Gorguts
Obscura


5.0
classic

Review

by Dancin' Man USER (40 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2005 | 1206 replies | 57,767 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


Released by Olympic Records '98, Featuring:
Luc Lemay (vocals, guitar)
Steeve Hurdle (vocals, guitar)
Steve Cloutier (bass)
Patrick Robert (drums)

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.

If I had to recommend songs, I would say The Art of Sombre Ecstacy, Earthly Love, La Vie Est Prelude, Faceless Ones and Sweet Silence win. The track Clouded is almost a doom metal song at its super slow tempo and length. If any song were to 'not fit' here, this would be it (of course, the whole point of this album seems to be not fitting). People looking for a way to escape harsh vocals will be happy to learn that Sweet Silence is an instrumental song. Of course, like I said earlier, the instruments can often be more grating than the vocals and this song is no exception.

This album doesn't lack solos, but they are probably my least favorite part of the album. The riffs are generaly so complicated and interesting, I'm often disappointed by the solos. They seem almost below the skill level required to play the riffs. One thing I do like though is the lack of cohesiveness within the solos. They often hop around like a lame animal squeeking in and out of harmonics and often completely out of key making for some very dissonant noise that almost hurts to hear, but at the same time makes me crave more.

Buy this album. Plain and simple. If you want excellent death metal that will send your cats racing up the walls and leave your siblings crying, this is it. This is one of the quintessential death metal albums. Put this next to Cryptopsy's None So Vile and Death's Sound of Perseverance and this album will hold its ground unshakingly. When someone tells you to turn that racket off you should be happy because to almost everyone, this should sound like racket. Not until you truly listen and listen hard can you fully appreciat this album. The sick mindedness that must have gone into writing these riffs and creating such a disjointed album makes me queasy but at the same time craving more. Like a hard drug, this is addictive. It will only degenerate your soul, but you can never get enough.



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...


Comments:Add a Comment 
manuscriptreplica
May 4th 2005


431 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Excellent review. I can't believe Nostalgia isn't one of your favourite songs

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 4th 2005


2125 Comments


Very awesome album. The vocals are a bit crap but the rest is amazing.

Dancin' Man
May 4th 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I like my new method of review instead of the old track by track. Makes it easier to describe the album as a whole.

If you'll notice MR, I llisted 5 songs as my favorite off an album with only 12 songs total. One more and half the album would've been my favorite.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 4th 2005


2125 Comments


Yeah I like your new style too.

94_Hours
May 4th 2005


73 Comments


I hate track by tracks, i just review all the elements of the band like the guitar, drums and bass, vocals and lyrics.

Happymeal
May 13th 2005


330 Comments


I like how the vocalist could sound so tortured and anguish during the whole album. I just got this album yesterday and it's a bit hard to listen to at first but hopefully it'll grow on me more.

Freezing Moon
June 5th 2005


63 Comments


At first the singing kind of turned me off of this album, but recently I've given it another shot.

I can't say it's in my top 5 DM albums at the moment, but it is rapidly climbing up the ladder. I'm liking it more and more.

Great review.

Quebec
July 29th 2005


11 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Obscura

La vie est prélude


2 of the best DM songs ever.

and they're from QC.....

fuck yeah!

Killtacular
December 6th 2005


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=the review, silly]It blows None So Vile out of the water and I still consider that album a solid 4.5/5.[/quote]

This is quite a claim. Such a large claim, in fact, that I believe I'll have to check this album out.

Dancin' Man
December 6th 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well duh. This album is one of my favorites of all time still. It may even have lasted longer than Lateralus at this point, seeing as how I turn that on these days and can't listen to more than one song.

manuscriptreplica
December 22nd 2005


431 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm just posting to remind everyone how great 'Earthly Love' is!

Shadows
Moderator
December 22nd 2005


2530 Comments


I listened to this a while ago and it didn't appeal to me too much. It was weird stuff. Not terrible but not even close to None So Vile.

IMO

Stoic
December 24th 2005


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont think there's point in comparing Obscura with None so Vile since they dramatically differ from each other. Obscura is unique, I dont remember any other album to have such a sound. Does anyone know what effect was used on the bass?

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 24th 2005


2125 Comments


I love the first track:


chug chug chug boom boom WAECH OOOM boom WAECH OOOM

Stoic
December 24th 2005


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

EXACTLY! :lol: It's so crunchy and unlike what Pete said I love the solos.

Dancin' Man
December 24th 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, after going back I realize the solos are amazing. When I wrote this, I was obsessed with Necrophagist so my idea of a good solo was different.

Dancin' Man
December 24th 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, after going back I realize the solos are amazing. When I wrote this, I was obsessed with Necrophagist so my idea of a good solo was different.

Shadows
Moderator
December 24th 2005


2530 Comments


It's been a while, so I'll give this another try. I'm definitely more into death metal now then I was back then.

Alright, so I'm listening to this now. Weird, strange, unusual stuff.

I'm enjoying this. This Message Edited On 12.24.05

Werny
February 7th 2006


148 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Such a varied album, such trippy atmosphere, such emotion in some songs, such heaviness (the title track... woooh), such technicality...

Yeah. I love this. I think the best tracks are Obscura, Clouded and Nostalgia.

Dancin' Man
February 7th 2006


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Clouded?! are you ferseryus? That track is awful. By far the worst on the album. It feels really half assed in comparison to the rest of the album, not because it's slower but because the it feels less thoughtout and interesting.



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