Review Summary: Gorguts produce a masterpiece with their third album
Gorguts' legendary third studio album is one of the most strange, weird, down right mental releases you will ever come across. The first riff shows off straight away the nonsensical nature of Luc Lemay's band's release. This is an album that has gone on to be considered a classic of technical death metal, and rightfully so.
Many people would consider this to just be a mess of sound at first listen, and it is certainly an acquired taste that takes several listens to properly sink in. The guitars weave in and out of the thumping bass lines and ever-adjusting drum patterns to make for a cacophony of sound unlike any ever released. Factor in Luc's tortured growls that are present right from the opening song, and you are onto something both frightening and very special indeed. Obscura is a rather long album for death metal, clocking in at just over an hour long, but it is also one that definitely needs this length of time to show off all of it's glorious little twists and turns.
Technicality in music today too often equates to merely being a case of which band can shred a thousand notes as fast as they can or which band can throw in as many sweeps as possible, as has been evidenced by bands like Brain Drill and Origin. On this album by Gorguts, however, the technicality is found in the sheer bizarre nature of the music.
This is an album that refrains from keeping the same tempo for more than a few seconds, with the drums switching between very complex mid-paced lines and exceedingly quick blast beats in the blink of an eye. Earthly Love slows things down for a short period of time with an atmosphere-developing plodding riff played whilst the drums rest a little bit with a few fills. This is technicality taken to overkil, but at the same time it is songs like Earthly Love that shows that this release still maintains a groove to it.
Of all the songs here, Clouded would have to be the best of the lot. This has more of a doom metal element to it, with its really slow nature, and it proves exactly why Gorguts are seen as being the kings of dissonanse. Luc's vocals are absolutely riotous here, with some really tortured lower growls that complement the super-slow tempo perfectly. If there were one song I would recommend from Obscura, it would be this one.
Gorguts really did produce a masterpiece with Obscura, an album that takes many listens to fully understand but when it clicks, you will be reveling in its superior instrumental work to nearly every album ever released.