Gorod - Process Of A New Decline
Listenable Records
Uber-Technical Death Metal
11 songs (50:04)
Release year: 2009
Gorod, Listenable Records
Reviewed by Goat
Album of the month

Moving on from their excellent second album Leading Vision, which combined technicality and catchiness to something very near perfection, French crew Gorod have focused on the technical side of their sound for album number three, and it’s one of those albums that is practically impossible to review, frankly. This isn’t Technical Death Metal, it’s Ridiculously Technical Death Metal – each and every track is a whirlwind of melodic riffing and virtuoso soloing, very rich and complex in style, yet it’s perfectly pleasant to listen to in a strangely Cynical sort of way. Of course, you’re going to have to spend a good deal of time with it if you want to get anywhere near towards understanding it, or even enjoying it properly – the first few listens, all the songs sound all the same, and even now I still couldn’t tell them apart that well, despite it being seemingly non-repetitive.

One problem that people may have with this album are Guillaume’s growls, as they’re completely monotonous, very nearly the same all the way through apart from some clean vocals here and there, but I actually appreciated this, as it provides a sort of anchor for the listener to hold onto whilst he’s being pulled off into space by the rest of the band. The riffs do have an intriguingly Meshuggah-esque polyrhythmic feel to them, especially on Splinters Of Life, although this is far from the mechanical intensity of the Swedes. As I mentioned before, the Cynic comparison works, although only occasionally – the start of Watershed, for one. Really, comparing Gorod to any band is tough, as these Frenchmen walk their own path.

As I mentioned earlier, this is difficult to review, as it’s very much love/hate stuff. Although there are differences between the songs, moments like the choir that opens The Path, and the odd foray into pure Jazz territory are great, and the album is undeniably a vast, complex experience. In terms of value for money, fifty minutes of this should be more than enough to keep any Tech-Death lover in thrall for months. If you’re a newcomer to the band, I strongly recommend their previous opus Leading Vision, which has much better songwriting and is easier to get into. Process Of A New Decline, however, is an excellent album, one that I’ll be returning to over and over again in the coming months, and one that wil probably make the end-of-year list once I’ve had a few hundred more listens. This is likely to be the best Tech Death album to be released this year - some may proclaim it to be a pile of show-off nonsense, but they simply haven't given themselves enough time to appreciate it. I've edited this review a few times to update it with further thoughts as I listen more and enjoy more, and at the time of writing I'm fascinated enough to award it the score I have, a score that may well rise yet. At the moment, though, it deserves every point I award it, and is significant enough a statement of intent to make it worthy of attention from all Death Metalheads.

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Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Gorod that we have reviewed:
Gorod - A Perfect Absolution reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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