The Nine Circles ov…Gorguts

Gorguts

After 26 years, Gorguts should be a household name. If, however, you’re somehow still unfamiliar, you’re in for a nice treat this morning. Under the leadership of mastermind Luc Lemay, Gorguts hasn’t left a single stone unturned. They’ve tackled everything under the death metal sun—from raw, savage sounds to more experimental, progressive fare. They even took a 12-year break, only to return with one of the strongest albums of their career, 2013’s Colored Sands. There’s always something new to be found listening to these guys, so let’s hop in and do some digging…

“The Erosion of Sanity” (from The Erosion of Sanity, 1993)

This was my first exposure to Gorguts, and to this day I’m still amazed at the sheer heaviness of it. The time shifts come when you least expect them; just as you’re settling into place, things go completely off the rails. Years later, this thing’s still giving me chills.

“Stiff and Cold” (from Considered Dead, 1991)

While not entirely groundbreaking, Gorguts’ first full-length was one hell of a lesson in extremity. And with a lead-off like this, you knew they weren’t just going to be your run-of-the-mill death metal band. This one’s hard to beat.

“Le Tuit du Monde” (from Colored Sands, 2013)

What a fantastic way for Gorguts to reintroduce themselves after a 12-year hiatus. Experimentation and blazing speed are the root of the track, yet some perfectly placed clean guitar parts end up giving this track its true power. Exactly what I was hoping for to kick off a long-awaited new album.

“Hideous Infirmity” (from The Erosion of Sanity, 1993)

My second favorite track off this album is simply merciless. While the band’s experimentation was still a work in progress—the solo portions don’t quite gel with the existing framework—this is a beautifully abstract piece of work, and an absolutely breakneck piece of death metal.

“Haemotological Allergy” (from Considered Dead, 1991)

I’ve always had a bit of a horror infatuation, so this one naturally appealed to me. My ears always hear bits of Deicide and Suffocation in this song, yet it’s still very much got its own sound. For me, the biggest showcase is Stephane Provencher’s absolute assault behind the kit—filthy, up high in the mix, and of the finest drum work of this era.

“Dormant Misery” (from The Erosion of Sanity, 1993)

If I told you The Erosion of Sanity was my favorite Gorguts album, would you be surprised?And “Dormant Misery” closes things out by putting you through the damn ringer. After catching you off guard with a gentle acoustic passage, the band proceeds to raze you right to the ground. It’s the kind of demolition you’ll want to experience again and again.

“An Ocean of Wisdom” (from Colored Sands, 2013)

This track is larger than life, and feels deeper than just about anything else the band’s given us to date. The twisting of guitar and cymbals makes you feel as though you are looking into a continent-sized abyss. This expansiveness has pulled me back to this track more than any other on Colored Sands, and if ever a song title matched its contents, this is the one.

“Earthly Love” (from Obscura, 1998)

Obscura as a whole took a while to grow on me, but “Earthly Love” singlehandedly kept me coming back until things started to click. This is where the band really started to get progressive, and while this track launches the band into outer space near the end, it maintained enough of that classic Gorguts savagery to keep me warmed up. It appeals today just as much as it did back in the day.

“The Quest for Equilibrium” (from From Wisdom to Hate, 2001)

This track is as thick as congealed blood and flows just the same. Compared to the rest of the album, the band’s restraint shown here is astonishing. Too doomy for death metal and too death metally for doom, this track is just…for lack of a better word, heavy. And it sounds as good today as it did a decade and a half ago.

The Nine Circles ov Gorguts on Spotify

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/dkaps89/playlist/1sZei5nfHEPCuqk2HBKsvU]

-Josh

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