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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 itīs 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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Colored SandsColored Sands
Season of Mist 2013
Audio CD$9.27
$7.00 (used)
Considered DeadConsidered Dead
Import · Limited Edition · Remastered
Massacre Germany 2006
Audio CD$29.99 (used)
Considered Dead / Erosion of SanityConsidered Dead / Erosion of Sanity
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$10.93
$10.94 (used)
From Wisdom to HateFrom Wisdom to Hate
Deluxe Edition
Deepsend Records 2010
Audio CD$22.42
$22.94 (used)
ObscuraObscura
Slip Disc 1998
Audio CD$90.00 (used)
And Then Come Lividity/Demo AnthologyAnd Then Come Lividity/Demo Anthology
Galy Records/Lumberjack 1999
Audio CD$11.98
$44.78 (used)
Erosion of InsanityErosion of Insanity
Red Distribution, in 1993
Audio Cassette$16.66 (used)
And The Comes Lividity - Demo Anthology - BOX SETAnd The Comes Lividity - Demo Anthology - BOX SET
War On Music
Vinyl$149.99
...And Then Comes Lividity: Demo Anthology Vol. 1...And Then Comes Lividity: Demo Anthology Vol. 1
War On Music
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...And Then Comes Lividity: Demo Anthology Vol. 2...And Then Comes Lividity: Demo Anthology Vol. 2
War On Music
Vinyl$23.99
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GORGUTS shows & tickets


  • Trois-Rivičres Metalfest 2015 on 20 Mar 2015

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)

3.11 | 24 ratings
Considered Dead
1991
3.45 | 35 ratings
The Erosion of Sanity
1993
4.41 | 108 ratings
Obscura
1998
3.78 | 27 ratings
From Wisdom To Hate
2001
4.16 | 65 ratings
Colored Sands
2013

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

1.00 | 2 ratings
Live in Rotterdam
2006

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

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

1.18 | 2 ratings
Demo Anthology
2003
2.86 | 5 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

GORGUTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.41 | 108 ratings

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Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Lear'sFool

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.

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 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.16 | 65 ratings

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Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 From Wisdom To Hate by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.78 | 27 ratings

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From Wisdom To Hate
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.16 | 65 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.

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 Considered Dead by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.11 | 24 ratings

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Considered Dead
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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

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 The Erosion of Sanity by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.45 | 35 ratings

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The Erosion of Sanity
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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

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 Obscura by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.41 | 108 ratings

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Obscura
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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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 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.16 | 65 ratings

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Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Colored Sands" is the 5th full-length studio album by Canadian experimental/progressive extreme metal act Gorguts. The album was released through Season of Mist in August 2013. Gorguts are one of the pioneers in using dominant dissonance in extreme metal music and their "Obscura (1998)" album is a seminal release, that has inspired prolific acts like Deathspell Omega and Ulcerate, just to mention a few. Of course there were acts that incorporated dissonance to their sound before "Obscura (1998)" came out (especially Voivod comes to mind), but it featured a chaotic darkness and dominant use of dissonance that was unheard of at the time. Their 4th full-length studio album "From Wisdom to Hate (2001)" toned down the dissonance a bit and made a slight return to the more "regular" US influenced death metal style of the bandīs first two studio albums, but still retained a dissonant element, that sets the album apart from most other releases in the genre.

The band were struck by tragedy though as drummer Steve MacDonald committed suicide in October 2002 and band leader Luc Lemay put Gorguts on hold until 2008 when he chose to ressurect the band again with a completely new lineup. On "Colored Sands" the lineup consists of Luc Lemay (Vocals, Guitar), Kevin Hufnagel (Guitar), Colin Marston (Bass), John Longstreth (Drums). These are all very seasoned musicians, having played with acts like (among others) Behold the Arctopus, Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Dim Mak, Angelcorpse, Origin, Vaura and The Red Chord and as a consequence the musicianship on "Colored Sands" is top notch. And that is exploited to the full on "Colored Sands". All four guys are very active and audible in the soundscape. Great interplay between the two guitarists, very skillfully played drumming (and varied too) and busy adventurous bass playing. The vocals are mostly growling and pretty low in the mix and along with the atmospheric sections this give off a strong post rock/metal vibe.

The lyrics on "Colored Sands" are politically motivated. Itīs a concept album describing the Tibetan culture and later the Chinese invastion of Tibet in 1950 and the following oppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese occupation. I think we can safely establish that Luc Lemay is not going to travel to China anytime soon after this...

The music on the 9 tracks, 62:49 minutes long album is, except for the intrumental classical chamber piece "The Battle of Chamdo", a chaotic sounding, dark and twisted but also atmospheric type of extreme metal, with nods toward both death metal, post rock/metal, avant garde metal and progressive metal. although there are familiar elements in the bandīs sound Gorguts continue to challenge conventions. Dissonance and tempo- and time signature changes are dominant elements in the bandīs sound and sometimes those elements make for an almost nauseating listen. The way the band sometimes combine fast paced drumming with slow dragging dissonant riffing (not completely unlike the atmospheric doom/death of Disembowelment) has the effect on me, that I feel like Iīm being torn apart inside. Iīm not sure if I should headbang like a madman to the complex rythms or just sit there drenched in the feeling of despair that the music so vividly convey. Somehow thatīs a wonderful ambiguous feeling.

The same can be said about the sound production which in many ways is strong, as it is both powerful, detailed and relatively raw. At the same time it features a drum sound that may put some people off. Especially the bass drums feature quite an odd clicky sound. Personally Iīve formed the opinion that I think they fit the music well and provide it with another otherworldly and alien element to add to the rest of them. This is in every way possible a very unique and innovative sounding release by Gorguts, which might draw on some of the same elements as their groundbreaking "Obscura (1998)" album did, but at the same time adds a lot of atmosphere to those elements and therefore ultimately sounds very little like that album. Thereīs no arguing that "Colored Sands" is an incredible comeback album by Gorguts and to my ears maybe their strongest release to date. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

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 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.16 | 65 ratings

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Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Gorguts may have only released four albums in its original run, but with those four albums, the band made an insurmountable impact on death metal. Particularly with 1998's Obscura, Luc Lemay's brainchild pioneered one of the most experimental approaches to technical death metal ever recorded - to this day, I've yet to hear any other band explore death metal in such a chaotic, yet darkly atmospheric light. Gorguts is one of the few bands in death metal with a completely unique voice, and even after twelve years between albums, that statement rings as true as ever.

2013's Colored Sands shows Gorguts once again residing in experimental tech-death land, but this time with a slightly different spin. Although the album features plenty of zany technical workouts and dissonant harmonic phrasing, it also showcases some straightforward death metal riffs and an epic approach to songwriting that was never present before in Gorguts' music. The result is an observation that sounds as daring and experimental as anything else out there, but also feels more accessible than the densest works from Gorguts. There's a reason why Colored Sands has received so much hype from the death metal community, and the only way to understand is to hear it for yourself. We're glad to have you back, Luc!

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 Colored Sands by GORGUTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.16 | 65 ratings

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Colored Sands
Gorguts Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Returning for their first new studio album in 12 yesrs - 12 years during which the legend and reputation of the mighty Obscura grew and grew - Gorguts come back with a confident album which displays their command of technical death metal but doesn't rely on pure technicality to get the job done. Yes, their progressive and technical instincts are still intact - this is a serious- minded concept album about the effect of Chinese rule on the Tibetan people after all - but that doesn't mean they don't break out some raw and dirty death metal workouts alongside their more technical excursions. Hitting a deft balance between accessibility and technicality, it's perhaps my favourite Gorguts album to date.

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