Process of a New Decline

If you could travel back in time and play some of our current tech-death for the death metal bands just starting out in the early years of the genre, would they be amazed that their efforts would one day spawn something so intricate and complex? Or would they just take off their instruments and give it all up? Actually, we don’t even need time travel for that – you could probably play some Gorod for some of today’s fledgling bands and crush their spirits all the same.

Yep, the new album from these French technical wizards is out and it is every bit as amazing as expected. The jazzy, playful bounce and swing from Leading Vision is still here, but now it’s paired with an obsessively detailed melodic firestorm that’s just this side of Dragonforce. Not to say that this approaches the ridiculous 8-bit burble of that band’s more frantic moments – just that the speed and complexity of every frenzied explosion on Process of a New Decline is absolutely mind-numbing.

Where opener “Disavow Your God” wows with a syncopated neoclassical break, follow-up “Programmers of Decline” blows past it with a nonstop arpeggio freakout.  This isn’t just mindless wankmanship – as with Leading Vision and Neurotripsicks, the songwriting throughout Process of a New Decline is precise, fluid and consistently entertaining.

The keys here are structure and balance, even in the face of such extravagance. That means that the drumming is both furious and meticulous, but it lets the guitars take their rightful place up front – no limelight-grabbing fills or rolls. And it means that the guys in Gorod know when to forge ahead at their usual blistering pace, but they also know when to loosen up and breathe with a jazzy, stuttering lope, or when to slow down, as in the pensive, doomy second half of “Splinters of Life.” There are also a few surprises as well, like the majestic entrance to “The Path,” the Cynic-al opening minutes of “Watershed,” or the ethereal clean vocals that appear on both tracks. “Watershed” in particular is a standout among an album full of standouts, and I wouldn’t be surprised if its lyrical, haunting outro was inspired by the album of the same name.

If Leading Vision hadn’t already cemented Gorod‘s status as the best tech-death band on the planet, Process of a New Decline definitely does.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
August 12th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    what a year for tech death

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    what a year for metal

  3. Commented by: Nick

    I have this coming in the mail right now…I’m so excited! Leading Vision was so amazing, and I have a feeling this will be too.

  4. Commented by: RichF

    This is just the kind of noodly, masturbatory crap that turns me off from nearly anything called tech-death.

  5. Commented by: Shane

    See now I wish I would have done this one, Jordan. LOL! Great band. Very consistant. Awesome review!

  6. Commented by: Roman

    You’re dead wrong about this album. It’s a riffless piece of shit that abandons the balance, subtlety and HEAVINESS that made the first two Gorod albums stand out in a sea of cookie-cutter tech death pablum.

  7. Commented by: gabaghoul

    you can do a second opinion! I’m surprised Erik let me have it to begin with, he’s usually all over this stuff.

  8. Commented by: Staylow

    I need to revisit this one, it seems. I liked it, but it didn’t blow me away like you describe. Wow, nice review.

  9. Commented by: GreenMarine

    I just discovered this band through this review. And it fucking made my day.

  10. Commented by: Conjure Supreme

    This also didn’t “blow me away.” I am not denying that the musicians are talented, but as far making others “take off their instruments and give it all up,” I don’t think so. It sounds like they are about half as good as between the buried and me. These French bands right now, do a lot of everyone playing different scales at the same time. Which is cool, new and “jazzy,” but it doesn’t take anymore technical skill. Possibly less…

  11. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I have never been able to get through a Between the Buried and Me album, much as I have tried, so I guess to each his own.

  12. Commented by: Desperado

    I sense alot of /auto-trolling so insistent every time something gets high marks and praise.So what if these…people don’t “get” it or enjoy it for that matter.I don’t give a rats ass about their opinion,thankfully they don’t do the reviews.What I am glad about is that one of my favorite bands of all time is still going strong.I recently went back and re-listened to their back catalogue and just wow.So many great moments!Good review.

  13. Commented by: Conjure Supreme

    Sorry, but it’s “these people” who read your reviews. Music is subjective. If you don’t care about others opinions, then disable comments. I have been reading these reviews since the BEGINNING of digital metal and the first time I comment, I am called a fucking troll. I hoped someone had an opinion about bands playing different scales at the same time, but I guess to you, they are just notes. IF they are fast and there is a lot of them, it must be good. Bull shit. Oh yeah and I didn’t realize this was a review about their “back catalogue.”

  14. Commented by: appollyonx

    It’s alright.It is kinda indulgent, but then most tech-death metal seems to be.I don’t really think that this would’ve discouraged early 90’s death bands, simply because they were more interested in the sheer brutality of the music they were creating. Considering that Cynic started the whole jazz metal thing Gorod aren’t exactly re-inventing the wheel. I’m not saying they aren’t proficient at death metal. I listened to this album for about 3 weeks straight and while I’ve heard better tech-death…it is what it is.Does it stand up next to the new Suffocation? Not hardly, yes I realize they are two different styles of death metal, but it seems like this is what Yngwie Malmsteen would sound like trying to play death metal. Is that good or bad?

  15. Commented by: gabaghoul

    hey I’m just happy to see comments and discussion – sometimes we write these things and it’ll like you just fired it off into the void.

    I will admit there’s a definite lack of actual riffs here, yet I found the songwriting so easy to listen to and so enjoyable that for me, it’s still head and shoulders above overcomplicated, aggressively erratic stuff like Odious Mortem, Cephalic Carnage and yes even Between the Buried and Me.

    And this is coming from someone who enjoys decpihering and learning complex albums, yet none of those bands have ever clicked with me (aside from a few CC tracks like Lucid Interval).

  16. Commented by: Nick

    I actually was pretty disappointed with this cd on my first listen…much less memorable than Leading Vision. We’ll see if that changes over time or not.

  17. Commented by: Joe

    Bleep bleep bloop bloop, bleepedy bleep bloop bloop bloop! That’s what I hear. Kinda like that last Arsis album.

  18. Commented by: axiom

    Fine review, Jordan. I guess the fans of the various death camps will have to agree to disagree. I love the more riff centered stuff as well as the tech wizardry when it’s done right. There’s technical death metal out there that’s nothing more than a pieced together shred fest and shit song writing – we’ve all heard that. Gorod, though is the real deal, like it or not.

  19. Commented by: Dan

    As a fanatical fan of ‘Leading Vision,’ I have to say there’s a definite increase in tempo and blast beats that pulls Gorod a little closer to the faceless tech-death masses, but after a few listens I can confirm that their riff-centered swagger is still firmly intact. Still, I think the loss of Sandrine, a truly tasteful drummer and one of my favorites, has hurt their sound a little.

  20. Commented by: lasciv


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