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GORGUTS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Canada


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Gorguts biography
See also:

- Negativa

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 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 technical death metal alb...
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Pleiades' DustPleiades' Dust
Season of Mist 2016
Audio CD$7.22
$7.96 (used)
Colored SandsColored Sands
Season of Mist 2013
Audio CD$7.17
$9.21 (used)
Considered DeadConsidered Dead
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$11.58
$10.32 (used)
Obscura (Reissue)Obscura (Reissue)
Century Media 2015
Audio CD$6.88
$6.25 (used)
Erosion of SanityErosion of Sanity
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$11.14
$11.13 (used)
Considered DeadConsidered Dead
Import
Imports 2016
Vinyl$27.52
From Wisdom to Hate (LP)From Wisdom to Hate (LP)
Century Media 2015
Vinyl$18.79
Considered Dead / Erosion of SanityConsidered Dead / Erosion of Sanity
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$27.58 (used)
And The Comes Lividity - Demo Anthology - BOX SETAnd The Comes Lividity - Demo Anthology - BOX SET
War On Music
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And Then Come Lividity/Demo AnthologyAnd Then Come Lividity/Demo Anthology
Galy Records/Lumberjack 1999
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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)

3.30 | 30 ratings
Considered Dead
1991
3.57 | 39 ratings
The Erosion of Sanity
1993
4.37 | 136 ratings
Obscura
1998
3.75 | 33 ratings
From Wisdom To Hate
2001
4.19 | 94 ratings
Colored Sands
2013

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

1.33 | 3 ratings
Live in Rotterdam
2006

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

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

1.50 | 3 ratings
Demo Anthology
2003
3.06 | 7 ratings
Considered Dead/The Erosion Of Sanity
2004

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

2.91 | 3 ratings
...And Then Comes Lividity
1990
4.94 | 5 ratings
Pleiades' Dust
2016

GORGUTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pleiades' Dust by GORGUTS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.94 | 5 ratings

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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
4.94 | 5 ratings

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Pleiades' Dust
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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 | 136 ratings

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Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

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.
 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 136 ratings

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Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars With the forthcoming reissue of the album on Century Media (the album has been out of print on CD for decades and commanded absurd prices on eBay and Discogs), it's the perfect time to rediscover Obscura, the album compared to Trout Mask Replica so often it's become a reviewer cliché.

But like a lot of clichés, there's a lot of truth to this one. It's not just the uncompromising dissonance of both albums that leads critics to compare them so often. It's the way both albums seem to take unrestrained glee in completely disassembling the conventions of the genres from which they, ostensibly, have taken shape; the way both albums present an unrelenting assault on the listener's convictions for over an hour; the way both albums seem purposefully designed as an assault on the listener's conviction of what music is.

On the first listen, even if you're already used to death metal, Obscura will probably seem like unrelenting noise. I know more than one metalhead who took literally dozens of listens to be able to listen to this entire album in one sitting. Even for death metal this is intense; the first riff of the album is pure dissonance and most of the album follows suit. The only real letups in intensity throughout the course of the album are "Nostalgia", which is somewhat more melodic than the rest of the album, and the instrumental closer "Sweet Silence".

The best example of the album's intensity is probably the monumental "Clouded", which slows things down to a doom metal tempo. This song takes the traditional expectation of death metal riffs being a few seconds long and turns it on its head, with the tempo slowed down so much it takes around thirty seconds for the expected repetition to occur. The vocals are tortured even by the album's standards (which are tortured even by death metal standards). The song is one of the heaviest things I've ever heard.

Not every song is this unrelenting, but the album is an exhausting listen for the uninitiated. But there are rewards here equalled by few other death metal recordings. The band's performances are virtuosic (and they were matched almost effortlessly live, as tracking down video clips of the band's performances from the time will reveal), and the album is a master class in how to compose dissonant songs intelligently. It's also difficult to overstate how influential this album has been on the technical death metal field; after this album came out, numerous bands started composing more avant-garde dissonance, some of them quite successfully. The album has even been influential on other metal genres; it's difficult to imagine Deathspell Omega's assaults on the senses without Obscura coming beforehand.

But there remains only one Gorguts, and only one Obscura. Even Gorguts had the good sense not to try to duplicate this album; From Wisdom to Hate, their next album, pared down the complexity somewhat, while Colored Sands, their reunion album, toned down the aggression and upped the prog influences. While their other releases are also very good, Obscura remains unique in Gorguts' discography and in death metal as a whole, and it remains their magnum opus.

 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.19 | 94 ratings

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Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars The mighty tech death metal band GORGUTS makes a comeback after 12 longs years with their 5th album COLORED SANDS. They score a perfect hit with me by combining all the best attributes of the four albums of their first incarnation. Luc Lemay has a whole new crew of veteran musicians on duty and they nail perfectly the marriage of the accessible death metal started on their first two releases, the avant-garde technicality of "Obscura" and the atmospheric additions which debuted on "From Wisdom To Hate." The result is a finely tuned album that is perfectly executed and stunningly brilliant. This is also a concept album about Tibet and the brutal rule of the Chinese making the subject matter most atypical for a brutal metal album as well.

After "From Wisdom..." the drummer Steve MacDonald killed himself and Lemay decided to call it quits with this band. After a brief stint with the band Negativa and releasing a sole EP, Lemay was talked into reviving the influential band in 2009 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its formation. Feeling like the fit with Negativa just wasn't working out, he decided to give it a go and what a wonderful decision it was. This album just flows so nicely from beginning to end incorporating not only their technical command of their compositions but also finding the right atmospheres to add at the right times. A major surprise was the middle track which serves as a kind of intermission to separate the first four tracks from the last four. "The Battle Of Chamdo" is an orchestrated classical string piece that reminds me a bit of the theme music from the 1987 motion picture "The Untouchables." It clearly demonstrates Lemay's musical compositional skills without being obscured by the brutal and avant-garde technical metal.

This was love at first listen and I am in agreement with many others that this is a major achievement for Lemay and GORGUTS. Their absolute best and most varied album to date. Once again GORGUTS prove you can make both complex and interesting music without compromising your integrity but also validate that a band of 20 plus years doesn't have to fall into a pool of stagnation. Lemay is a brilliant orchestrator of both music and band members and I hope we don't have to wait 12 years for another album.

 From Wisdom To Hate by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.75 | 33 ratings

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From Wisdom To Hate
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars GORGUTS decided to let the creation of their new musical language on the unique and bizarre "Obscura" to speak for itself and only take some of the ideas they came up with on that release and fuse them with some of the more accessible sounds they developed on their first two releases. FROM WISDOM TO HATE is their 4th album and does just that. It basically takes the accessible traits of their early albums such as more recognizable rhythms and brutal harmonies and marry them with some of the dissonance and strangeness of "Obscura." The result is a middle-of-the-road sounding album that works quite well. In addition to these two styles merging, Luc Lemay and his band add some touches of atmosphere to the compositions giving them a slicker feel but never compromising the brutal monstrous feel of the metal itself.

The 4th track "The Quest For Equilibrium" stands out because the intro has a particular orchestrated movie soundtrack feel before bursting into the furious tech death metal. This is new for the band and wouldn't be fully realized until the track "The Battle Of Chambo" on their 2013 "Colored Sands" release. This would also be the one and only album for drummer Steve MacDonald who would succumb to depression and take his own life causing the band to call it quits.

I find this to be a very high quality release from GORGUTS which manages to successfully fuse the past with new ideas and make an album that is not only less alienating than "Obscura" but respectfully let that album stand on its own instead of releasing another album just like it. Since Lemay and bassist Steve Cloutier are the only musicians to play on both albums it was probably easier to create a new sound. After disbanding Lemay would team up with Steeve Hurdle (guitarist on "Obscura") to join the band Negativa after which they would release its one EP in 2006.

 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.19 | 94 ratings

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Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by FruMp
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Album of the year 2013.

I'm always super wary of legendary bands reuniting to record new material a decade or more after their last release. I was particularly wary of this reunion having recently listened to the latest mediocre Atheist and Pestilence albums, also truth be told Lemay's other band Negativa and pretty much everything he did after Obscura was lost on me.

However real talent and innovation often surprises you and challenges your expectations. When it comes to 'reunions' it takes on a different meaning when there is one principal songwriter and continuous member, basically Gorguts is Luc Lemay's band and everyone else follows his lead, this is crucially important as to why this album not only doesn't suck but is incredible. All the time that has passed doesn't really matter. The reason why reunions so often blow is the politics and democratic processes of writing songs in a group context is entirely irrelevant. This completely bypasses all the usual stumbling blocks of people who have changed tastes and had kids and settled down and maybe dont drink and party anymore - or maybe just lost the spark of youthful creativity. So yes, in retrospect in this case my cynicism may have been misplaced and this paragraph is here to tell you that yours may be too (coincidentally Cynic's comeback Traced in Air is the one other exception that proved great).

I remember listening to Obscura the for the first time and being befuddled by the strange sounds and tonal complexity the band created by playing their instruments unconventionally. I was confused equally by the glowing superlative reviews it garnered, so I listened about 10 more times and it started to make a bit of sense. The riffs and timing clicked and became extremely addictive. Coloured Sands is the follow up to Obscura I always wanted but interestingly given my familiarity with the band I didn't actually think much of the album on first or second listen. I had to give it the benefit of the doubt though and sure enough after a dozen listens it kicked my ass and got stuck in my head and it has been enjoyed many dozens of times more.

The interplay of the instruments is sublime. You couldn't get a better fit for this band than bass lord Colin Marston of Behold the Arctopus and Krallice fame and once you become familiar with the songs and you peel back the layers and hear the way his bass counterpoints with Lemay's guitar - it's simply intoxicating. The compositions are long and dynamically complex, there are a lot of quieter sections with weird harmonics that juxtapose well with the brutal trademark Gorguts guitar sound akin to cavemen punching guitars but somehow shredding at the same time (don't ask me how that metaphor makes sense, it just does). On an album scale the pacing is fantastic as well. The first song is a zinger and you slowly toboggan along until the classical 'intermission' - 'the battle of chamdo' (fantastic in its own right) and are then punched in the face by the double kicking, polyrhythming, heavy riffing assault of standout track 'enemies of compassion'. After this shake up its a bit of a slower dark ride to the end laden with some catchy riffs (drum riffs included!).

Crucially like with all the greatest albums featured on this website, at the end of it you feel like you have been on a journey of sorts, you certainly ended up in a different place to where you started. Hearing interviews with the band and reading up a bit about the album it turns out that its a concept album about Tibetan Buddhism.

A brutal technical death metal album about... Tibetan Buddhism? Like all things Gorguts, it shouldn't make sense - but it makes perfect sense.

 Considered Dead by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.30 | 30 ratings

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Considered Dead
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars It's always interesting to hear debut albums by bands that will go on to redefine a genre's boundaries. Especially after you've heard the later works first. GORGUTS started off as a no-nonsense full-on death metal band with little of the progressive heights that would take off ten years later.

The truth is listening to this now, you can already hear the blueprints for the technical death metal that would come later. Stephane Provencher's drumming already shows signs of irregular progressive timings and even though he would depart the band, the seeds had been sown.

Don't worry though, if old school death metal is what you crave, CONSIDERED DEAD is a healthy dose of morbid brutality that should scratch that itch. Although I don't forsee this reaching masterpiece status anytime soon, I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4

 The Erosion of Sanity by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.57 | 39 ratings

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The Erosion of Sanity
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars A sudden leap into the progressive world of death metal makes GORGUTS' 2nd release a somewhat more interesting listen. Slightly more progressive than CONSIDERED DEAD but still firmly rooted in brutal death metal with some unconventional riffs and structures that would be fully realized on OBSCURA.

This album is a brutal beast save the occasional tinkling of beautiful pianos or classical guitar and if you're in the mood for no compromise brutality with slight progressive leanings than this is the album for you. I didn't hear this album at the time it came out so my affection for it isn't as strong as other's seem to have but it's by no means a bad album and is short enough to warrant a listen now and again. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4

 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.37 | 136 ratings

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Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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

Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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