Review Summary: Is "Pleiades' Dust" just 33-minutes of "Colored Sands" condensed into one song? Yeah, it basically is. Is that in its own right a wonderful thing? Absolutely.
Only Gorguts could disappear for over a decade then rise from the abyss and still
claim the status as the greatest death metal band around. This is probably more indicative of the fact that death metal as a genre has been moving like a stuck car, slinging mud while its wheels spin wildly, but I digress.Truthfully, Gorguts have always been held in high regard as one of the more inventive bands in the genre, because they're just that ***ing good.
Since the late 90s Gorguts have occupied a niche of death metal that straddles the line between good ol' fashioned classic death and technical metal. Combined to make a dissonant and masterful sound, each Gorguts record has earned a classic status among genre fans. That being said, even Luc Lemay has his influences. The band's latest release, Pleiades' Dust
, takes a page from Deathspell Omega's Chaining the Katechon
, a beefy EP that saw the French black metal act try their hand at a long form composition. As one of Lemay's favorite 'weird metal albums' his emulation is quite obvious.
Not so unexpectedly, Gorguts' attempt at emulation arrives with glorious results.
Chronicling The House of Wisdom in Baghdad, Lemay once again shows his prowess at tackling oft looked over subjects while tapping into historical context. A 33-minute foray about a library seems over indulgent at first, and really that feeling sort of sticks around. Grand ambitions and bold statements run the gamut in death metal so an epic track that surrounds one of the greatest resources of knowledge seems strangely fitting. Of course this is created by a vehicle called Gorguts
, but once more, I digress.
It goes without saying that Pleiades' Dust
is Gorguts firing on all cylinders (because when are they not?) The EP sounds, well, perfect
. Gorguts are a perfect band who never sound anything less than masterful. The hazy dissonance and brute technicality is better than ever. As wonderful as Colored Sands
sounded, Pleiades' Dust
sounds even better. The band's most recent era is brought to the forefront, as the song dips into strange and melodic territory quite often, with the eerie beauty of "La Toit du Monde" rearing its head in some unexpected places. A sense of dread festers throughout which is made more complicated when moments of lush ambient set an ambiguous tone.
And while these moments are lovely in their own right, the way that they are organized is where Pleiades' Dust
trips up a bit. When Gorguts first premiered the EP the news came coupled with a 'segment' from the song. This segment feels, in its own right, like a fully fleshed out song with a distinct identity separate from any other context. That is the theme that permeates the EP--awkward and obvious transition. Never do the transitions seem jarring. However, in some cases the smooth and ambient outros that lead into intros seem so obvious and shoe horned in. Of course they are necessary, but it gives the listener a nudging reminder that yeah, this is basically just an EP formed into a big song.
Yet the song is always so compelling, so rich and vibrant, so immaculately layered that in the end it doesn't really matter. Gorguts, as usual, have created a death metal masterpiece. No one does it better. Dissonant, complex, and brilliantly technical (Kevin Hufnagel's bass work wasn't even covered here), Pleiades' Dust
is a little experiment that achieves a level of greatness that many bands could never hope to achieve.
Is the EP just 33-minutes of Colored Sands
condensed into one song? Yeah, it basically is. Is that in its own right a wonderful thing? Absolutely.