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I'm Chris. I'm 22 years old and I'm into a large variety of music, from Metal in its many forms (mostly the extreme ones) to Goth and Postpunk, Reggae, Jazz, Prog, Techno, Ambient and Film Scores. This is where I rave about albums I really like, and other stuff.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Gorguts - From Wisdom to Hate

Album review: Gorguts - From Wisdom to Hate (Olympic Recordings, 2001)
Technical/ experimental Death Metal

Gorgut’s fourth and (until their recent reunion) final album, 2001’s “From Wisdom to Hate”, is one that I have long meant to acquire and hear in full for some time now, only managing this very recently. The album seems to be the black sheep of the Gorguts discography, being quite unfairly underrated by some in my view. Boasting some crushing production values, and with songwriting resembling something like a compromise between the overt headfuck of 98’s “Obscura” and their classic first pair of albums, FWTH is not a piece that should be ignored by any Gorguts fiend. It is of course not hard to compare this to “Obscura” (one of the most polarizing releases in all of Death Metal) and perhaps find it lacklustre by comparison. Whereas its predecessor presented an all out demented assault on the senses, the sonic barrage of From Wisdom... is arguably more refined and focused here to its own advantage, the album is a lot more “accessible” (an entirely relative term here, of course) in comparison but there are no shortage of wierd and interesting riffs to satisfy the “Obscura” freaks. Indeed, the opening riff of first track “Inverted” has to be one of the most bizarre riffs I’ve ever heard, utilizing the “pick scrape” technique to jarring effect alongside a pounding blastbeat (that snare sound...!!!). There are also a lot more mid paced grooves and very doom-like passages, notably in the title track and “The Quest for Equilibrium”.

Musicianship wise, Luc Lemay is as brilliant as ever, this time supported by Daniel Mongrain of fellow Canadian tech-metallers Martyr. Although he is no Steeve Hurdle he is a more than adequate replacement although I’m not always sure which one of them is playing which riff or lead so it is a little hard to tell. Steve Cloutier’s bass is mixed somewhat low compared to the previous album, a sinister rumbling underneath the guitars occasionally punctuated by more audible passages and chords. Steve McDonald provides an impressive and varied drum performance, were it not for his unfortunate suicide sometime after the release of the album (the cause of the first breakup of the band) I wonder how many other albums Gorguts might have created in the 10+ years between this and their long awaited follow up, coming “sometime this year”. This album was recently reissued on CD in 2010 and vinyl in 2011 by killer Canadian label War On Music (who have also re-released “Obscura” and the first two essential Cryptopsy albums and demo on vinyl), thankfully as it had become a little hard to get hold of (a CD reissue of the even harder to find “Obscura” is yet to see the light, but is coming apparently) so now there is little excuse not to own this prime slice of inventive Death Metal from the masters. I am eagerly awaiting the follow up (featuring an all new lineup) and hopefully it will be the devastating masterpiece that it promises to be.

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