Review Summary: Although it will most likely never receive as much attention as the critically acclaimed, "Obscura," it sure as hell meets, if not exceeds the bar that was set extraordinarily high by Gorguts's third album.
"Gorguts," is a name that every extreme metal fan knows. Whether you're a die-hard fan, or whether you've just heard the name float around from time to time, you most likely know that they are one of the bands that is usually attributed to the the initial growth and popularization -- I use that term lightly -- of technical death metal. The group's first two studio releases followed in a similar vein to what many death metal bands were doing at the time. Gorguts's third release "Obscura," provoked the interest of critics and fans alike. It was unlike their first two releases in many ways, the most notably being the usage of obscure (Get it, obscure, Obscura... hehe...) time signatures and wankery unlike any that the band had ever implemented into their music. Some love it, some hate it, but nothing changes the fact that it's usually thought of as Gorguts's best and most groundbreaking record. To be honest, I personally believed that there was no way that another Gorguts album would ever be able to surpass the sheer technicality and general listening appeal of Obscura
. That was until I heard, From Wisdom to Hate
Upon listening to the opening track of From Wisdom to Hate
, you may think that the album is a redone version of Obscura
. I promise you that that couldn't be further from the truth. Well, not exactly. In summary, I'd describe From Wisdom to Hate
as a death metal masterpiece that mixes the technicality of Obscura
, the riffing and the speed of the band's first two releases, and yes, even some of the wankery that we heard in Obscura
. Thankfully, the wankery is in much shorter supply on this album, so it acts more as a pleasant surprise rather than a repetitive nuisance.
Right from the opening of the first track Inverted
to the ending of the closing track Testimonial Ruins
, you are never able to catch a break from the intensity and brutality. In my opinion, that's one thing that this album delivers that Obscura
was not able to accomplish. Even when the music is "Calm," like during the ominous intro of The Quest for Equilibrium
, you always feel like the song is going to take a sudden turn and break into a speeding fast frenzy of maniacal guitar riffs, incomprehensibly technical and fast drums, and terrifying vocals. This aspect of Gorguts's music had always been present, but had never really been the main point of focus. On this record more than any other, Gorguts really shows their tendency to be completely unpredictable and original, which is something that many death metal bands could only dream of.
I feel that the main focus of this album should be the fact that Gorguts was able to take aspects from all of their previous releases, mash them into one technical, brutal album of pure genius, and make it work. Most bands that attempt to fuse elements from previous efforts either fail miserably, or they succeed, at the expense of abandoning their previous signature sounds and losing many fans in the process. I wish I knew how, but unlike 90% of bands that attempt this, Gorguts's end product wasn't a failure, nor a flawed, modified version of their original sound. Instead, it's a masterpiece unlike anything that they had done previously. All of the aspects of Gorguts that we know and love are present. They all work together in perfect conformity to craft an album unlike any technical death metal album that the world has ever seen.
Another aspect of this album that just adds to the entire experience is the revamped production quality. Unlike Obscura
, which felt entirely experimental and progressive, and unlike the bands first two releases, which just suffered from the traditional old-school death metal production quality that makes it extremely hard to distinguish any particular instruments, From Wisdom to Hate
has production quality that I could only describe as flawless. Every instrument is perfectly balanced, allowing for crystal clear clarity of every single part at work during any given time, whether instrumental or vocal. Also, the band was able to attain said level of perfection without overproducing the record. Everything still feels incredibly natural and raw, and that, at least in my opinion, is what the overall production quality of the album so perfect.
I listen to plenty of death metal bands. When I say plenty, I mean probably well over 100. I'm not quite sure what it is, but there's just something different about Gorguts. Whether it's the complete originality, the absolutely brilliant instrumentation, the mind-boggling technicality, or the raw production quality, I can say with absolute confidence that there is no death metal act out there today that can top Gorguts. Every single release is a pure gem of technical death metal in its own way, but I'm fairly certain that no record of theirs can ever quite reach the bar set by From Wisdom to Hate
- Technicality unlike any that the band had ever seen before
- Brilliant, unpredictable song structures
- Fantastic production
- Beautiful, unique instrumentation
- Some may not like the slower tempos of certain songs
- The record is only eight tracks and 40 minutes long! That's usually a reasonable length for an album, but this album is so brilliant, it just leaves you wanting more!
- Behave Through Mythos
- Unearthing the Past
- Elusive Treasures