French tech prog death metal band Gorod mesmerize with their seventh album, The Orb.
Gorod began life in the late 1990s as Gorgasm, changing their name to the more familiar moniker in 2005. After the name change, they followed up by producing three memorable albums in fairly quick succession, Neurotripsicks (2005), Leading Vision (2006), and Process of a New Decline (2009). They have been on a three year publishing cycle since then, with a couple extra years tacked on to this last span due to the pandemic. For me, the new album is some of their best and most bewildering work so far. The band is Mathieu Pascal (guitar), Benoit Claus (bass), Julien “Nutz” Deyres (vocals), Nicolas Alberny (guitar), and Karol Diers (drums).
“Chrematheism.” Holy shit. It is an overwhelming assault from the first note. A challenging, killer piece from the jump. Harsh, coarse vocals are the most discernable element in the opening bars. The riff and keys are jagged and piercing. It is chaos with no regard for whether you can find the order in it. Of course, order is there, and in this kind of technical death metal, order is the structural characteristic. It is the rod that straightens your spine. There is a crazy lead shred as well. It is like dunking your head in a bucket of ice water – ice water with a razor blade vortex. “We Are The Sun Gods” is, if anything, more surgical with a mad central interlude. And then the title track comes along and shows a soothing calm nose that quickly turns away. Melodic-ish vocals prey on your emotions, moving you to drop your defenses right before the riffs hit hard. Mmm.
Technical progressive death metal is actually quite unusual. It is typically one or the other, isn’t it, tech or prog. Here, though, it is both, and each input is equally important. The death metal element is integral as well, which is not a given in other bands that are described in similar fashion. Gorod is fully committed in this music, and they are doing what other musicians don’t. Keep an ear out for “Victory” because it is a degloving experience, and also “Strange Days,” the closer and the shortest song of the set. It is very theatrical and one of my favorites on the album. Recommended.
The Orb can be fully yours on Friday, March 3rd at the Bandcamp link below or wherever you get your stuff.
© Wayne Edwards