This is the seventh album from French death metal band Gorod.
It has been a while since I caught up with Gorod, (2015’s A Maze of Recycled Creeds), which is definitely my loss. Now that we have The Orb, it’s time to rectify that. Across 42 minutes, (including a cover of a song by The Doors), Gorod showcase exactly what they’re made of and why they are so highly regarded in technical and progressive death metal circles.
The Orb is a superior breed of death metal. However, this statement is a misleading one. In fact, the progressive metal has been ramped up this time, and parts of The Orb forgo death metal entirely. In a way these songs take influence from all eras of Gorod’s discography, from the harshest to the softest, but they also break new ground as well.
Gorod’s new songs take their complex technicality and progressive structuring and splice them with a high-impact heaviness and melodic appeal that’s not typically associated with the band. This has resulted in a new aspect of their sound emerging, one which complements the technical and progressive components with an accessible side that’s compelling. This is still death metal so it is not going to win any radio-friendly awards any time soon, but it is likely to increase the band’s appeal, which is no bad thing. Importantly though, the core of Gorod’s style is present and correct. The band have lost nothing by pushing their sound further. Rather, they have gained from increased levels of dynamic energy, bright melodic hooks, and tighter songwriting overall.
Of course, Gorod still benefit from the sort of technical flourishes that can make your head spin. I also like the frequent 70s progressive rock explorations that enrich the progressive metal ones. Sometimes the progressive elements are merged with the maelstrom of death metal, whereas at other times they are given free reign in the spotlight, and all thoughts of death metal are forgotten in a haze of synth-driven atmosphere, or maybe a section of intricate psychedelic wandering. At times the band lock into a progressive metal groove that sees them compete with the larger bands of the non-death metal variety.
The Orb is a diverse and well-crafted album. Gorod have clearly put a lot of time and effort into these songs, and it’s one of their most wide-ranging, ambitious, versatile, and effective albums yet. If you’re a fan of forward-thinking heavy music, then don’t miss out on this.
Very highly recommended.