Music / Gorguts
Gorguts are a Canadian Avant-Garde Technical Death Metal
band. They formed in 1989 with Luc Lemay (vocals and guitar), Sylvain Marcoux (guitar), Éric Giguère (bass guitar) and Stephane Provencher (drums) as the original lineup. After a deal struck with Roadrunner with their demo, they released their debut album in 1991, later being released in 2004 along with the sophomore effort following suit. The first two albums are old-school death metal and are regarded as atypical efforts for the band, although many fans still regard them very highly.
In 1993, activity ceased until 1998, with Obscura
being released, with Lemay being the only original member left. When Hurdle left, Lemay got yet another new lineup. Steve MacDonald commited suicide in 2002, leading to Gorguts' split.
In 2008, however, Lemay reformed the band with yet another new lineup. Within that time up till 2013, they had been working on new material, which was leaked 2 months in advance, with Label Season of Mist releasing a digital release a month after.
As of March 2014, John Longstreth is no longer a member, as his schedule with Origin was incompatible with that of Gorguts. Patrice Hamelin will be manning the kit for all upcoming tours, but it's not clear as to whether he'll join as a full-time member or not.
- Luc Lemay – vocals, guitar (1989–2005, 2008–present)
- Kevin Hufnagel – guitar (2009–present)
- Colin Marston – bass guitar (2009–present)
- Patrice Hamelin – drums (2011-present)
Notable Past Members
- Steeve Hurdle (RIP 2012) – guitar, vocals (1993–1999)
- Steve MacDonald (RIP 2002) – drums (1993–1995, 1998–2002)
- Dan Mongrain – guitar (1999–2001)
- John Longstreth – drums (2009–2014)
- Considered Dead (1991)
- The Erosion of Sanity (1993)
- Obscura (1998)
- From Wisdom to Hate (2001)
- Colored Sands (2013)
- Pleiades' Dust (2016) - EP
This band provides the examples of the following:
- Avant-Garde Metal: They are credited with bringing avant-garde influences into Death Metal. Other bands before them, such as Demilich, had already done this to a certain extent, but arguably no one had done this to the extent that Gorguts did with Obscura.
- And Now For Something Completely Different/Genre Adultery: "The Battle of Chamdo" uses a string quartet instead of the usual distorted guitar/bass/drums instrumentation of death metal. It's still dissonant and creepy, though. "Clouded" also counts, being so slow in tempo that it could be considered a Death/Doom song.
- Breather Episode: "The Battle of Chamdo" again, sort of.
- Concept Album: Colored Sands explores Tibet and its relation to the outside world. Pleiades' Dust looks to be about the Middle East and its relation to the outside world.
- Despair Event Horizon: How MacDonald was Driven to Suicide.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Compared to what would follow, Considered Dead and to a lesser extent The Erosion of Sanity are very traditional death metal, as opposed to the band's later work.
- Epic Rocking: Many of their songs, especially post-Obscura. Pleiades' Dust is a full EP comprised of one 30+ minute track; their longest standalone album tracks are "Clouded" (9:32) and "Absconders" (9:08).
- I Am the Band: Luc Lemay
- Loudness War: Played straight on the CD versions of Obscura and From Wisdom to Hate, which is likely intended to make the sound of those albums even more dense and impenetrable, but averted on the LP versions. Also averted on Colored Sands, which probably isn't much of a surprise to anyone familiar with Colin Marston's mastering on other bands' works.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally in the hard 10 area, with Obscura being the hardest out of the lot due to its noisiness. Portions of their works could be considered to reach 11.
- Mythology: Became their lyrical theme as of Obscura.
- New Sound Album:
- Starting with Obscura, they ditched the old-school sound from the previous albums to their noisy, off-kilter, and frequently bizarre style of tech.
- From Wisdom to Hate mixed elements of both Obscura and the two older albums before the latter.
- Colored Sands was overall more on the prog side.
- Progressive Metal: Not on their early material, but arguably by Obscura and certainly by Colored Sands they were a prog death metal band.
- Revolving Door Band: Quite a few people have been members over the years.
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Obscura" -> "Earthly Love"; "The Quest for Equilibrium" -> "Unearthing the Past"; "Elusive Treasures" -> "Das Martyrium des...". Interestingly, despite being on opposite sides of the LP, "The Quest for Equilibrium" and "Unearthing the Past" remain Siamese Twin Songs on the LP version, which means that there is a sudden cutoff at the end of side 1 (but also means that a person ripping the vinyl can preserve the Siamese Twin Songs in their rip).
- Signature Style: Dissonant riffs overlapping with avant-garde-style music that happens to be loud and screechy to obtain a sound of uniqueness.
- Special Guest: James Murphy and Chris Barnes on Considered Dead, as well as a group of classical musicians on Colored Sands.
- Spiritual Successor: Negativa was intended to be this. Steeve Hurdle and (for a time) Luc Lemay were both members (Lemay left and reformed Gorguts because he wasn't as interested in the improvisational elements of Negativa's music). Unfortunately, Hurdle's death put a stop to that. The band did release one twenty-minute EP, which is pretty great.
- Start My Own: Negativa was originally the Spiritual Successor of Gorguts before Hurdle decided to change musical directions when he left, leading to the resurrection of Gorguts by Lemay.
- Technical Death Metal: Of the strange, noisy, dissonant type, for which they are generally considered to be the Trope Codifiers.
- Uncommon Time: Plentiful, as is par for the course with Technical Death Metal.
- Wolverine Publicity: Patrice Hamelin. Basically, if you're from Quebec and play death metal, odds are that he will either join your band or fill in for your drummer live at some point. His unbelievable technical skill and ability to learn large amounts of songs very quickly doesn't hurt either.