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Gorod - Aethra Award winner

Gorod
Aethra
by Kayla Hutton at 16 November 2018, 10:24 AM

French Technical Death Metallers GOROD formed in 1997 under the name GORGASM. They changed their name to GOROD in 2005 to not be confused with a U.S. band with the same name. While considering all releases “Aethra” marks the bands' 10th release to hit your ears on October 19th, 2018 via Overpowered Records. I can best describe GOROD as the deathy alternative to DREAM THEATER. Prog and Jazz infuses technical death metal. Make sense? If you are familiar with GOROD you will be pleasantly surprised at the actual production value and sound quality has been addressed and improved upon.

“Chandra and the Maiden” brings an intro with some off time, bluesy groove. Guitar playing that would make John Petrucci give a golf clap. The vocals start in spoken word fashion before diving into a ranting style yell. The drums pound and blast away over this riff, that while heavy, just sounds like it would be actually fun to play if ya can figure out the timing of it. The lead itself boasts melody and divine volume control while a palm muted odd rhythmic pattern holds the groove. The drums changing accent points throughout the riff give it a million different ways to feel it.

“A Light Unseen” has a Proggy guitar start until the Death growl/yells overpower the bright melodic strumming making it more intense and urgently heavier. The midsection shows some seriously fast blasts before dropping into a brilliantly constructed lead guitar part. While I respect the technical aspect of what is being played, each note blends so smoothly into the next that it almost sounds effortless. “The Sentry” has that awesome guitar and drum unison attack. Every note the guitarist plays the drum hits with it, and not just in the form of double bass or snare. Actual instrumentation and use the entire drum kit. Here is my only gripe. The clean vocals around 1:25 into the track. While I can assume due to their depth they are supposed to give a kind of dark spooky vibe, but, the attempt to me sounds awkward. Kinda like MORBID ANGEL's “God of Emptiness”, when David does the “Bow to me faithfully” thing in a low tone. You growl, you scream, and are great at it. You pull off the spoken word too. But this just tanks it for me. Sorry guys. It just sounds too, not ready and too forced.

Other than that, GOROD are masters at what they do and continue to carry with them a great range of diversity. (ok I made that statement and only know 1 other album to compare it to). There is something about GORODs approach that makes them a lot more easy to digest than most tech prog death bands. While I can’t really define “what” it is (I know, I’m a writer I am supposed to), I really just don’t know. Maybe it’s that they aren’t 100% pedal to the metal and playing 800 mph. Who knows, but for fans that aren’t musicians, or just don’t get it when music goes off time and then back on time, sounding more like a mistake rather than an actual technical playing style, GOROD will resonate perfectly with you. Take the operatic vocals and keyboards out of prog, throw in melodic groove with technical ability, top it off with deathy vocals that are audible and you’ve got a nicely coated pill that is easy to swallow. I’m giving GOROD a 10 on production simply because with “Aethra” there is such an improvement, and these guys deserve it with how well they play.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Wolfsmond
2. Bekhten's Curse
3. Aethra
4. The Sentry
5. Hina
6. And the Moon Turned Black
7. Chandra and the Maiden
8. Goddess of Dirt
9. Inexorable
10. A Light Unseen
Lineup:
Julien "Nutz" Deyres - Vocals
Mathieu Pascal - Guitar
Benoit Claus - Bass
Nicolas Alberny - Guitar
Karol Diers - Drums
Record Label: Overpowered Records
     


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