So I know this is kind of old news–Luc Lemay of Gorguts posted a montage of new Gorguts material two days ago, but since my life sadly includes activities other than lurking around metal news sites, hammering the refresh key and hoping for tasty tidbits to appear, I didn’t get around to listening until now.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
It deserves mentioning that Gorguts are among my favorite metal bands, and that I consider their 1998 opus Obscura to be among the last great stylistic leaps forward in death metal history. So, needless to say I was just a wee bit excited to what Lemay and his new crew (Kevin Hufnagel and Colin Marston of Dysrhythmia, and John Longstreth of just about every band ever) have been up to.
I was also a little nervous, as I always am when a reformed legend releases new stuff. Nobody wants to see their heroes shit all over their own legacy.
Fortunately, that’s not what happened here. At all.
The new stuff is, from what little you can hear on the montage, is absolutely fucking stellar. The band’s signature sense of fucked-up melody and teeth-grinding dissonance are intact, and it appears that Longstreth has reined in his desire to blast frantically over every riff. Plus, while Hufnagel and Marston’s influence is definitely audible, it fits in just about perfectly with the band’s historical aesthetic.
So I’m ecstatic at the prospect of Gorguts returning in peak form, but their reappearance has also led me to wonder who among the death metal masses will be able to keep up. With a few exceptions–notably Ulcerate, Gojira, Portal, and Lykathea Aflame, among others–DM basically stagnated its way through the first decade of the 21st century, while peer genres like doom and black metal have evolved at a breakneck pace. Some might say that’s because death metal is a self-limiting genre that has nowhere left to go; I say that’s bullshit and that people are just lazy. Hopefully the return of some of the genre’s most challenging bands (Gorguts, Atheist, etc.) will light a fire under the new generation’s asses.