Gorod Neurotripsicks

Horrible album title and poorly translated lyrics aside, this is yet another cerebral, innovative offering from Willowtip. Gorod play instantly appealing, groovy death metal that fuses the blistering tech chops of Necrophagist and their ilk with the epic melodies and songwriting of later Vital Remains. The vocals bear an undeniable resemblance to Vital Remains/Deicide front-man Glen Benton, further strengthening the comparison, although the monotony is broken up occasionally by strategically placed gutturals that bring them a tad closer to the brutal death category. Unlike many technical acts, Gorod keep structure and memorable melodies as the clear focus, and the guitar playing has a quirky, playful feel that allows the percussion and grunting to take a backseat — a rarity in this genre. Like many Willowtip releases, the production — while clear and audible — is a bit thin and could be strengthened on the low-end for slightly more of an impact during the less frantic moments. The occasional jazzy passage turns up, although they never strike the listener as forced and unnecessary. Unlike the majority of modern death metal, this has found a firm place in rotation with this writer, and is a worthy investment for any fan of the aforementioned acts, or even more hardcore influenced groups like Ion Dissonance and the End. Smart, brutal, and infectious. (Willowtip)