metal albums. Simultaneously more accessible, more cohesive, and more ambitious, it's likely to end up as one of this year's technical and progressive death metal highlights.