GOROD — A Perfect Absolution

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GOROD - A Perfect Absolution cover
3.91 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012


1. Birds Of Sulphur
2. Sailing Into The Earth
3. Elements And Spirit
4. The Axe Of God
5. 5000 At The Funeral
6. Carved In The Wind
7. Varangian Paradise
8. Tribute Of Blood


- Julien "Nutz" Deyres / Vocals
- Mathieu Pascal / Guitars
- Nicolas Alberny / Guitars
- Benoit Claus / Bass
- Samuel Santiago / Drums

About this release

Released by Listenable Records, March 12th, 2012.

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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siLLy puPPy
In the beginning, the Bordeux, France based Goregasm evolved into present day GOROD and released a trilogy of high quality technical death metal that took a cue from the German Necrophagist only adding a plethora of new progressive rock twists and turns which created an insanely wild ride that i personally call zigzag metal. While starting out as a combo pack of resolute death metal with melodic neoclassical dual harmonizing guitars and frenetic percussive and rhythmic drive with the standard souless death growls from beneath the grave, GOROD conjured up some of the most complex and challenging metal that could be heard and easily stood up in quality and intensity with contemporaries Obscura, Decapitated and Martyr just to name a few, however by the time the band got to the third album “Process Of A New Decline,” they seemed to be losing their melodic touches and opting for more dizzying instrumental gymnastics on the sonic playing ground where technical wizardry was winning out.

That’s not a bad thing mind you, especially for those of us who dig that sorta thing, however it is always preferable to find some sort of balance between the extremes for contrast’s sake and that’s exactly what GOROD pulled off on their fourth album A PERFECT ABSOLUTION. Sticking to the 3-year plan between albums, this one follows suit but during the time in between a new lineup took place and found vocalist Guillaume Martinot being traded in for newbie Julien Dreyes and guitarist Arnaud Pontaco finding a replacement in Nicolas Alberny. On A PERFECT ABSOLUTION, this tech death quintet with an extra guest list of four musicians on select tracks took the best of what came before and added all kinds of new experimental features all the while keeping the brutal time signature rich guitar riffs in tack with insane percussion drive and frenetic death growls and best of all the band revived the more melodic neoclassical underpinnings of their origins which added a little beauty to the brutal beast.

A PERFECT ABSOLUTION shows the band in full spitfire mode having not lost an iota of its feisty balls to the wall tech death angst. In fact, if anything someone turned up the pilot light and made the insane freneticism even louder, faster and more technically inclined however what REALLY makes this one stand out amongst the pack is how deliciously diverse the tracks are and how the band manage stitch in so many disparate fusional possibilities. The album starts off with the short instrumental “The Call To Redemption” which is a classical war march that ushers in not only the soundtrack to a impending battle scene of some sort but gives a nod to the complex melodic underpinnings of the entire album no matter how abstract and brutally angular the sonic bantering becomes. The track quickly yields to the high octane explosive “Birds Of Sulphur” which borrows a groove or two from the classic Pantera style but takes it to the powers of ten. Despite the dueling axe masters only coexisting for a very short time, Pascal and Alberny bedazzle with twin tech harmonizing that’s literally insane!

While the beginning of the album tends to stick to the band’s death metal riffs with tracks like “Sailing Into Earth” sounding like a geeked out tech version of something Behemoth cranked out on albums like “Demigod,” other tracks deviate from that recipe. For example, tracks like “Elements And Spirit” take on not only the tech death bombast but reprise the neoclassical dual shredding along with a funky grooved out bass that find little intermissions of clean vocals that tease with a classic Enslaved sort of prog metal but only play peek-a-boo before jumping back into the galloping wallops of the tech death guitar driven cacophony. “5000 At The Funeral” is something totally different for the band and adds a circus music touch in classical piano form with clean guitars and symphonic elements slowly ratcheting a demented sort of gypsy jazz sound that morphs into a satisfying groove thrash based riffing pattern. Augmented with whispered vocals and other deviations from the status quo, Deyres finds no problem displaying his own stylistic approaches.

“Carved In The Wind” perhaps displays the most daring angularity of the album with ridiculous convoluted riffing that somehow still manages to eke out a melodic hook whereas the most experimental track “Varangian Paradise” takes a wild ride on the funky side of life with an almost 70s sounding bass line set to death metal ushers in the heavy driven guitar heft before jumping into Latin influenced rhythmic drives to create a frenetic jazz-fusion along with a stellar Bumblefoot inspired torturous display of guitar solo virtuosity complete with progressive time sig tugs that are quite dizzying but oh so satisfying for electric tech death metalheads such as myself. “Tribute Of Blood” ends the album with yet another display of guitar antics and trad death metal sounds along with some killer drowned out vocals trying to emerge from the darkened din. GOROD keeps the album below the forty minute mark which suits this music perfectly because it’s an intense ride both technically and aggressively to the max. An exhausting ride indeed reserved for only the most ambitious headbangers but well worth the time it takes to decipher this bout with musical insanity on steroids. Perhaps my favorite GOROD album.
A Perfect Absolution is the fourth full-length album by French technical death metal act Gorod. It is the first album to feature new vocalist Julien "Nutz" Deyres and guitarist Nicolas Alberny following their debut with the EP Transcendence (2011). A Perfect Absolution was released in 2012 and features guest guitar solos from Christian Münzner (Obscura, Spawn of Possession et al) and Michael Keene (The Faceless).

Gorod previously left a pretty decent impression with me with their second album, Leading Vision (2006), all things considered. I’ve never heard the following release Process of a New Decline (2009) or the aforementioned Transcendence EP however, so I’ve skipped a good portion of Gorod’s story when coming to A Perfect Absolution and I find that although the group still plays technical death metal, the album has an altogether different sound to Leading Vision.

The major difference in the music is that the progressive inclinations of Leading Vision are all but gone except in a couple of tracks, which for me is a bit of a negative change. On the other hand the one complaint I had with Leading Vision has been addressed, that of the level of brutality in the release despite the technical prowess. As much as I enjoyed Leading Vision for its top notch technicality and vocal performance, I felt the album much better suited to a prog fan first and foremost rather than a death metal fan, as it felt brutality had been sacrificed along the way, and I think that it’s very much still needed for a technical or progressive death metal album to work. A Perfect Absolution in contrast is clearly catered for a death metal fan’s interests.

The main problem with that is that with the progressive flairs removed and the vocal performance by Deyres not being of such a high grade as what former vocalist Guillaume Martinot was capable of, A Perfect Absolution actually creates complaints from me where there were none with Leading Vision. If I’d heard Process of a New Decline then maybe I’d find that this was a gradual shift in sound and in fact I’m at present missing out on Gorod’s most accomplished release, but having not heard it A Perfect Absolution comes across as not only a step down from their prior work, but also the work of a band that don’t really having anything going for them to make them stand out from the crowd. They’ve certainly still got the technical chops, but that’s about it.

For what it’s worth though, A Perfect Absolution isn’t too bad an album, there are even tracks that I’m particularly fond of, such as Elements and Spirit, which sees a bit of a return to the semi-progressive style of Leading Vision and I like the clean guitar intro to 5000 At The Funeral which is very well played although they could have handled the transition back into death metal a little better. All the same A Perfect Absolution isn’t an album I’d feel particularly inclined to return to in a hurry when there are plenty of other technical death metal albums out there that get all three of my requires for the style just right: technicality, but not overdone, strong vocals, and no loss of death metal brutality.

To summarise in short this is a good album, and it deserves a reasonable score despite the fact that I took a largely negative tone with this review. The main problem I have is that although it is good, it is not good enough considering the competition which includes acts such as Augury, Obscura, and even relative newcomers Sectu and Beyond Creation.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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