Technical death metal often suffers from a lack of melody. Musicians working within the genre tend to focus on chops. But France’s Gorod impresses with a balance of speed and complexity. On their newest album, the band wisely injects tunefulness into the equation.

Guilty of Dispersal
Splinters of Life

Credit goes to new drummer Samuel Santiago for tightening the band and delivering awe-inspiring performances. Though often likened to Necrophagist, Gorod turns down the slap bass and turns up the nimble musicianship. Process of a New Decline‘s (Willowtip / Listenable, 2009) avant-garde moments display the band’s genius, especially the ludicrously complicated “Splinters of Life.” “Guilty of Dispersal” weaves precise playing with hair-wagging beatdown mosh parts. Despite the propensity for mathematics, the songs glide on melodic undercurrents. Purists fear not: any hint of harmony shines in the riffs, not the vocals. Guillaume Martinot continues his gruff vocal approach with nary a “singing” moment.

Gorod remains a metal guitarist’s wet dream. Mathieu Pascal and Arnaud Pontacq’s riffing is amongst the finest in metal. Though descended from the Azagthoth/Rutan school of shred-ology, Pascal and Pontacq rip in a league entirely their own. Process of a New Decline drips with memorable guitar workouts, with a nod towards the past and a step towards the future.

– Casey Boland

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