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Gorguts - Colored Sands CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.12 | 125 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Another classic death metal band releases a comeback album! Sounds familiar? Pestilence, Atheist, Obituary, Cynic, Massacre, Morbid Angel, Carcass, etc. A good number of classic death metal bands after a long hiatus, changed their status from inactive to active sometime this millennium. Good news? Of course it is! The metal scene has seen a major resurgence. Independent labels are back in business. Fans get to see their favorite death metal bands live again. However, are these signs of good things to come? Well, I don't know.

It seems to me that a lot of these comeback albums are made to please the existing fan-base more than anything else. Very few bands seem to do it for their own selfish reasons. And since these classic bands seem to think it's cool to rehash the past, a lot new bands follow suit. The number of generic sounding death metal albums seems to keep increasing with time!

So I'll ask this again: are these signs of good things to come? If these death metal bands continue to release new material to re-live their (or their favorite bands') glory years, I'd say probably not. The reason those early albums (of the classic death metal bands) stand out today, is because of how forward-thinking and unique they were. Can you think of a really legendary album from the 80s/90s that sounds like a rip off of some other album? Necroticism, Focus, Unquestionable Presence, Cause of Death, Human, Covenant, Testimony of the Ancients, Nespithe, The Key, Slumber of Sullen Eyes; all of them sound so unique. They all have their own signature and feel. That is why they have achieved this legendary status today (of course, also because they sound so damn good!).

What I'm trying to say is, releasing comeback albums just for the sake of coming back doesn't add any value to the legacy of the band/artist. Give me one good reason for buying the new Massacre album? Because it sounds like From Beyond? For metal to move on (or flow), it's important that it doesn't stagnate. For that, bands need to keep pushing the boundaries. I don't think any band/artist would not want to bring something new to the table. Unless they're afraid about what others (their fans, their label) would think.

So considering the quality of recent death metal comeback albums, I wasn't too excited about Gorguts' new release. Yes Gorguts' catalog is very diverse, but that applies to Pestilence and Atheist as well. So without expecting too much, I listened to the new Gorguts track (Forgotten Arrows) released on Seasons of Mist's YouTube page. My first impression was: "yeah I was right..nothing special". Just before I was about to close that video page, I realized that it took me over 2 years to enjoy Obscura!

I'm not kidding when I say this: that album has not been the same for me since! I really mean it. It just kept getting better. Initially I thought there was something wrong with the production. The drums sounded a little too low in the mix, and the vocals seemed to be coming from a far off land. I found it weird. Probably because I was so used to the drums sounding big and upfront on Gorguts' earlier albums. However, I got used to it. Slowly the drums started to feel like a controlled monster. I started listening to parts that I had never paid attention to. Hats off to Colin Marston! The overall atmosphere that this album creates is simply astounding!

Another noticeable thing about this album is the way the it's sequenced. It's near perfect! I'm not just talking about the lyrics (which is a topic in itself) but also the music. It's loud and quiet just at the right moments. It's a simple enough logic but extremely hard to get it right. The right balance between the two sonic levels generally happens instinctively. You can't learn such things.

It feels really good to see a band return to the scene after such a long hiatus, sounding so fresh and experimental (Cynic's return was just as pleasing to me). It gives me hope for the future. However, more big bands need to start finding different ways to stay relevant and fresh. Otherwise their new endeavors will simply end up becoming pointless in the years to come.

An additional comment about the song Battle of Chamdo. I was literally stunned when I listened to it for the first time! Did not expect an intermission like that.

Rating: 98/100

Originally reviewed at

ataraxis | 5/5 |


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