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OBSCURA

Gorguts

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Gorguts Obscura album cover
4.38 | 112 ratings | 13 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Obscura (4:04)
2. Earthly Love (4:04)
3. The Carnal State (3:08)
4. Nostalgia (6:10)
5. The Art of Sombre Ecstasy (4:21)
6. Clouded (9:32)
7. Subtle Body (3:23)
8. Rapturous Grief (5:28)
9. La Vie Est Prelude... (La Morte Orgasme) (3:28)
10. Illuminatus (6:16)
11. Faceless Ones (3:50)
12. Sweet Silence (6:46)

Total Time 60:30

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Luc Lemay / Guitars, vocals
- Steeve Hurdle / Guitars, vocals
- Steve Cloutier / Bass
- Patrick Robert / Drums

Releases information

Label: Olympic Records
Producer: Gorguts, Pierre Rémillard
Recorded at Studio Victor in Montreal

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
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GORGUTS Obscura ratings distribution


4.38
(112 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
48%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
21%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)
10%

GORGUTS Obscura reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Jake Kobrin
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is one of those albums that, amongst thousands of albums, stands out as one of the most significant releases in music. In the vein of metal, the albums that contributed to the genetic make up of the genre are Black Sabbath, Kill 'Em All, Black Metal, Scream Bloody Gore, etc, etc, etc... This album can certainly be added to the same royal family. This album broke all of the rules, and re-wrote the book on what is possible in metal, and music in general. The roots of this band are purely based within death metal. In a vague sense, the gore-drenched riffs of old are still present in the heart of this album, but what was once chugging and maliciousness has been replaced with a beast that is obscure and terrifying. Honestly, this isn't "pretty" music, but it holds my interest more than most within the metal genre.

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Send comments to Jake Kobrin (BETA) | Report this review (#290811) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'Obscura' - Gorguts (9/10)

Widely considered to be one of the most enduring examples of experimental metal, 'Obscura' is an album that has already sparked plenty of discussion long before the writing of this review. Released in 1998, it has since influenced a wave of left-leaning bands in death metal, each seeking to bring the genre to the next level, much like Gorguts did here. Make no mistake; 'Obscura' is a fairly tough cookie to chew at first, even for someone already well-exposed to a variety of extreme metal. As jarring and weird as death metal gets, Gorguts' music here is well worth being considered a classic, although it took me quite a few listens to finally agree with that statement.

As a baseline, death metal is typically about heavy riffs, furious drumming, and a harsh vocal style of growling that typically obscures the lyrics. Gorguts is clearly a death metal act and shares each of these traits, but it is the wealth of additional elements to the music of Gorguts that makes the music stand out. Although a band with the name Gorguts would not tend to inspire thoughts of jazz or neoclassical music, there are sounds of both woven deep into what the band does. Gorguts' sense of dynamic ebbs and flows much like a jazz group, and the dissonant harmonies between the bass and guitars sometimes brings to mind a number of 20th century composers. Although the hour length of the album seems all the more vast due to the jarring and dissonant nature of the music, there is not a moment where the quality lets up, although for music like this, a slightly shorter experience may have been a little more effective.

Death metal vocalists tend to sound quite similar, and while Luc Lemay still employs a familiar style of growls and raspy barks, there is a ferocity to his voice that is rarely heard in death metal. Instead of going the route of low,virtually inaudible gutturals, Lemay's delivery is rooted in bringing the demons out of his throat; and his voice sounds very strained throughout, although in a good way. That being said, Lemay's vocals are the weakest element of 'Obscura', although that is more a cause of the jaw-dropping musicianship, rather than a fault of the vocals. The odd and atypical ways the guitar is used on this album create some very strange and quirky sounds, as is evidenced within the first ten seconds of the record. It sounds like death metal riffs are being channeled through a wah-wah pedal, but whatever it is, the strange guitar style is both one of the album's greatest strengths, and a big reason why Gorguts is met with controversy. This is not the sort of death metal that will even please most death metal fans; the out-of-tune sound of the riffs is a little uncomfortable at first, but the quality sinks it after some listens have come and gone.

'Obscura' was never an album I disliked perse, but it was at first a pretty difficult album to crack. Although I would not consider myself any stranger to avant-garde metal or experimental music in general, the complexity of the music here demands many listens to truly be experienced. It still could have been a little shorter, but 'Obscura' is undoubtedly a masterpiece of death metal.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#502795) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review by irrelevant
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars For me, there's a slight problem with this album, and that is after you've given it the first full play, most of the other tech metal you've previously been listening to suddenly loses a bit of its impact, and for lack of a better word, greatness (well, in my experience anyway). And this all comes down to one simple but utterly crucial element - Emotion. While I'm not saying extremely complex metal has no emotion, there's something about the feelings of anguish and desperation that Obscura contains, that simply betters most of the albums in the same field. It's an entity with more than the height of a skyscraper.

The music itself is very dissonant and angular, and the drum parts roll unsteadily but splendidly over the fractured guitar lines, a bit like a death metal Trout Mask Replica, as it's often described. It's pretty relentless during its 60 minute runtime, probably what's holding it back from a five star rating for me. I also have to be in the right mood to give it a spin.

Gorguts created a completely unique and special album, and one that many will be listening to years and years ahead from now.

4.5 Stars

Favourite tracks: "Obscura", "Nostalgia", "Clouded", "La Vie Est Prelude? (La Morte Orgasme)", "Sweet Silence"

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Send comments to irrelevant (BETA) | Report this review (#851394) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 05, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the most downright bonkers technical death metal albums I have ever heard, Gorguts' Obscura finds the band eschewing the intricately structured jazz-death of Atheist or Cynic in favour of bizarre rhythms and dissonant avant-garde chaos. It's not quite free jazz death metal, but it's certainly downright peculiar, but I don't think it would be fair to write it off as merely being weird for weird's sake - there's a certain atmosphere the band establish here which is genuinely haunting, a sickening sense that the natural order of things has somehow gone completely wrong. I can't say this is for everyone, and many will walk away wondering what all the fuss is about, but on balance if you're into technical death metal you owe it to yourself to at least give it a chance, because good gravy you're not going to find much that compares to this.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#897817) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
5 stars Very unique, and a hard listen. Is it possible to get this on the first spin? I can't say this music is pleasing on the same level that we typically associate music namely, harmony, melody, familiar structure etc. What this delivers is intrigue and obscuration, hence the title OBSCURA. Although not familiar ones, there are patterns and structure to this perceived madness.

It makes me think of an alternate universe where the existence of square roots of negative numbers embedded in the fabric of space-time produce ugly, mangled and monstrous creations. This would surely be the soundtrack of tortured beasts shrieking and grunting in pain with a cacophonous accompaniment of aggression. A place where no benevolent nature exists and pain is all one can experience.

The reputation that this release has gotten over the years since it has been released is well-founded. I can't think of a stranger piece of music that invites me in to experience it again and again finding new ways to experience the somewhat familiar sounds of death metal but twisted into strange new concoctions. 4.5 stars rounded up

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1075067) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 10, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars Widely and immediately considered not just one of the classics, but one of the pinnacles, of tech death, "Obscura" is the magnum opus of Gorguts and the Unholy Grail of its genre. Its strength rests not just in its perfection of tech, but in its experimentalism, variety, darkness, and, surprisin ... (read more)

Report this review (#1316781) | Posted by Lear'sFool | Friday, November 28, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After touring in support of their 1993 album The Erosion of Sanity, Gorguts was dropped from Roadrunner Records. After finding a new label in Olympic Recordings, Gorguts released Obscura in the summer of 1998. Conjuring up images of otherworldly horrors and monsters beyond comprehension, Obscura is ... (read more)

Report this review (#830232) | Posted by SwimToTheMoon1928 | Friday, September 28, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some may find the dissonant and brutal chaos of this album to be overwhelming at first, I know I did. My first few listens of Gorgut's Obscura were spent just trying to figure out what the hell was going on, but after many scrutinizing listens I began to understand what was happening: truly orig ... (read more)

Report this review (#497599) | Posted by GentleGenerator | Thursday, August 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Coming back to this review I wrote a long time ago in 2010, I realized I had written things in a manner which was too eccentric. Let's take it slower this time. On a more calm note to start off 2014, as others may have mentioned, this album has more in common with the late 60's avant-garde works ... (read more)

Report this review (#293367) | Posted by Erik91 | Wednesday, August 04, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Chaotic. Hellish. Music from Dante's Inferno. Schizo. Mentally deranged. Avant-Garde. Paranoid. Psycho. Brutal. Death Metal. Self-harming. Hardcore. ............All these are words that popped into my mind after some listenings to this album. This is now a cult album in the death metal scene. ... (read more)

Report this review (#244590) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is just one of those albums, that completly pushes music forward into uncharted realms, Obscura defies the very genre it embodies, while at the same time bending it to its own twisted will. John Cage did it in the 40's, Miles Davis did it in the 50's and 60's, Symphonic Prog in the 70's and ... (read more)

Report this review (#243070) | Posted by How Disguisting | Monday, October 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Otherwordly, dark, mysterious, Insane. All words that could describe Gorguts' avant-garde metal masterpiece Obscura, though the only word that does justice to what Obscura sounds like is "trip" a trip to a obscure world of dark greens, ethereal blues and deepest shades of black where dissonant ... (read more)

Report this review (#243032) | Posted by franticfish | Monday, October 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Obscura, which is definitely Gorguts' magnum opus is also usually ranked among one of the best death metal albums of all time. I don't know why it took so long for them to get added to progarchives, as they are one of, if not the most technical and progressive death metal band around. The riffs ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#242178) | Posted by Utukku | Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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