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Gorguts - Colored Sands CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.12 | 125 ratings

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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.

FruMp | 5/5 |


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