Review Summary: Gorguts take a creative leap into the progressive realm, and the results are crushingly heavy, yet stunningly put together to make one of their best records ever.
Released in late 2013, after over 10 years of hiatus and planning, Gorguts’ “Colored Sands” was a major comeback, with the addition of 3 new band members, and a new vision to further Gorguts brand of technical death metal. The new members consisted of drummer John Longstreth from the technical death metal band Origin, and guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bassist Colin Marston, formerly of Dysrhythmia. These 3 new members brought a refreshing new sound for Gorguts, and helped to show how the band has evolved and advanced their structure to fit with the vision of master songwriter Luc Lemay. The result was the most crushing album of 2013, and is a must-get, if you are into death metal, or even the metal scene at all.
Musically, “Colored Sands” couldn’t get any more complex without sounding too forced. Guitars are woven together to make eerie, almost nightmarish riffs that draw you into each individual song's cold world. Unlike their masterwork “Obscura”, “Colored Sands” is much more deliberate in culminating to the most heavy parts of the songs here. 6/8 blast beats combined with down tuned guitars accompany most of the song’s on this record, For Example, the album’s opener “Le Toit Du Monde” Has a very catchy bass riff that compliments the guitar structure of the song very well. The influences from “Obscura” are still visible here, but the structures of the songs are much less frantic and therefore much slower, but still have a sense of looming disaster that eventually approaches and overwhelms the listener. There is a 5 minute respite in the middle of the album with the 5-minute string piece “The Battle of Chamdo”, which is a perfectly ominous lead into the latter half of the album. Luc Lemay shows his songwriting prowess through many ways, but mostly the intricate riffs and transitions that make this album such a twisting, insane, but extremely enjoyable roller coaster.
Many bands have tried to recreate Gorguts’ “Obscura” era sound, or at least mold it into something that closely resembles it, with popping riffs, squealing lead guitars (and bass), and frantic drumming. And there is also no denying the influence this band has had on numerous tech death bands (Gorod, Ulcerate).However, through this release, it is seen that few metal bands can match the creativity of Gorguts when it comes to insane songwriting, crushingly heavy guitar leads, and even the under-appreciated lyrics that speak of emotion, wisdom, the human condition, and various other topics that let you take a further look into the endlessly creative mind of Luc Lemay. No band can ever replicate Gorguts’ sound, because they have proven with this release that their sound is a constantly evolving organism that is not limited by anything. A huge, creative, and very respectable release by a band that will hopefully continue to be all of those things and more.