Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

GORGUTS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Canada


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gorguts picture
Gorguts biography
Formed in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada in 1989

GORGUTS is a Canadian progressive/ technical death metal act formed in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada in 1989. The band released their debut demo tape ...And Then Comes Lividity in 1990. GORGUTS was then signed to Roadrunner Records and released their debut album "Considered Dead" in 1991. They returned in 1993 with their second album "The Erosion of Sanity" which proved to be more technical and experimental than their debut. Unfortunately the band were then dropped by Roadrunner Records and went into a five year hiatus before bandleader/ guitarist and vocalist LUC LEMAY, as the only remaining member from the original lineup, opted to continue the band with a new lineup.

GORGUTS was signed to Olympic Records and released their so far most experimental/ avant garde album "Obscura" (1998) which is widely considered a seminal progressive technical death metal album. The album features complex riffs and multi-layered dissonant harmonies and have influenced several other progressive death metal artists.

GORGUTS released their fourth full-length studio album "From Wisdom to Hate" in 2001. The lineup features new guitarist DANIEL MONGRAIN ( MARTYR, CAPHARNAUM, QUO VADIS, VOIVOD) and new drummer STEVE MACDONALD. While the album still holds experimental elements it´s a more straight forward technical death metal album compared to "Obscura." Drummer STEVE MACDONALD unfortunately comitted suicide in 2002 as he hung himself. The drummer had a history of recurrent depression. The death of STEVE MACDONALD was one of the reasons for yet another break-up of GORGUTS in 2005.

LUC LEMAY and former GORGUTS guitarist STEEVE HURDLE formed the band See also: - NEGATIVA in 2005 and released a self-titled EP in 2006. LUC LEMAY left NEGATIVA in 2008 and re-formed GORGUTS with new guitarist KEVIN HUFNAGEL (DYSRHYTHMIA, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, BYLA, EUCLID STREET, THE FIFTH SEASON, GREY DIVISION BLUE), bassist COLIN MARSTON (DYSRHYTHMIA, BEHOLD... THE ARCTOPUS, BYLA, KRALLICE, INDRICOTHERE) and drummer JOHN LONGSTRETH (DIM MAK, ORIGIN, THE RED CHORD, SKINLESS, POSSESSION, ANGELCORPSE).

The new lineup is currently working on a new album. GORGUTS inclusion in the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team on the grounds that "Obscura" is widely considered a seminal progressive tech...
read more

GORGUTS forum topics / tours, shows & news


GORGUTS forum topics Create a topic now
GORGUTS tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "gorguts"
Post an entries now

GORGUTS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to GORGUTS

Buy GORGUTS Music



More places to buy GORGUTS music online

GORGUTS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GORGUTS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 47 ratings
Considered Dead
1991
3.58 | 60 ratings
The Erosion Of Sanity
1993
4.37 | 207 ratings
Obscura
1998
3.84 | 48 ratings
From Wisdom To Hate
2001
4.14 | 127 ratings
Colored Sands
2013

GORGUTS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.64 | 5 ratings
Live in Rotterdam
2006

GORGUTS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GORGUTS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.79 | 5 ratings
Demo Anthology
2003
3.18 | 8 ratings
Considered Dead/The Erosion Of Sanity
2004

GORGUTS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
...And Then Comes Lividity
1990
4.57 | 30 ratings
Pleiades' Dust
2016

GORGUTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Maw The Void

5 stars Gorguts - Obscura

Not joking when I tell you that this is one of the most important records in the history of metal. It is the first record to combine metal with dissonance and avant-garde, all in an incredibly technical manner that was never achieved before in metal or even rock. The musicianship is unparalleled and execution is flawless. Since it has dissonance and avant-garde, it's very inaccessible, so I recommend you to listen it in bits. A full listen could become tedious half-way through. Regardless of inaccessibility, the reward for giving this record a try is unimaginable.

An essential record for metal.

 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Ian McGregor

5 stars One of my friends (who's into more heavy music) once recommended me this album, I warned him that I was probably not going to like it because he told me it had growls in every single track. The first time I listened Obscura I thought it sounded terrible. It was an absolute mess of riffs with no melody and a pig screeching on top, yuck! However this chaos kinda caught my attention, because I really couldn't tell a single progressive rock band that made an album as chaotic yet technical as this one. The second listen, I started to pay more attention to the instrumentation and get used to the growls (but I still didn't like them), and I definitely began to appreciate this album.

The thing is that I really don't like growls, and I think that if there was some sort of singer delivering actual notes, I would enjoy this more. But the instrumentation behind this has to be some of the most complex metal ever made. Every track is an undecypherable ocean of time signatures and riffs that I simply cannot comprehend, and it's even harder to understand when you have someone growling on top.

With all the songs being very similar, I can't say there's a specific stand out in this album (although Nostalgia could be a candidate for that spot), and even though I really don't enjoy extreme metal... To each with their own! This album is truly a monster within its genre, and the instrumentation is some of the greatest I've heard, it's more than enough to redeem the awful and disgusting vocals that plague the album. I'm pretty sure death metal fans will enjoy this more than I do! A bold record, but one that works amazingly, I'm giving it five stars, even though I don't listen it that much.

 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Gorgut Muncher

5 stars First review, and I'm going to make my username check out! Gorguts is still my favorite technical death metal band, mostly due to their acquired and identifiable sound. Their first two albums feature very strong death metal influences, but in Obscura, things get very progressive. Dissonant, obscure (pun intended), heavy, brutal, un-expectable and very, very awesome! The title track features a very fun syncopated dissonant guitar. Nostalgia features tasty bone-crushing riffs. Clouded has an amazing atmosphere that gets you in a trance. Subtle Body has an awesome middle-east vibe. My favorite album by Gorguts! Super heavy and unique, recommended to any metal-head! Five Stars!
 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by King Brimstone

5 stars - Review #20 -

Gorguts' third album might actually be the scariest album I have ever heard. There's something very unsettling about the album's raw sound combined with its incorporated dissonance and heavy growls, and the flow present in those twelve tracks is seriously one of the best: It's one of those albums that you listen from beginning to end. I usually don't listen to separate tracks because the transitions get ruined.

With its raw production, each instrument fills the mix entirely, making it sometimes difficult to differentiate each instrument. That truly sounds like a bad aspect, but surprisingly, it only increases the quality of the ambience and feel present in the album. Most of the songs are very fast-paced and technically proficient, with their lengths going from three minutes to nine. Each track features some very complex and constantly-changing time signatures, which further defines the sound of the album (and the band itself).

That's right. This was the album where Gorguts defined their signature sound, and this makes Obscura a crucial album in the band's discography. Now, I must say this can be a tough nut to crack. It definitely took me a couple listens before I could actually start appreciating this album as a true piece of art. Progressive rock fans, to be more specific, will probably struggle the most because of the growls and sometimes non-existent melody. But they should still give it a try. To the metal head out there: Go check it out! If you like growls you will probably fall in love with this album.

Sound-Defining, brutal and bold. Obscura is a five star album that to this day remains as the bastion of the band.

 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars Spooky, one of my favorite albums of all time! Very heavy and dark. The dissonance really adds to the darkness shown in the album. Obscura is considered a seminal piece within the technical extreme metal. It also defined their sound. Songs like the title track showcase the band's technical playing and great handling of time signatures and changes. Others like Subtle Body even have Middle-East vibes going up! Finally, the flow between tracks is very good. It adds up to the atmosphere a lot.

Very inaccesible but highly recommended. This album should impress every metal head in the world, it's incredible. Five Stars for me, without a doubt.

 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ssmarcus

4 stars Gorguts' Obscura is a musical experience unlike anything you've ever heard before, for better or worse. Guitarist, front-man, and mastermind Luc Lemay and company forced sounds out of their instruments that I don't think anybody ever would have thought to commit to recording before they came along. At times, the music is impenetrably dense. At others, the music has some surprisingly accessible hooks, certainly more accessible than I would have expected from an album famed for pioneering Avant Gard technical death metal.

While the reason for this album's legacy and impact should be abundantly clear to anyone who listens to it, I personally cannot rate it any higher than I did. I appreciate music which utilizes a diversity of voices to communicate an idea. Not only is that the best way to break the monotony of a record, its also, in my view, a higher form of artistic expression. Obscura's sound, however, is too monolithic. (Or maybe, it only sounds monolithic to my ear because it has yet to be baptized in the fires of the level of hell reserved for the insane where this record clearly originated?)

 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.14 | 127 ratings

BUY
Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Wikipedia is your friend," my friend always says when we are not sure about some fact. I often consult Wikipedia as a starting point to search for band history and album information. In the case of "Colored Sands", the Wikipedia article was surprisingly indepth and very informative.

Gorguts released four studio albums between the years of 1991 and 2001. During this time the band went on a five- year hiatus between their second and third album, and only founding member Luc Lemay has remained with the band, effectively making Gorguts his band similarly to how Opeth is Mikael Åkerfeldt's baby. With the suicide of a band member in 2003, Gorguts was finally dissolved in 2005. However, Luc Lemay received encouragement to reform the band in 2008. Initially (I'm getting this from Wiki) he did not intend to write any new material because he was satisfied with what the band had achieved; however, he started writing anyway and found it came very naturally.

The theme for the new album was Tibet. It was inspired by a video Lemay saw of colored sand art where images are created using colored sand and then ritualistically destroyed. At first he meant to write only the one song about Tibetan sand art, but his research into Tibet, its culture, history, and religion, inspired him to devote the whole album to Tibet. The album is divided into two parts: the historical, cultural, and geographical side of Tibet and the Chinese occupation. There are four tracks to each part with track five, "The Battle of Chamdo" separating the two parts and being a musical representation of the Chinese invasion in 1950. Impressively, this piece is performed by a five-piece string ensemble including two violins, a viola, a cello and a string bass. The music was composed by Lemay. The concept of the album was to "create a storytelling mood within the music; sort of like a motion picture" (quote by Luc Lemay and quoted from Wikipedia).

Lemay's concept is nothing to scoff at. Colin Marston (bass) and Kevin Hufnagel (guitar) are both classically trained musicians and contributed a lot to the album, writing their own parts together with Lemay. All three members cite classical influences, particularly composer Elliot Carter, and were able to write ideas on paper because they could use "an academic vocabulary". Lemay wanted to avoid writing anything like their second album "Erosion of Sanity", which was more of a typical death metal album, and develop their own musical language. This language was first introduced with 1998's "Obscura", though it is regarded by Lemay as rather simplistic. "Colored Sands" is a "more sophisticated expression" of that language.

All this makes the album sound terribly interesting. With music so intelligent and lyric writing to match, what does the album sound like?

BOM BOM RATATATATAT WHALLOP BOWM! ROOAARR BOM BOM (ting) BOWM!

Gorguts is not only death metal but they approach extreme like few can. Dissonance, double bass blast beats, booming guitars, ferocious roaring vocals, and occasional bass note crashes that sound like BOWM! If my parents, who were fans of 50's jazz, had a hard time making sense of my musical preferences in the mid-eighties, I can almost sympathize with them listening to this album. My first listen through, however, was a blissful ride because it was exactly the kind of music I was up for (having spent the previous week listening to Sarah McLachlan and Supertramp!). The Wikipedia article tuned me into the fact that there was more to this album than just explosive sounds of a heavy metal band in rapid combustion. I listened again with an ear for the complexities of the music and discerned that a score did indeed exist, one that was often difficult to follow for long and subject to violent and brutish upheaval. By the third listen I was struck by two notions: first that there was sometimes little disparity between some songs during the explosive and thunderous BOM BOM BOWM!! moments. The other was that I began to realize that this was not too far away from a Voivod album that I quite like, "Phobos", which I likened to the sonic equivalent of being wacked by a giant tennis racket! As the album wrapped up for the third time in my ear buds (with some songs having been played a fourth time) the similarities between "Dimension Hatröss" and "Phobos" and this album here made the music suddenly become even more accessible to me, or if not exactly accessible at least not so alien. And speaking of alien, perhaps some of Strapping Young Lad's "Alien" had also prepared me for this.

Armed now with a new understanding toward the album, I think I can more easily digest what I'm hearing. Surprisingly, the production is remarkably clear. One might expect the dynamic range to be shattered or a lo-fi production but it strikes me as being very clean and clear. Yes, we are still talking about kilotons of pounding and building-toppling shock waves of guitar distortion and dissonance, but still very well captured in the mix. When the music drops down for a bit of acoustic guitar, the string ensemble, or a chorus of low and ominous "aahhh"s like a note meant to conjure up an ungodly presence, it's all very clear. What a remarkable feat to have recorded an album that often comes across as the musical equivalent to the moon colliding with the earth while maintaining good sound quality.

If there is anything to say that is more critical it would be that in spite of the philosophical concepts presented in the lyrics, such as how did the Tibetans' devotion to peace help them in the end, and the history and culture and all that, the words are not so easy to distinguish from the roaring vocals and crushing sound of the music. It's also an album that won't be easy for a lot of metal fans to sink their teeth into. After listening to this album twice, I went ahead and listened to some classic Slayer and Megadeth and it was like going to pick daisies after having tried to pluck rare flowers from the sheer wind-blasted granite cliffs of some torturously rugged mountain. For more information about the album, please read the Wikipedia article!

 Pleiades' Dust by GORGUTS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.57 | 30 ratings

BUY
Pleiades' Dust
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars If you're reading this, you probably already have an inkling of Gorguts' general sound. If the name wasn't itself a giveaway, take the noisiest, most dissonant, most technical death metal you've ever heard, and then multiply that by a factor of five; you probably haven't heard anything of the intensity of Gorguts. That's the sound they established on their classic Obscura, and they've spent the time since varying it in many different ways, but always remaining rooted to the same core aspects.

Their latest experiments, on the thirty-three-minute EP Pleiades' Dust, are just as fascinating as ever. Here they've tried the single-track, multi-movement suite, an old chestnut of prog (there are seven movements total). The music here is more dynamic than any previous Gorguts recordings; segments crescendo and dissipate over lengthy periods to establish the desired moods. The music is overall still as dissonant as ever, but there are some almost calm passages in between the storms. The composition, if anything, has gotten even more complex, which is fitting given the scope of the song. (In particular, if you can make sense of all the time signatures in this piece, you're a more patient human being than I.) It's too early to tell for sure, as I've only had the EP in my possession for a couple of days as of this writing (I may revise this piece with additional observations after further listening), but this may very well be the most fascinating music Gorguts have ever recorded.

Lyrically, they've created another concept album, this time around focussing on the contributions of what have become known as the Islamic Golden Age and the House of Wisdom to humanity. In the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages descended over Europe and Baghdad became the centre of learning and scholarship. Local scholars preserved countless works for posterity, often translating them into the local language and contributing their own scholarship from the results (we owe such innovations as algebra to this time in history). The rulers of the region valued knowledge more than gold; upon conquering new lands, they would frequently demand books rather than material possessions. From the knowledge thus gained they further strengthened their position.

But, like all great things in history, this period too ended with the overrun of the Mongol hordes. In 1258 Baghdad was sacked, thousands were slaughtered including some of the best minds of the era, and now-lost books were thrown into the Tigris River in such quantities that the river was said to run black with ink. Intrepid citizens of Baghdad salvaged some of the texts before they could be destroyed (Nasir al-Din al-Tusi alone is credited with saving four hundred thousand manuscripts), but the damage was done; one of the most progressive and innovative cities in the world had been dealt a crippling blow, and it would take hundreds of years for it to recover.

The lyrical content of this album is, given the modern narrative of a clash of civilisations that certain political forces would like us to accept, particularly timely. And, as stated, musically this release is staggeringly brilliant. It is one of the strongest releases of this year so far, and I can only give it my highest recommendation.

 Pleiades' Dust by GORGUTS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.57 | 30 ratings

BUY
Pleiades' Dust
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Always in a league above the competition, Luc Lemay and his GORGUTS project continue to deliver some of the most innovative and technologically constructed death metal the world has ever heard. Never resting on the legacy of "Obscura" alone, this Canadian band from Quebec always creates exciting releases by combining the most demanding, frenetic and brutal ear abuses while entering myriad intellectual pastures tackling the subject matter of esoteric history in far-flung geographical places such as "Tibet" such as on the previous release "Colored Sands." On the follow-up PLEIADES' DUST, an EP which is basically a solo track clocking in at 32:59, Lemay and company dish out a concept telling the tale of the "House Of Wisdom," which references the rise and fall of a library based in Baghdad in the periods between the 8th and 13th centuries and it's importance in containing ancient knowledge that contributed to many scientific discoveries including algebra, astronomy as well as other disciplines that aided and abetted Europe to evolve past the dark ages and into the Renaissance.

Always based on evocative intellectual subject matter, the likes of which are once again competently accompanied by the signature brutality complete with Lemay's grizzled growls laced with atmospheric passages, exotic sounds of distant lands and the ever graceful dance of melodies and dissonance swirling about like an oceanic eddy, GORGUTS takes the exotic flair of "Colored Sands" and once again creates a meandering flow of sounds that alternates the brutal death metal aspects with softer passages bringing a Middle Eastern dusty caravan to mind displaying guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bassist Colin Marston dishing out a strong dual string assault with newcomer drummer Patrice Hamelin picking up where John Longstreth left off and easily duplicating and exceeding his technical percussion abusing skills and creating one of the most important aspects of GORGUTS' music.

As heard on the more recent albums, if one has an ear for classical music compositional skills it is apparent that Lemay is a gifted composer who utilizes the techniques of the centuries and applies them to suit his music in a death metal context. While the imagery and brilliant album cover created by the renowned Polish artist Zbigniew M. Bielak sync well with the death metal brutality bash and distortion blowout, the ebb and flow of the musical composition lends more to pre-metal past masters rather than contemporaries in the field continuing Lemay's utter brilliance in juxtaposing these elements into a seemingly effortless manner. The music on PLEIADES' DUST is excellent at the proper pacing of the more energetic brutal passages and the more subdued cadences. It appears that GORGUTS scores once again in creating a memorable soundtrack to some nebulous place and time from the history books. The musicianship is once again impeccably performed and the segments of the album are well connected and despite literally eschewing all the cliches that a 21st century tech death metal band can fall into, GORGUTS still succeeds in delivering all the death metal goods while wowing us with intense musical workouts delivered with outstanding intellectual eloquence.

 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 207 ratings

BUY
Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by LearsFool
Prog Reviewer

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, surprisingly, its measured dose of emotion via the vocals of Lemay and Hurdle and the aforementioned darkness. Listening to this is to subject yourself to raw brutality and yet raw skill being put to wonderful use. The album sounds like how R'lyeh must look. All of this adds up to the record living up to its legend, making it a required listen for tech death fans and a recommendation for all other metalheads. The album is a grail for both how excellent and how rare it is; one listen to its tracks online and you'll be ready to search high and low for a copy of this masterpiece. Good luck.
Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.