On The Beat with Karol of Gorod: Talks Improvisation and Gear

Photo by Cedric Cambien

Hi all! I am Karol of Gorod. We shot this short studio video (see link below) during the recording sessions for the album Aethra. It showcases a pretty wide musical range of what I like to play, such as double bass and blast beats, which are typical of extreme metal drumming. But I also feel the need to bring certain grooves, shades, fills, and paradiddle techniques, which help to express myself as musician.

This studio recording was a crazy challenge for me because I was actually composing my own patterns and fills during the tracking sessions. Mathieu, the main composer of Gorod, finished writing the last song of the whole album less than one week before I started recording drums!

Improvisation is an interesting exercise, and with complex music such as Gorod’s, it can turn into a nightmare. I’m pretty satisfied with what I managed to create in such a short time, so in the end, improvisation and tech-death can go together well, even if I’m not ready to go through the experience again soon. Advertisement

My go-to gear is mostly Pearl, Evans, and PRD Custom Drums. I don’t always have the opportunity to take all my gear when we’re on tour, so the main thing for me is to be comfortable with my bass drum pedals and snare drum. I use a Pearl free-floating 6.5×14 with Evans skins (Genera Dry for strikes and Hazy 300 for resonance), for a powerful and clear sound without compromising my touch. I play Pearl Demon Drive pedals, which I find to be very handy without being too light, as I like to feel a little weight and rebound. It’s also the same for my drumsticks—I’m very comfortable with the Vater 5Bs, which I’ve used for a few years now.

Karol of Gorod

Photo by Pics ‘N’ Heavy

Of course, cymbal choice is very important to me. I like that my ride cymbal and my hi-hat are dry and clear. I prefer crash and effects cymbals that are in harmony with each other, slightly bright but not too much sustain, not too loud, and rather large (low). On the video I play Aylin cymbals, but I recently tested the Explosion series from Soultone, which responds particularly well to all my criteria!

I made myself a custom kit at PRD Custom Drums in bubinga wood which sounds pretty low and closer to rock than progressive metal, and without much resonance, especially since I use one medium tom and two floor toms but not a high tom. Advertisement

I use SLX in-ear monitors, Cymatic Audio Live Player LP-16, Roland TM-2 trigger module with RT-10K kick triggers, and a Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer.

We will be on tour in Europe for most of November, and I’m eager to hit the road and see you from the stage again! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the music and the videos.

Watch the drums trailer for Gorod’s new album Aethra at 


Watch more drum play-through archive videos here: 

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