Friday, January 6, 2012

Gorguts - From Wisdom to Hate - 2001

The 2001 release from Gorguts is an overshadowed record following their climactic album: Obscura. Unfortunately, due to this recognition of Obscura as their magnum opus, so to speak, their album From Wisdom to Hate is a greatly under appreciated follow-up. All the elements of a pounding and solid record, are put forth and blasted through speakers of the damned. The main difference in tone for this album likely comes the change of line-up- which includes Voivod and Martyr's Daniel Mongrain and his distinct technical and crunchy tone. From listening to From Wisdom to Hate, I could immediately discern that Mongrain was their guitarist by how he approached soloing and his over all guitar complexion. The experimental difference is subtle, but apparent, by dabbling in the different sounds a guitar makes, as opposed to riff writing or even beat changes.

The album opens with Inverted, blasting with a popping snare drum and a very unique sounding pick slide that becomes a riff in itself, like an even more radical pinch harmonic. Eventually the song takes a break from the blast beats and drags itself into a sludgey and deep refrain. On some parts of the album, the band seems to intentionally drone to contrast between their unrelenting blast beats and brutally fast harmony. As well, the transitions between such parts are either choppy, just to showcase this contraposition in dynamics, or smooth and seemless; Such as the change from tracks Behave Through Mythos to From Wisdom to Hate. The two tracks could have very well been the same song, and one would have never known from just hearing the album.  Side A of the record ends with a chunky tune which opened with a foreboding synthonic and a doomily climbing bit.  Marked with bells of misery, which set up the full feel of the track- The Quest for Equilibrium felt like the perfect way to bring a slight intermission and let the first half of this album to settle in one's soul.

With Unearthing the Past it's back to brutal business, and nothing does this business better than the straight forward, but sanguinary sounding machination of this metal track. Elusive Treasures offers a myriad of things to listen for and might even be considered the gem of the album, of course this is subjective. It does offer resounding beauty in dynamics and left me on the edge with quick build-ups and bursting aggression. I am quite relieved that Gorguts did not abuse fade in's and fade out's, with only one fade-out on Das Martyrium Des... but that nicely lead into the outro track of the album which stomps to a similar sound as Inverted to tie up the album.

Luc Lemay's vocal style often reminds me of David Vincent of Morbid Angel, with deep growls and consistency in tone and range.  Lyrical content is strongly critical of theology and the bombastic praise of deities and the hypocrisy of irrational belief in higher beings. Conquest is also covered, in the way that those who wielded the sword and made great capital gains with land and wealth were able to twist history in their favour. This gain and brutality, will of course, garner impetuous terror on those conquered. The lyrics are very nicely constructed, and never seeming to repeat the same scheme of rhyme, make for an eye-widening read as one connects the lyrics to the vocals. 

The time signatures are jazzy, or can be described as "jazz-blasted technical death metal". This uncommon feature really sets Gorguts apart from other assumed "brutal death metal" bands, and makes them that much more of a joy to listen to. Once again, the jazz texture may be a mark of Mongrain, which also shines evidently in Martyr's music. The overall vicissitude of the album makes for a very good listen, and many repeat hearings, and there is always something more to take note of in terms of the fluctuation of the atmosphere. The fluidity from track to track on side B is astoundingly well produced, and one feels almost like this album slipped through their ears too quickly. However overlooked, this album offers a multitude of unwavering progressions and insightful flowing lyrics.

A War on Music vinyl re-issue!

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