Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gorguts - From Wisdom To Hate

From Wisdom To Hate
Deepsend Records

For a decade, Canadian based death metal act Gorguts managed to release four full-length albums, all of which drew considerably high acclaim from both critics and fans alike. But despite their overwhelming praise for the band’s output, success seemed to elude the Quebec band, which eventually led to the band’s split in 2005.
But after a lengthy absence from the scene, Gorguts (Vocalist/guitarist/founder Luc Lemay (Who for a while was a member of Negativa) is now joined by Dysrhythmia guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, Dysrhythmia/Behold... The Arctopus bassist Colin Marston and Dim Mak/Origin/The Red Chord/Skinless/Angelcorpse drummer John Longstreth), have returned with plans for the band to release their long awaited new album before the end of the year.
In the meantime, Deepsend Records have decided to re-release the band’s fourth full-length album ‘From Wisdom To Hate’, which has for many years commanded high prices as the album has long been out of print.
Released in 2001 through Olympic Recordings, ‘From Wisdom To Hate’ was the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 1998’s ‘Obscura’. Given the technical/avant-garde direction Gorguts took on ‘Obscura’, many were expecting the band to take the same path direction wise on ‘From Wisdom To Hate’. But to many fans’ surprise, Gorguts took a completely different tact on ‘From Wisdom To Hate’, with the album dividing listeners. Some hailed the album as one of the band’s finest works to date, with the technical aspects of ‘Obscura’ balanced perfectly with the aggressive sounds heard on their first couple of albums (1991’s ‘Considered Dead’ and 1993’s ‘The Erosion Of Sanity’). Some however were disappointed with the lack of extremity and progression on the album compared to former release.
In a lot of ways, I can appreciate the opinions expressed from both camps. The lack of progressive/technical elements within the album, and the tempo on the majority of the album’s eight tracks are slower and more grooved based. But that’s not to say that the sounds heard throughout ‘Obscura’ have completely disappeared, with songs such as the opening blast of the experimental ‘Inverted’, ‘Behave Through Mythos’ and ‘Testimonial Ruins’ retaining much of the technically inclined influences from the band’s more recent past.
Elsewhere, the band aim for a more calculated and subtle technical edge through strong and heavier groove based pieces, with the title track ‘From Wisdom To Hate’, ‘The Quest For Equilibrium’ (Which is preceded by a cool instrumental piece from Lemay), the ever shifting duality of ‘Elusive Treasures’ and the instrumental ‘Das Martyrium Des...’ examples of Gorgut’s new direction, as well as representing the strongest cuts on the album overall.
Having languished for years out of print, Deepsend Records’ re-release of Gorguts last studio release is a welcome one. And with the band due to make a return towards the tail end of the year with something new, the timing is perfect for fans to once again rediscover this long lost death metal gem.

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© Justin Donnelly

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