GOROD – The Orb
- by ER
- Posted on 25-04-2023
RELEASE YEAR: 2023
BAND URL: https://gorodmetal.bandcamp.com/
Did I not just review a French technical death metal album? I sure did (Catalyst’s “A Different Painting For The New World”, 5.5) and here we go with another one, this time from a long running act Gorod whose roots (previously as Gorgasm) go all the way back to 1997 and whose two remaining founders, Mathieu Pascal (guitars) and Benoit Claus (bass), were joined by Julien “Nutz” Deyres (2010-vocals), Nicolas Alberny (2010-guitars) and Karol Diers (2014-drums) for the creation of the 7th full length “The Orb” released last month, with a very interesting mindfunk of a cover accompanying some of the most highly technically proficient yet very catchy mindfunking music in recent tech death memory, howbeit signalling a willingness to depart from the sheer technicality of the past that made albums such as “A Perfect Absolution”²⁰¹² and “A Maze Of Recycled Creeds”²⁰¹⁵ (my only points of heretofore reference) interesting but quickly forgotten, perhaps unfairly but forgotten nevertheless.
If you detect a note of regret in the last sentence it is because of how very good, engaging and unforgettable “The Orb” is in comparison. So the opener “Chrematheism” may be Gorod just signalling their return after the pre-pandemic “Æthra”²⁰¹⁸ but already the very melodic follow-up “We Are The Sun Gods” ignites my interest which the subsequent title track fans into flame for the subsequent 2 tracks (Savitri, Breeding Silence) of equal fantastic melodic constitution, and I use that word purposelly given the unmistakable “Contitution In Treason” God Forbid echoes in both music and vocals in addition to Mastodon and Misery Signals. “Breeding Silence”, which ends the first half of the disc, may just be the best track on the album even if that opening “Truth Be Told” Megadeth riff cuts a little too close to the source, but it is after that that “The Orb” takes a bit of a nosedive with the unremarkable first single “Victory” which is likely a long standing fan gift but at least both “Waltz Of Shades” (with its “Endangered Species” Sepultura groove) and Scale Of Sorrows” are at the level of “We Are The Sun Gods”, but just when you hope for more you only get the somewhat silly cover of The Doors “Strange Days” which, admittedly, cleverly and skilfully handled, sticks out like a sore thumb and contributes to the feeling that the first half of this record is clearly superior (5.2) to the little huried second (4.8).
What I like is that Gorod is not just stuck in their own tech death haven and draw inspiration for jazzy melody from modern currents like Anata (We Are the Sun Gods, title track), Gojira (Waltz Of Shades) or Revocation and Voivod (Scale Of Sorrows) in addition to the mandatory Death old and new vein all tech death acts tap into. What I don’t like is that, performance consistently efficient, apparently, Gorod isn’t able to maintain that high level of songwriting throughout the whole record. At the same time, what I hear is enough to rate “The Orb” as very good and await their next record with interest.