Ah, the long-awaited Gorguts comeback. Couldn’t go wrong in any way. Lots have happened during the decade-long wait for “Colored Sands”. “Obscura” gained an almost godlike and influential status, breeding a whole new kind of extreme music. Influenced bands became influential themselves, and installed the Gorgutsian aesthetic even deeper into adventurous metalheads musical subconscious.
Dearly missed Steeve Hurdle (RIP), half of the second era-Gorguts sound, formed Negativa with Luc Lemay, and recorded an unforgettable (although painfully short) EP, which was the ideal continuation of “Obscura” – in the sense that it pushed the experimental death metal standards even further away. “Colored Sands” still conveys this unique vibe, while sounding entirely new and fresh. Even manages to be surprising. Oh, this is everything one could have been expecting, and even more.
As in “From Wisdom To Hate” with Dan Mongrain (the architect of the absolutely flawless post-Piggy Voivod comeback), Luc Lemay gathered the perfect line up to back him up. No need to introduce John Longstreth, the one who pushed the boundaries of extreme drumming during the last decade in the likes of Origin or Dim Mak; Colin Marston and Kevin Hufnagel barely need any introduction as well with their dozens of unforgettable projects, from Byla to Dysrhythmia.
And boundaries are crushed once again. Simply put, there’s the same gap between “Colored Sands” and “Obscura” than the one between “Obscura” and “Erosion of Sanity”.
Hard not to mention the omnipresent late Dysrhythmia vibe flowing through every note of “Colored Sands”, as Kevin and Colin are paying tribute to one of their main influence – Gorguts. You can feel their passionate energy in those riffs. Luc Lemay humbly lets his signature playing soak into its children-in-spirit aesthetics, as well as Steeve Hurdle’s, which lies in spirit in every note of this album. Colin Marston is definitely the ultimate bassist for this kind of music. Beyond words bass counterpoints, flawless sound. He knows exactly where to be expansive, and where not to be.
One can still tell its Gorguts, the death metal band, though. Blast beats & double kick, macabre heavy riffing and chord progressions paired with Luc’s signature growls and ughs, twisted guitar solos, and this groove… Yes, this superb suite of bittersweet / atonal riffs also happens to be groovy. The addition here lies in dynamics. Lots of, everywhere. Quite the same as in the two last Dysrhythmia’s albums. One of the most obvious examples lies in the opening track, “Le Toit du Monde”. Ghost notes and almost clean Slint-esque kind of aesthetics flirting with Longstreths brutally extreme yet masterfully retained drumming. Served with an absolutely pristine production, organic and perfectly intense. Another example: “The Battle of Chamdo”, among the best interludes ever made. So unexpected, so tragic and beautiful. So Gorguts, in a totally different outfit.
The ultimate balance between chaos and light.
The same angular mystical luminosity found in the likes of Tusk, Playing Enemy, early The End, Deathspell Omega’s “Paracletus”, mixed with Luc Lemay’s weird death metal maestria.
An absolute grower, too. A companion of an album, that definitely wont be dry and dusty in six months, neither in two years. Yet not cryptic at all. Layered, micro-detailed awesomeness and mesmerizing complexity, while still being catchy and immediately rewarding. Going even further than the previous albums, so detached from anything standard, so unpredictable. Nothing plays at unison, much like in Negativa, except that there’s more dynamics and beauty. (Maybe the unreleased Negativa recording session with the new direction sounded a bit like that? I hope we’ll find out someday.)
The best Gorguts album, hands down. Expanding our perception of what beauty is, again. In loving memory of Steeve Hurdle, and forward to a glorious new decade of boundaries-pushing extreme music. We’re living a golden age, my friends.
Release: August 30th 2013
Label: Season Of Mist
Avantgenre: Boundaries-pushing Extreme Music
Official site: http://www.gorguts.com/
Review online since: 23.08.2013 / 17:08:29
1. Le Toit Du Monde
2. An Ocean Of Wisdom
3. Forgotten Arrows
4. Colored Sands
5. The Battle Of Chamdo
6. Enemies Of Compassion
7. Ember’s Voice
9. Reduced To Silence