Gorod – A Maze of Recycled Creeds ALBUM REVIEW

Soft piano intros in metal albums are an almost universal sign of doom to come. It’s always the cheesy, neoclassical darkwave shit that totally kills the mood of almost any metal album that it touches. But there was something off here. Something I didn’t expect. Something that wasn’t quite right. There was this sense of subtle atonality with some jazzier undertones in the piano playing. I felt like I was at a cocktail party when the acid just starts kicking in. It was a bit unsettling, but I was still forcing myself to groan, making sure I was unphased by this stir and reacted in the way I normally would. Then the album hit.

After seeing a dark, black and white, foreboding album cover, looking like the ritual march towards the depth of hell, I was taken aback by the not so dark and gloomy music. Very much not like hell, instead I felt more as if I was in this limbo, constantly battling the darkness and the light through music. The music felt strangely upbeat, without actually being so. I didn’t quite realize why until… are they… no…. yeah. They’re using major chords in death metal. Who the hell does that? What kind of madman makes their death metal sound happy? Further who does that and makes it work? The fuck am I listening to? And why do I love it?

No, it wasn’t the fact that there was some jazz influences here that made me confused. It wasn’t the occasional use of deathcore chugging. It wasn’t even the multiple uses of blatant djent riffs. No, it was the fact that they used chords that made happy sounds and made it sound fantastic. Or rather, not happy. A Maze of Recycled Creeds has this sort of insanity to it in how not dark and depressing it sounds. The music is constantly moving, constantly going forward. The past is in the past, there’s no time to dwell on the sorrows of life, we need to get to the next riff. A lot of this is accomplished through, aside from the major chords, off-rhythm riffs. As mentioned before, there is a very blatant use of djent influences that I’m surprised I haven’t heard anyone else pick up on yet. What’s more, it avoids the common mistake that plagues the often ostracized genre, in that it doesn’t have that plastic, “poser” production. It doesn’t sound robotic, it sounds forward thinking. It sounds genius. It sounds insane.

I imagine the members of the band who created this music must live in some sort of other dimension, where everything is normal, except every angle is off by 1 degree. On paper that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but think of how much that would add up to lead to a totally chaotic and crazy world. Because that’s how I feel about this album. Gorod created something rich with beautiful, sweeping technical riffs, full of character and color. They created an album both simultaneously unsettling and moving. An album that let’s the instruments do the talking, and gives the humans a chance to take rest and let the ride carry them. This is an album both for those who are of serious and joyous disposition. An album for those who want technical shredding, and beautiful melody. But above all, it’s an album for those who are just a tad off. But only a tad.