Awesome French technical death metal not named Gojira!

-- Gorod --

28/12/2018
Stijn Daneels

Album genres:
Technical death metal
Progressive Metal
Melodic death metal
Album artists:
Julien "Nutz" Deyres Vocals
Mathieu Pascal Guitar
Nicolas Alberny Guitar
Benoit Claus Bass
Karol Diers Drums

Review written by Glenn Van Bockstaele.

Gorod is a French technical death metal band formed in 1997 under the name Gorgasm. In 2005 they changed their name to Gorod (a change for the better, in my opinion) and under that moniker they’ve released 5 albums and 2 EPs between 2005 and 2017. And two months ago these French freaks unleashed their sixth album, Æthra, released through French record label Overpowered Records. The album kicks off with “Wolfsmond” that instantly injects you with high-octane, melodic death metal riffs, grunts, yells and whispers and frequent tempo changes. All thrown into one well-structured opening track climaxing into an epic guitar solo and fading into one final moody guitar riff. All setting the style and tone for the rest of the album. Talk about making an entrance!

After that badass opener it’s on to “Bekhten’s Curse.” A song with a catchy main melody and vocals that both made me think about their famous fellow countrymen by the name of Gojira! Both Gorod’s Julien Deyres and Gojira’s Joe Duplantier posses attention grabbing voices and both are more than capable to go for hellish screaming as well as more relaxed singing. And both bands play a slightly exotic type of melodic death metal that’s aggressive yet always technical and never over the top. ÆThra’s title track starts off with a gentle progressive rock section that gradually gets louder and louder and eventually turns into another groovy death metal section. The title track continues transitioning between blast beats and progressive melodies until the end. The next two songs, “The Sentry” and “Hina” respectively, put more emphasis on the typically death metal stuff. Dissonant riffs, sudden tempo changes, deep growls and drum beats that nail everything together. But still, both songs leave sufficient room for some sweet progressive metal tunes as is the case all the tracks on “Æthra.”

The sixth song, “And The Moon Turned Black,” is without a doubt one of the heaviest and most hectic tunes on the album and reminds me a lot of Cannibal Corpse, in particular vocalist Julien goes deep down for some grunting that would make George “Skullgrinder” Fischer proud! Fuck yeah! Then it’s on to “Chandra And The Maiden” that shows off Gorod’s more technical side more profoundly with a slight touch of deathcore, a bit like After The Burial. Up next is “Goddess of Dirt,” another fast-paced and viciously beating death metal sledgehammer but this song also includes a metalcore breakdown section in its middle part to great effect. Then the band brings out some Meshuggah like melodies in the track “Inexorable” surrounded by galloping rhythms. And finally there’s “A Light Unseen,” a song with bizarrely upbeat riffs combined with the typically ferocious vocals and drum beats. It’s a weird combination, but this set of joyful power metal inspired melodies spiced up with death metal fury is more than enjoyable! And with that original and highly effective finale, this rollercoaster of an album comes to an end!

Well, all that’s left for me to say here is that Gorod’s sixth release is one necessary purchase for any death metal fan out there. Especially if you don’t mind your typically death metal ingredients being served with a tasty side dish consisting of clean vocals, progressive melodies and even some weirdly optimistic riffs. Gorod’s not afraid to cross musical borders and play something that’s both aggressive and accessible. Now go and check out the cinematic music video for the song “Bekthen’s Curse” here below!

85/100