Gorod – A Perfect Absolution [2012]

Band: Gorod
Album: A Perfect Absolution
Release Date: March 2012
Genre: Progressive Death Metal/Jazz
Label: Listenable Records

It’s not every day that you come across a French metal act [unless you actually follow the French metal scene in the same manner that people follow their favourite celebs on twitter], so it was a shock I found Gorod’s upcoming album in my e-mails. The band are described as progressive death metal and jazz on their official Facebook and they’ve been around since ‘97 – Originally formed under the moniker Gorgasm (sounds like the name of a dodgy pornographic snuff film, doesn’t it?). Anyway, Gorod’s newest release A Perfect Absolute, due for release in March, is based on the history of 10th century Kiev. More specifically, in the year 945 when Igor, King of Kiev was murdered (probably in a brutal manner) while collecting a “tribute” while visiting his Pagan neighbours the Derevlians, who lived in a forest. After the incident, his widow, Olga, avenged him in an extremely harsh manner before converting to Orthodox Christianity. That’s your history lesson for today, readers.

I find the genius combination of subtle birds singing and tragic orchestration to work well as a build up for the main part of “Birds Of Sulphur”. The guitars virtually smash it up with strong back up from the drums and vocals. The melodic licks are quite reminiscent of Lamb of God and to a broader extent, Amon Amarth.  The second half of the track sounds more along the lines of Death, only heavier and faster. “Sailing into the Earth” stomps on the ears with its guitar work like a herd of raging elephants, the only different being is that the former is much more pleasing on the ears, especially the brutalising use of drums. The third track “Elements and Spirit” might sound like the name of some sort of Wiccan book of shadows but musically, it’s more on the power metal-meets-Mario sounding side of things with a hint of Children of Bodom mixed in with it as well provided by the keyboards – though this could be a sound caused by the 70s jazz influences. The most shocking thing about this track is the vocals… Don’t worry, they’re still barbaric enough to melt your next door neighbour’s face but as I was saying, the vocals do come as a shock due to the slight use of clean vocals for one line and then a more semi-raw vocal style later on.

The vicious sounding axe-work and thundering rhythm sections of “The Axe of God” are to the ears like flagons of mead are to a Viking: Pure enjoyment. The solo reminds me, for some strange reason, of Megadeth while the slower section seems to have a sense of grandeur mixed with sorrow. “5000 at the Funeral” take the album down the slow lane with a solemn, possibly jazz-like musing of guitars, strings and piano giving the album a unique sound compared to most death metal releases. The percussion seems to be quite industrial and alternative before the wailing of Arch Enemy-sounding riffs hurl themselves into the fray with an epic-yet-harsh narration that gradually evolves into a fierce snarling roar of metallic growls. For the most part, the track seems very drum-orientated which will please any drummers that listen to the album. And for any guitarists reading this, don’t worry, there’s plenty of neck-braking riffs.

The romantically named “Carved In The Wind” brings back the epic, poweresque guitar sections mixed in with the overpowering vocal work and bonecrushing rhythm section. The track is pre-dominantly Lamb of God sounding, especially towards the end which does make the song as tasteless as water. Nearing the end comes “Vangarian Paradise” which really does spice up the album with its mix of metal and funky jazzed up riffs. The snarling roars that are the vocals oddly sound brilliant with the unique sounds on the track. The album coms to its end with “Tribute In Blood” which is a dangerously good mixture of blasphemous vocals and demonic riffs as well a brilliant way to finish the album.

Gorod are certainly masters of their trade when it comes to welding together metal and jazz into an unholy yet enjoyable union of blasphemous, face-melting music and “A Perfect Absolution” is no different. Gorod literally take the good parts of 70s jazz and death metal to create the masterpiece that is this album.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson

One Response to “Gorod – A Perfect Absolution [2012]”

  1. Amazing album, amazing band.

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