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Review: Gorod - Process of a New Decline
Process of a New Decline

Label: Willowtip Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 50:04
Tracks: 11
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: July 16, 2009
Reviewed by: Nahsil
Readers Rating
Process of a New Decline

Rated 3.86/5 (77.24%) (29 Votes)

Gorod have traditionally been a band that I like to reference in defense of technical Death Metal. Neurotripsticks and Leading Vision were both very technical albums that maintained a strong sense of songwriting and originality, setting them apart from some of the generic scale-abusing bands more interested in moving their fingers really fast than actually playing anything worth hearing. In the interest of being completely honest about my observations, their newest effort is a step back, or at least a step in the wrong direction. What has impressed me most about Gorod in the past is their ability to take ideas – ideas for riffs, leads, solos etc – and put them into a framework that is more than just a straightforward Death Metal song. They do this in a variety of ways. Rhythm is important; you could even say a lot of their material has groove to it. But more important than rhythm is the musical equivalent of being concise. Leading Vision is a killer album not merely because it has killer guitar playing, but because the technical showy aspect is kept in its place, reined in. Yes, the fretboard is frequently on fire with quick arpeggios and whatnot, but it's all safely within the context of the song. Too much Tech Death, in my opinion, foregoes "the song" in favor of 5 minute technical excursions lacking a whole lot of direction. I get that same impression from Gorod's newest.

They aren't as guilty as some of the genre's worst, and in fact this album does have its redeeming points, but overall the sentiment that it provokes in me is disappointment. There's too many needless sweeps, too many random riffs that don't belong, and the songwriting suffers as a result. Songs like "Chronicle from the Stone Age" on the previous album made sense; the chord progressions were well-conceived, intricate, interesting, and even pretty atmospheric in parts. I hear little of that same craftsmanship here, and when a song does touch upon a progression that directly affects the muscles in my neck, either repetition beats it to death like so many of Opeth's musical ideas or it goes out of sync with sensible songwriting again. That said, I can't hate an album that does have some cool parts, even if the parts aren't working together as a whole. Throughout the album there are scattered motifs that, perhaps if cleaned up a bit and removed of excess, would produce something worthy of the Gorod legacy. Process of a New Decline is not a terrible album, but Gorod are capable of more, and I can't help but hold them to the standard of their past efforts.

A few things haven't changed, or have seen negligible change. The vocals are the same throaty death rasp; the drumming is similarly tied into the rest of the music, and the production, while less blunt than Leading Vision, is not one of the album's flaws. Process of a New Decline is far from any sort of career-ending failure (obviously, given its critical praise so far), but as someone who is disillusioned with the diseased state of Technical Death Metal, it seems to me that Gorod have done nothing to avoid the same pitfalls of many of their contemporaries.

Other related information on the site
Review: A Perfect Absolution (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Leading Vision (reviewed by Ktb)
Review: Leading Vision (reviewed by Tony Augsburg)
Review: Process of a New Decline (reviewed by Jason Cominetto)
Review: Process of a New Decline (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Process of a New Decline (reviewed by Tony Augsburg)
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