Technical Death Metal / Death Metal • Canada
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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
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GORGUTS Discography

GORGUTS albums / top albums

GORGUTS Considered Dead album cover 3.71 | 21 ratings
Considered Dead
Death Metal 1991
GORGUTS The Erosion of Sanity album cover 3.74 | 21 ratings
The Erosion of Sanity
Death Metal 1993
GORGUTS Obscura album cover 3.74 | 46 ratings
Technical Death Metal 1998
GORGUTS From Wisdom to Hate album cover 3.63 | 19 ratings
From Wisdom to Hate
Technical Death Metal 2001
GORGUTS Colored Sands album cover 4.45 | 30 ratings
Colored Sands
Technical Death Metal 2013

GORGUTS EPs & splits

GORGUTS Pleiades' Dust album cover 4.39 | 6 ratings
Pleiades' Dust
Technical Death Metal 2016

GORGUTS live albums

GORGUTS Live in Rotterdam album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Rotterdam
Death Metal 2006

GORGUTS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

GORGUTS Demo'89 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Metal 1989
GORGUTS ...And Then Comes Lividity album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
...And Then Comes Lividity
Death Metal 1990

GORGUTS re-issues & compilations

GORGUTS Demo Antology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo Antology
Death Metal 2003
GORGUTS Considered Dead / The Erosion of Sanity album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Considered Dead / The Erosion of Sanity
Death Metal 2004

GORGUTS singles (0)

GORGUTS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 1998 · Technical Death Metal
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This album is a core influence upon much of what I can’t stand in modern trends of extreme Metal, so it’s no surprise I don’t like it very much. While a few Tech Death bands were already verging into what I call “Too-Progressive Metal” for the sake of pushing the skill envelope and showing off musical prowess, Gorguts took it a step further and created Dissonant Death Metal, which sacrificed all form of songwriting, riffing and memorable performance for the sole sake of creating something weird enough to continue pushing Extreme Metal in a… well, more extreme direction.

Much like how most Grindcore is simply taking things too far a lot of the time to prove they are the most fastest and most heaviest, so too does Dissodeath (at least in this Avant-Garde instance). Gorguts were more concerned with what they could do rather than what they should do. There is very little that is aurally pleasant on this album. The first song opens up with one of the most obnoxious guitar… leads, I guess, that I’ve ever heard. Atonal skronking, for what purpose? I guess cause it was new and unique. Then the guitar starts making some weird beeping noises, which is less offensive somehow. Atonal chords follow… Yeah, aside from the ever-impressive drumming and respectable talent, it’s just not my cup of tea. The songs jump around in sections so quickly there is no time to sit with anything they are trying to do. This leaves every song entirely unmemorable, save for the weird stuff they do that stands out (oh yeah, this is the track where the guitars sound like a choo choo train). Even the vocals started to wear me down, being a bit of a higher pitched bellow.

The worst part, for me, is that this totally worked for most people. Not only is the album hailed as a masterpiece, but so many bands took after them, deciding this insane new direction was the future. And yeah, it’s still going. A very unfortunate trend I see on many music discussion sites is that modern Metal isn’t worth your time unless it’s Avant-Garde Extreme Post Atmospheric Technical Progressive Metal. And that unfortunate obsession, all started right here…


Album · 1998 · Technical Death Metal
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Was anybody actually ready for an album like Obscura back in 1998? Watch any early live performance of these songs on Youtube, and what you’ll see is a crowd that’s practically motionless. They’re not moshing, instead just stunned and transfixed at the bizarre dissonance and calculated chaos playing out before them. In the same year that other tech-death landmarks such as The Sound of Perseverance were being released, Gorguts had already left the archetypal trappings and conventions of the genre far behind with an avant-garde metal masterwork that stood - and still stands today - as a monument to mental anguish and turmoil.

I get the sense that much of the confusion and surprise surrounding Obscura stemmed from the sheer leap forward from its predecessor. The Erosion of Sanity is more sophisticated than Considered Dead, sure, but it’s still a relatively straightforward death metal album. No one could have predicted something like Obscura; imagine if Death released Individual Thought Patterns immediately after Scream Bloody Gore. So what happened? Well… Steeve Hurdle happened. Luc Lemay might be the co-founder and bandleader of Gorguts, but he’s never going to find a better wingman than Hurdle. The duo’s combined artistic vision led to a level of experimentation and twisted chemistry that can’t be matched anywhere else in the group’s catalog; if you have any doubts of Hurdle’s involvement in this partnership, the liner notes credit both him and Lemay with the “artistic direction” of Obscura.

And what an artistic direction this is. All of death metal’s stereotypical traits and tropes have been thrown out the window in favor of abstract lyrics, strange chord structures, and ever-changing time signatures. Instead of being technical for technicality’s sake, however, Gorguts use their musical toolkit as a means of communicating intense feelings of dread, despair, and viscera. While the songwriting is impressive, the way these emotions and thoughts are conveyed through the songwriting is what makes it so effective. It’s as if every weird bout of dissonance and every alien guitar squeal is another layer of sanity being ripped away from the listener. Of course, the vocals are also a massive contributor to this. If Lemay sounds demented and savage - which he does - Hurdle acts as his tortured and agonized counterpart. Every time Hurdle lets out a lyric, even if it’s not particularly disturbing, he transforms it into a twisted and ugly affair with his horrible retching and heaving. And what’s so wild about all of this is that the record makes more and more sense with repeated listens; what seems like chaos starts falling into place once you let the deliberate nature of the songwriting and execution sink in.

Of course, I don’t want to leave bassist Steve Cloutier or drummer Patrick Robert out of the picture either; the fact that they can make sense of the musical madness on Obscura and play these crazy riffs so impeccably is a feat unto itself. Their precision and technical acumen is a perfect foil for Lemay and Hurdle’s insane ideas, leading to a lot of chemistry between all members. Everyone is locked in with each other, which is absolutely necessary for an album that could go flying off the rails at any given time. Obscura reminds me a lot of Calculating Infinity by The Dillinger Escape Plan in that regard; both records have a habit of letting chaos and control coexist in strange and creative ways. Sometimes the two mingle, and sometimes they clash with each other. Still, one thing is for certain: the members of Gorguts are ridiculously talented. As for the lyrics, they’re a substantial step up from the band’s previous output; the gore and social commentary of yesteryear were now replaced with writings on existentialism, spiritualism, and - you guessed it - despair. In any case, they prove to be just as abstract and peculiar as the music they’re accompanying, which seems appropriate.

But to answer my original question: no, people were not ready for Obscura back in 1998. There’s a reason Gorguts are commonly cited as pioneers of avant-garde metal; nothing sounded like this back then, in the technical death metal genre or otherwise. If the album had proven anything, it was that many of their contemporaries were already being left in the dust artistically. Because of Obscura, extreme metal would simply never be the same again.

GORGUTS Colored Sands

Album · 2013 · Technical Death Metal
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“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?


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!

GORGUTS Pleiades' Dust

EP · 2016 · Technical Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
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.

GORGUTS The Erosion of Sanity

Album · 1993 · Death Metal
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"The Erosion of Sanity" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian death metal act Gorguts. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in January 1993. The original album release features 8 tracks while the 2006 Metal Mind Productions digipack re-release (limited to 2000 copies) features 2 additional bonus tracks. "The Erosion of Sanity" was also re-released in 2004 by Roadrunner Records along with Gorguts first album "Considered Dead (1991)" on one CD. The lineup who recorded the debut album are the same who recorded "The Erosion of Sanity".

Stylistically the music on "The Erosion of Sanity" more or less continues down the US influenced technical death metal path that Considered Dead (1991) also tread. The performances are just tighter, the technicial level of playing is higher, and the compositions a bit more innovative. The influence from especially "Spiritual Healing (1990)"/"Human (1991)"-era Death is still pretty dominant, but Gorguts started the journey towards their own sound on this album, and you can hear signs of things to come throughout the album in the dissonant riffs (which they would make a trademark on "Obscura (1998)"), and intriguing rhythmic playing. Alledgedly bandleader/main composer/vocalist/guitarist Luc Lemay sat in on the sessions for "Effigy of the Forgotten (1991)" by Suffocation and found the experience greatly inspirational. So while "The Erosion of Sanity" is definitely not a clone of Suffocation, the complexity of the compositions and the technical playing on the album do take some clues from the New York band.

While the pace is generally a bit higher on "The Erosion of Sanity" compared to the debut the tempos are still predominantly mid- to fast paced. A few more blastbeat sections have sneaked into the music, but that´s about it. The material is pretty consistent in style and in quality, but it´s not exactly hook laden music, and the album lacks memorable moments, which makes it a bit of a monotone and one-dimensional listen. Something which is further helped along by the monotone growling vocals. Luc Lemay has a higher pitched and snarling growling delivery (Chuck Schuldiner is the closest reference) compared to the deeper growling vocals of many of his contemporaries, but somehow the aggression isn´t that convincing.

The sound production is darker, and more compact that the Scott Burns produced debut album and overall the sound production is a step up from the sound on "Considered Dead (1991)". So even though there are some issues with the songwriting lacking hooks, "The Erosion of Sanity" is still a quality release by Gorguts. It´s well played, well produced, and relatively well written, and had the music included more catchy moments/more varity between tracks I would probably have given it a 4 star (80%) rating, but as it is a 3.5 star (70%) rating seems more valid.

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siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Any fans of Gorguts should check out the one album from Negativa that was released between Obscura and From Wisdom To Hate. A bridge between the two but a different band with Lemay clearing steering the sound


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