Good Things That Come to Those Waiting
Alrighty. Avante-garde and technical death metal fans unite. Canadian metal beasts of dissonance Gorguts have released a song off their upcoming album Colored Sands. Back in 2005 Gorguts had initially disbanded and the future seemed set in stone. That was it. Since Gorguts is one of those odd bands like Tool that do their own thing when they’re ready, the idea of this being a permanent end was hardly out of question.
Come 2008 a new band called Negativa formed and included Gorguts guitarists Luc Lemay and Steeve Hurdle, and shortly after it was decided that Gorguts ought reform. Bam. The world was saved yet again. While the band was only down for a few years they would end up getting mired in a number of things from touring to writing to legal issues that kept their expected 2011 release from happening…
Based off Tibetan history, Colored Sands hits the ground running where 2001’s From Wisdom to Hate left off like there wasn’t a 12 year gap between the two albums. The album is scheduled for release on September 3rd and is available for pre-order on Season’s of Mist’s web store. They’ve even got a few packaged options from just the CD to CD and t-shirt packs or even some vinyl packs.
The lineup includes Luc Lemay on vocals and guitars, Kevin Hufnagel on guitars, Colin Marston on bass, and John Longstreth on drums.
The Colored Sands Track Listing:
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
8 – Absconders
9 – Reduced to Silence
“Forgotten Arrows” is the one song released and it kick starts with a good old-fashioned jaw-dislocating kick to the face. It gives the impression that the rest of the album will be closer to the tight sound of From Wisdom to Hate. The song features plenty of technical bits and pieces to give any restless fans something to hold their attention until September.
I give it my highly coveted “It Rocks Atoms to Pieces” award.
The Gorguts Style
Most of the time when you hear the term “technical metal” thrown around it’s done almost interchangeably with just saying “they play really fast”. In Gorguts’ case they practically define technical death metal while often going even slower than doom metal bands. Sure they have their speedy parts, but the real emphasis that defines the style Luc Lemay has carried throughout the band’s career is in the technique. Tempo changes that go from speedy to droning and slow, up strokes, tapping the fretboard with a pick, the sound of fingers sliding on unfretted strings, you name it. If it’s a sound that comes through a guitar Luc Lemay will find a way to write it into a song and often to surprisingly effective results.
With Gorguts it’s not entirely just what is being played, but how it’s played. There is so much technique that you can constantly find new sounds throughout the songs. And if you’re really up for a puzzle try figuring out how to precisely play what you hear. Even if you’re not into the music, if you’re interested in a great ear training challenge you can find it here.
The History Lesson
Gorguts began right at the cusp of the 1990s by guitarist and vocalist Luc Lemay. Their first album Considered Dead introduced that had little separating it from any other death metal band out there. Speedy and heavy riffs, Chuck Shuldiner styled vocals, and gruesome lyrical themes. The follow-up album The Erosion of Sanity was very much similar to the first, but with a few quirky elements added that gave an impression of the direction the band would soon after embrace.
It was after that that the band found their style. The thing that separated them from the rest and on 1998’s Obscura the world found out. Dropping off all the typical death metal trademarks the band morphed into a thick, heavy, and kinda sludgy sounding avante-garde band that explored as many intervals as possible in the most dissonant and tense of ways imaginable. For a lot of people out there it might be a bit much, but for those that fear no volume of minor 2nds and diminished 5ths it rang through as a course and audibly challenging compilation of music. From this point on the tense elements of Obscura would be a trademark for the band.
In 2001 their fourth album From Wisdom to Hate was released and it featured the same level of abrasive experimentation with intervals with perfect intervals having almost no involvement whatsoever. More melody was introduced along the way and while still very tense the band developed a much tighter sound compared to Obscura’s very raw sound.