GOROD — The Orb (review)

GOROD — The Orb album cover Album · 2023 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Emerging from the fertile technical extreme metal scene of Bordeaux, France in 2005, GOROD has incrementally continued to refine its interesting take on technical death metal ever since. The band established itself as a tech death behemoth on its first two albums “Neurotipsicks” and “Leading Vision” and continued to ratchet up the progressive and experimental attributes without sacrificing the finger-melting technical gymnastics which propelled the band onto the world’s stage. This approach served the band for five albums but beginning with 2018’s “Æthra” the band put a self-induced restraining order on itself and veered into the more accessible regions by adding stronger melodies, more familiar songwriting structures much in the same way fellow Frenchies Gojira began as a no nonsense go for the tech jugular type of band only to mellow out a wee bit.

THE ORB is GOROD’s seventh album and pretty much continues where “Æthra” left off with a batch of nine strong tech death tracks that continue the monstrous ferocity of outstanding instrumentation from the now stable lineup of Julien "Nutz" Deyres (vocals), Mathieu Pascal (guitar), Nicolas Alberny (guitar), Benoit Claus (bass) and Karol Diers (drums) who have been together since 2015’s “A Maze Of Recycled Creeds.” With the expect dazzling virtuosity and in-yer-face bombast, GOROD continues down a more melodic path with whizzing guitar riffs and thundering bass stomps coalescing into a greater melodic sum of the parts with some tracks sounding a bit more like melo-death than technical infused (such as the title track for example.)

What has always made GOROD a standout tech death band for me is the amazing diversity in guitar riffing, bass bantering and drumming prowess all stuffed into an album’s run of A-class material. I am, like many others, in disbelief that this band hasn’t reached the status of tech death gods in the vein of Obscura or Nile with its firm attention to detail all the while crafting melodic constructs that don’t stray too far into the competition’s sound spectrum. Not enough gimmicks i guess. In effect GOROD has been and remains a true original in a world where more often than not bands simply emulate past masters without giving their works a proper makeover in the originality department. No such woes for GOROD and as the band continues to release album after album of stellar material, THE ORB only showcases the band firing on all pistons with a delectable menu of nine strong tracks.

The album opens with the fiery “Chrematheism” which leaves little doubt that GOROD is in the house with its unique dueling guitar attacks and strong bass / drum freneticism laced with proggy hairpin turns, eloquent palm-muted freneticism and excursions into melodic connective mojo. The tracks are on the shorter side of things with most well under 5 minutes leaving only the near 7-minute track “Savitri” taking some extra excursions into slower atmospheric passages. Overall THE ORB provides another slice of GOROD’s razor-sharp tech death metal maestrohood as focused and balanced as the tasteful cover art that accompanies the musical performances. Add to that a modern production sheen suitable for a modern extreme metal band that brings each instrument into its perfect sound range.

All in all GOROD does an excellent job of continuing its no nonsense approach of crafting short and to the point tech death compositions while losing none of the fiery passion that has been the band’s powerful puissance since the beginning. GOROD could be accused of playing things safe with THE ORB and not really deviating significantly from its now established playbook but why change a good thing when there is plenty of mileage left? For my ears i’ve not yet tired of the stylistic approach of GOROD and THE ORB continues the band’s legacy with a blazing brash bravado we have all grown to expect from this band.
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