Gorod - A Perfect Absolution
Listenable Records
Technical Death Metal
9 songs (39:56)
Release year: 2012
Gorod, Listenable Records
Reviewed by Goat

I was utterly, utterly blown away by Gorod's last album, 2009's excellent Process of A New Decline, to the extent that even three years later the band haven't managed to beat it. That doesn't make A Perfect Absolution a bad follow-up, by any means - it just means Process Of A New Decline is such a fantastic album that even now I find myself choosing to listen to when given a choice. The perfect mixture of technical skill and memorable songwriting, it's one of the best death metal albums out there, and if you haven't heard it I utterly recommend you change that. Looking back, it's one of the few albums I underscored in my review (the closing sentences of that having been proven right!) and still brutally kicks all pretenders to the throne to death.

Now, moving onto the album I should be discussing, it's immediately apparent that A Perfect Absolution lacks the incredible flow of its predecessor, instead moving smoothly from song to song with killer precision and targeting, yet without the constant, tumbling technical intensity of its predecessor. There are changes aplenty, whilst staying firmly in the technical death metal camp. There's a proper intro in the form of The Call To Redemption, an ominous, slowly building orchestral piece that introduces the following chaos of Birds Of Sulphur brilliantly. Going straight for the attack like a more diverse and interesting Deicide, the brutality is in your face but broken up with frequent riff changes and a catchy groove underpinning the sledgehammer heaviness. Melodic lead guitar lines snake in and out, there are repeated hooks and even a sort of chorus where the growls turn into bellows just prior to the track ending - an excellent introduction to an excellent album.

Sailing Into The Earth is thrashier and less varied in its assault, yet has the sort of lengthy guitar soloing that will have any metalhead in raptures, whilst the following Elements And Spirit has melodic duelling guitars, very modern and almost melodeath at points, with the vocals a desperate yell, before the band unleash partway through and they turn briefly to growls, becoming completely clean for a brief yet wonderful jazzy breakdown. And the surprises keep coming, the band keeping you on your toes with ever-skilled songwriting. 5000 At The Funeral starts softly, tinkly piano behind the ominous guitar tones, a soft orchestral opening fading into Meshuggah-y jazzed-up polyrhythms and a nicely varying stop-start riff atop which Julien's vocals drop to a deep whisper before reverting to the usual throaty growls. Carved In The Wind is probably the jazziest on show, that ever-present audible bass doing amazing things before the track kicks off properly, leading the listener through varied terrain with the drumming and guitars at their most impressive with a bending repeated riff and lovely bit of jazzy soloing. Varangian Paradise is the most jaw-dropping song, however, guitars snakily ensnaring you in multiple ways before the band drop a samba interlude on you, Atheist-style, albeit much weirder and more sinister.

At just under forty minutes A Perfect Absolution doesn't outstay its welcome, yet it's cleverly written, finale Tribute Of Blood deceptively straightforward as the guitars flitter and flutter atop the chugging aggression, devolving into jagged-edged riffs atop a flurry of whispers, moving into soloing guitar wizardry and ending suddenly and shockingly as the song skips and leaves you wanting more of the catchy riff it died on. As far as Gorodic perfection goes, the trophy still has to go to 2007's excellent Leading Vision for songwriting pizzazz alone, yet A Perfect Absolution slots seamlessly into the band's discography. It may move away a little from the unbelievable technicality of its predecessor, but it proves Gorod still deserve their place at the top of the tech-death heap, and is a brilliant album in its own right that will be pleasing my ears for a long time to come. Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
Birds Of Sulphur, Elements And Spirit, 5000 At The Funeral, Carved In The Wind, Varangian Paradise, Tribute Of Blood
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Gorod that we have reviewed:
Gorod - The Orb reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Gorod - Aethra reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Gorod - Process Of A New Decline reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
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