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Gorod, the French technical death metal outfit, are an outlier on the scene in their home country because of their intense reliance on high production values and their distance from black metal.
Founded as Gorgasm in 1997 by bassist Benoit Claus, vocalist Guillaume Martinot, guitarist Arnaud Pontaco, and drummer Sandrine Bourguignon, the band played small clubs and basement shows in their hometown. In 2000, they issued a self-titled five-song demo that established their reputation on the French metal scene. It was followed the next year by a promo-only four-track.
In 2004, the band became a quintet with the addition of guitarist Mathieu Pascal, and they changed their name to Gorod to avoid being confused with Chicago metal outfit Gorgasm. Their debut album, Neurotripsicks, was released first by Deadsun Records and reissued stateside by Pennsylvania's storied underground label Willowtip in 2005.
In 2006, Willowtip released the band's sophomore effort, Leading Vision. It was so well-received that Gorod toured Europe and played Maryland's DeathFest. This was their last offering to feature the original lineup.
At the end of 2008, Bourguignon left and was replaced by drummer Sam Santiago (ex-Zubrowska) just before Gorod entered the studio to record Process of a New Decline, released in 2009. Santiago pushed the band to a new level with his tighter, faster, and more groove-oriented approach. The band toured Europe with New York death metal heroes Immolation, and played festivals in France. Gorod also played Neurotic DeathFest in Europe and the Midwest Fuckfest and Maryland Deathfest in the U.S.
Back in France, the band hit the main stage at Hellfest and played a show in Paris with Cynic before embarking on a European summer trek with Cattle Decapitation. Immediately following the tour, Pontaco and Martinot left the band. At year's end, Julien "Nutz Deyres became the new vocalist and Nicolas "Nico" Alberny their other guitarist. This version of Gorod recorded 2011's five-cut Transcendence EP. It featured acoustic versions of some of the band's best-known songs, a cover of Cynic's "Textures," and the epic 15-minute title track. It was issued by BUD Studio.
After a summer of touring across Europe, the band entered the studio that fall to record with French producer Frederic "Elmobo" Motte. The full-length, A Perfect Absolution, on the Listenable Records label was issued in the spring of 2012, marked by a heavier, more progressive sound and hook-laden tunes. Christian Muenzner of Obscura and Mike Keene of the Faceless provided guest solos.
Gorod promoted the record with a European tour alongside Obscura, Spawn of Possession, and Exivious. A Perfect Absolution was awarded "Best French Metal Album of the Year" by the influential French VS webzine, and was among many critics' year-end picks internationally.
Gorod spent most of 2013 on the road. They headlined shows in France and toured the United States and Canada. They played the main stage of the biggest metal festival in South East Asia -- Hammersonic Jakarta/Indonésia -- and undertook their first Japanese tour. Santiago left after the touring season. He was replaced by longtime friend of the band (and Hell in Town kitman) Karol Diers.
After a year of rehearsal and touring, Gorod entered the studio in early 2015. They emerged with A Maze of Recycled Creeds in October. ~ Thom Jurek
- Bordeaux, France
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