Gorguts - Obscura

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"This album is excellent. If ever I am to recommend an excellent death metal album, I recommend this one. It carries as much in-genre originality as anyone is likely to hear. The popping and squealing guitars and bass might sound like a caucophonous mess to someone with virgin ears but once you realize thar those pops and squeals are extremely technical riffs, you understand the magic of Obscura. Of all of Gorguts amazing releases, Obscura is the best. It launches them into the front of the pack of technical death metal but doesn't leave you shaking your head at excessive wanking or random brutality.

Speed is not in short supply here but it is also not excessive. Every note can be heard and that can be attested to both the skill of guitarists Luc and Steve Hurdle, and to the discretion on the part of the band for not maxing out their talents which would give the album a completely different sound. If a song like Earthly Love were to just charge through at top speed, the near break down sections would entirely lose their effect. Though this is not a top speed album, Patrick Robert must be having quite a workout behind the set as he delivers and enfilade of blast beats and rolls. His drum parts are definitely creative and technical but he doesn't stick out quite as well as say, Quebec cousin Cryptopy's drummer Flo Mournier. As a side note, ex-guitarist Daniel Mongrain is a live guitarist for Cryptopsy.

The nearly avant-garde nature of this album can sometimes be distracting as you get lost listening to just one part and all of a sudden realize that you have completely tuned out everything else, including other parts of the song. Though the vocals are pretty standard death metal fare, they are rarely the most grating part of the music. The arrangements of pop squeal guitars and blasting drums often are so assaulting that you entirely lose track of the vocals. The formula almost seems to be, when there are vocals, make sure the music outweighs them and only resort to harmonious melody when they disappear. Not that the songs are nearly that predictable but in a general grand sheme of the album, that seems to be the case. No, this is certainly one of if not the most complex album I have ever heard. It blows None So Vile out of the water and I still consider that album a solid 4.5/5.


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