Gorguts
Obscura


1.5
very poor

Review

by SomeSayShesNaive USER (7 Reviews)
January 26th, 2015 | 162 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The line between weird and good has been drawn.

I still robustly remember hearing the news of Gorguts's breakup. I had been a big fan of their debut and 1993 effort and to understand that a first-class and congenial metal band had hung up the guitar straps was quite discommoding. After some years, rumors abode that a Gorguts was returning for a late 1997 or early 1998 release, though I thought it would be to good to be true. They said it would be heavy, they said it would experimental, they said it would be unlike anything the metal biome had before heeded. Technically they were right, Gorguts just forgot about being good.

Gorguts's decisions on Obscura are enigmatic to say the least. Guitars slide and whine about with little direction, as if its members are attempting to stylize a new genre of metal without knowing at all what separates a sub genre from the main genus; every riff, give or take about four, sounds like an extended goof-around improv jam session. More so, Gorguts appears to be more focused on being needlessly uncouth by using various tactics, mainly incorporating uncommon time signatures into the music above actually making quality music. Simply writing a riff in 19/8 or 11/4 or 47.1032/16 does not merit actual intelligent song writing, but rather shows sloppy and pretentious ability in scripting music. Atop of that is the fact that every song rambles on for several minutes more than necessary. The dreadful filler track "Clouded" plods on for nine and a half minutes and "The Art Of Sombre Ecstasy" goes on for nearly 12 minutes, although there is one admittedly cool riff in the song. There could have been two catchy riffs in the song but the second one is ruined by horrendous and abortive pinch harmonics. Among more of the confusing and questioning moments include the random scratchy viola solo in "Earthly Love" that arrives from thin air and disappears just as swiftly. Almost every riff on Obscura sounds identical to the last, almost every solo sounds identical to the last. No originality or trenchancy went into this album whatsoever, and the fact that just about every song on this album is filler, including the retched and snore inducing "Clouded" that has no reason to be on this album, as well as the even more useless "Sweet Silence" which may double as the least exciting or memorable closer in death metal, progressive metal, and experimental history. Even "La Vie Est..." has four minutes of complete silence at the end of its track, I suppose as a mislaid attempt at being artsy. Even then, "Faceless Ones" immediately begins with one of the worst main riffs in history.

Luc Lemay is, quite possibly, the worst death growler in the genre, and although he has never been of quality, his vocal ailments are more prevalent here than ever before. His roars sound more akin to a lonely hound dying of pneumonia and his regular growls sound no better. Steeve Hurdle's vocals are passable, although not particularly interesting, and are a breathe of fresh air after the ghostly moans from Luc's gaping oral cavity. Every single moment spend on Luc opening his mouth agape is spent with the listener cringing in pain, resisting the urge to skip the song with inhuman ease. Luc's vocals are also matched with some of the most atrocious lyrics I've ever heard; he seems to be under the impression that using arbitrary SAT vocabulary and words with more than nine letters automatically make for artsy and intelligent music, when most of the lyrics make absolutely zero sense. "Latest being drowned, In fictive degradation, Coming depression revolved, Around an Earth, Nostalgia excludes the whole. As spleen takes over me, Resoundable ionics, the echoes of my threnodies, And then the fact of being, Has no longer meaning, The hymns of light, They'll sing once I'll be gone." What? I still I have no feasible clue of what that even possibly means.

Does anything save this overlong 61-minute agglomeration of monstrously poor writing? There are some catchy riffs here and there, mainly including the slower riffs in "Earthly Love" and "The Art Of Sombre Ecstasy" and I'd say "Nostalgia" comes close to being a good death metal track, as its first half is the only thing on this album that doesn't sound identical to everything else. Contrary, "Nostalgia" still suffers from Luc Lemay's abysmal vocals and his lyrics here are among the worst on the entire album. It is clear the band loved the track because they used the chorus riff as the main riff for "Subtle Body" just two songs later; it is the exact same riff nearly note for note. Otherwise, Gorguts has done better but this Sputnik rating genuinely baffles me. A 4.4 for this bludgering mess? Obscura writhes from the Tim Burton syndrome; the populace relishes it because it's odd, avant-garde, and sometimes challenging, and they deem that automatically makes it a work of art.

Pros:
Some good and catchy riffs on "Nostalgia," "Earthly Love," and "Art Of Sombre Ecstasy"

Cons:
Horrendous riffs
Sounds like a complete mess
Abysmal vocals
Pretentious and quasi-artsy lyrics
Needlessly weird
Too long



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user ratings (1574)
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jots
Emeritus
January 26th 2015


7562 Comments


uh oh

MO
January 26th 2015


24049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ugh for fuck's sakes

BigPleb
January 26th 2015


65799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Learn to Nostalgia.



Review isn't too good and that rating isn't real, I've decided.

Frippertronics
Emeritus
January 26th 2015


19536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

time for the collective userbase to sperg out?

elcrawfodor
January 26th 2015


1267 Comments


"Almost every riff on Obscura sounds identical to the last"

Could not disagree more. Good on you for daring to write a negative review for such a popular album for your second review, though.

Funeralopolis
January 26th 2015


14586 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ok I'm not even much of a fan of this album but:



"Luc Lemay is, quite possibly, the worst death growler in the genre."



No way, Lemay is one of the greatest harsh vocalists of all time.

Jots
Emeritus
January 26th 2015


7562 Comments


(edit: fixed)

also, I'd recommend not basing your final criticism on what others have rated the album

MO
January 26th 2015


24049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ hard about the what other people have rated it



what's funny is that you give this a 1.5 and Colored Sands a 4.5...they're not THAT different you know

BigPleb
January 26th 2015


65799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Saying Luc's vocals suck lol, that's not even an opinion that's just plain WRONG.

TheSonomaDude
January 26th 2015


9126 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No.



I commend you for trying your damnedest for backing your argument but I'm not sure if I can pos this because this rating for this album is shocking.

elcrawfodor
January 26th 2015


1267 Comments


"I studied at Stanford University and St Columb's and still I have no feasible clue of what that even possibly means."

I'd recommend taking this sentence out, it comes off as a bit show-offy. You should be discussing the work itself
objectively and remove yourself from the review, not reminding us of your own qualifications as a reviewer. We'll know if
you're qualified based on the quality of what you write.

Ryus
January 26th 2015


37432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

some of the points you make seem to be there only for the purpose of backing up your opinion even though they arent true

SomeSayShesNaive
January 26th 2015


535 Comments


Some constructive criticism has been acknowledged and accepted.

SomeSayShesNaive
January 26th 2015


535 Comments


"some of the points you make seem to be there only for the purpose of backing up your opinion even though they arent true"

Being?

elcrawfodor
January 26th 2015


1267 Comments


^they're probably talking about you saying there was no originality in this album. I'm giving it another listen now because of this review, and it still sounds nothing like anything else I've heard. The way everything sounds dissonant and messy but strangely melodic and coherent. It's largely cited as one of the most ground-breaking albums in tech/prog death metal.

Ryus
January 26th 2015


37432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

being "Luc Lemay is, quite possibly, the worst death growler in the genre."

"Almost every riff on Obscura sounds identical to the last, almost every solo sounds identical to the last. "

BloodSweatandBeers
January 26th 2015


1034 Comments


stick 2 Madonna bitch leave the reel music 2 teh big boys

SomeSayShesNaive
January 26th 2015


535 Comments


When I refer to this albums' unoriginality, I understand that nothing else sounds like this album. I'm
referring to the mentality the writers had when coming up with ideas for song material; instead of actually
sitting down and thinking about things that could contribute to great music, it appears they just said "is
this weird enough?" and if so, they used it.

Just my two cents.

Relinquished
January 26th 2015


48819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this isn't the easiest album to get into but give it more time

SomeSayShesNaive
January 26th 2015


535 Comments


'stick 2 Madonna bitch leave the reel music 2 teh big boys'

Right. Ignore my 14% death metal voting percentage and the fact that my username is a Death reference. Right. Ignore my want to expand my tastes beyond one genre. Right.



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