Aug 282012

(A Perfect Absolution, the 2012 album by Gorod, has been one of the highlights of the year for us. Our brother groverXIII (a/k/a Professor D. Grover the XIII) reviewed that album for NCS here, calling it “the best tech-death album of a year that’s been very, very good for tech-death.” Today, we’re pleased to give you groverXIII’s e-mail interview with guitarist and principal Gorod songwriter Mathieu Pascal.)

Greetings. For the record, please state your name, rank, and serial number.

Mathieu PASCAL, guitar player and composer, 100% Heavy Cotton Made in France, no drywash.


With NeurotripsicksLeading Vision, Process Of A New Decline, Transcendence, and now A Perfect Absolution, you’ve created five of the most memorable, catchy tech-death releases that I have ever heard. How do you guys manage to craft such intricate melodies without having the songs descend into mindless chaos?

Mat : Woow, thanks !! Actually, I usually try to focus on groove and melodies, because I think those are the things everyone can understand and record. I always try to make simple music, that you can headbang to easily. Intricacy comes in a second time. The music must be clear the first time you hear it, with rhythm and harmony. Then, when you come closer, you can hear details and layers and actual intricacy. Even with odd time signatures or overstrung harmony, there’s always a way to make the song consistent, clear and logical. You can’t just pick random notes and queue them on a time grid. Maybe it will sound new and original like « no one has ever made this before », but you’d lose energy and emotions. And people are mostly sensitive to these points in a first listen.


Was it a challenge to replace two band members and still maintain that distinctive Gorod sound?

Mat: It was a challenge for Nico [Alberny] and Julien [Deyres]. Julien had to replace Guillaume [Martinot] for the tour with Cattle Decapitation like two weeks after Guillaume decided to leave. We were looking for someone who could bring something new to our sound, and something that would serve the music. We didn’t want a clone of Guillaume, maybe it was just the right time for us to evolve. Julien has a really wide range of vocals and he’s able to enhance each ambiance in the music, to illustrate more closely the lyrics, etc… Continue reading »

Jul 312012

In case people have forgotten, instrumental metal works just fine at this site, because . . . if there is no singing in the metal, then there can be no clean singing in the metal. Get it?

Over the last few days, I’ve accumulated enough new discoveries to justify this post. The first one is just a news item (no music, unfortunately), but for the rest I have listenings — quite varied listenings, and quite good, and all by solo artists. The subjects are Cloudkicker (U.S.), Alexander Bateman (U.S.), You Big Ox (U.S.), and Gorod guitarist Mathieu Pascal (France).


Cloudkicker is Ohio denizen Ben Sharp. Cloudkicker was the first of the so-called “bedroom guitarist” projects to hit my radar screen, and I fell hard for the music. I was late to the party, of course. I found out about Cloudkicker in 2010 after one of this site’s original co-founders turned me on to Sharp’s 2008 debut album, The Discovery. His 2010 album, Beacons, made many of our 2010 lists of the year’s best albums, and I even picked one of the songs from the album for our list of 2010’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

I subsequently discovered many other then-solo guitar instrumentalists, including Tosin Abasi, Dan Dankmeyer, Keith Merrow, Tre Watson, and Chimp Spanner, but the memory of that first Cloudkicker discovery has stayed with me. So I was excited to see the report on Ben Sharp’s tumblr that he plans to release a new Cloudkicker album called Fade in August. It will go up on the Cloudkicker Bandcamp page, and we’ll report when that happens, as soon as we find out. Continue reading »

Jun 162011

We’ve been using these SHORT BUT SWEET entries to catch up with new EP releases by bands both well known and not so well known. It’s safe to say that Gorod falls into the well-known category — and if by chance you haven’t yet explored their music, the time has come.

It’s not uncommon to see this French band branded with the label “technical death metal”, but over three albums, they’ve been outgrowing it; it has become too limiting as a description. With the band’s new EP, Transcendence, it may need to be discarded altogether. Hell, even the term  “metal” may now be too limiting. Gorod has reached the point where no familiar shorthand term can any longer capture the exuberant originality of their music.

Transcendence could be interpreted as simply a way-station between albums, or as a transition from what has come before to whatever comes next, or maybe even as simply a convenient way for Gorod to collect songs that they don’t know what else to do with.

After all, Gorod has self-released this EP, three of the five tracks are re-recordings of previously released songs, and a fourth is a cover of a Cynic song that Gorod recorded about three years ago for inclusion in a tribute to Cynic’s Focus album; that tribute album was released last year by something called Metal Factory Records and got almost no attention.

But don’t be misled — this EP is an unqualified triumph of songwriting skill and instrumental brilliance and a testament to Gorod’s diverse talents. Every song is worth hearing — and most especially the one completely new song, a 15-minute extravaganza of metallic deliciousness. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »