A Maze of Recycled Creeds

I won’t rehash the love already shown by this site to France’s tech death masters Gorod and their prior albums. You can see our previous gushing, by myself and Jordan Itkowitz, right here. The question I have for you, loyal reader, is this: can death metal, specifically tech death metal, be happy? Playful, even? We know melodic death metal can have a certain bounce and harmony, but tech death is normally reserved for cold, calculated, and clinical blasting. It can’t imbue a smile, can it? It can’t evoke a joyous, frolicking feeling, can it?

Gorod beg to differ. And for their last four albums, the band have indeed infused normally sterile tech death metal with a jazzy, playful sense of mischief and melody. However, on album number five, as Theory In Practice did with Colonizing the Sun back in 2002, Gorod has utterly destroyed what tech death metal should and can be. They’ve made a tech death album that’s a sheer joy to listen to, and might even make the most ardent tech death head crack a happy face.

Sure, it’s got the tech death backbone of shreddy noodling riffs and blast beats, as well as the growls to keep it firmly on the death side of things, but the jazzy and melodic elements have been upped to a degree that almost makes this an entirely new genre. A Maze of Recycled Creeds is simply a delight to listen to. It’s chock full of fretless bass runs, solos, and jazzy, funky, dancing, poppy melodies that all just happen to be delivered within tech death metal’s paradigms. Throw in the lyrical concept  concerning the writings of Rosicrucian Sâr Merodack Joséphin Péladan, and it’s a challenging, fun, and brilliant album.

Standout tracks are abound, but the swirly, addictive “The Mystic Triad,” the shimmery harmonies of “From Passion to Holiness,” the grooving, aptly titled “Rejoice the Soul” (which comes close to the full-on funkadelic “Varangian Paradise” from A Perfect Absolution), and “Syncretic Delerium” all make me shimmy and smile with glee. And that’s most definitely not my usual reaction to any death metal album.

All of these tracks, and well as others on the album, shatter the myth that tech death is just all about skill but not memorable songwriting. They show that Gorod are simply turning the genre on its head while delivering one of the year’s very best and entertaining albums.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 5th, 2015


  1. Commented by: Luke_22

    Love this band and can’t wait for the album. And nice review, you hit some good points there.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Well this has been on repeat all afternoon…

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