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Gorguts - "Colored Sands" (CD)

Gorguts - "Colored Sands" CD cover image

"Colored Sands" track listing:

1. Le Toit du Monde
2. An Ocean of Wisdom
3. Forgotten Arrows
4. Colored Sands
5. The Battle of Chamdo
6. Enemies of Compassion
7. Ember's Voice
8. Absconders
9. Reduced to Silence

Reviewed by on October 15, 2013

"The more than decade long absence was worth the wait, as 'Colored Sands' just destroys on all fronts, and moves into new musical territory for Gorguts."

Unleashing a comeback album that for once does not disappoint, Luc Lemay and company are back with a vengeance, offering up the devastating “Colored Sands.” Twelve years is a long time between releases, and while the sound has most definitely changed from the Gorguts that fans may remember, the new tunes haven’t lost the technicality or experimental attitude.

These nine tracks heavily crank up the atmosphere, but thankfully not at the expense of the metal. Much of the album features the off-kilter, disturbing vibes found from bands like Dodecahedron or Deathspell Omega. In fact the disc has a whole is really more along the lines of avant-garde black metal than the expected death metal assault.

But if the “death” half of the tech-death equation has been toned down, what about the “tech?” Make no mistake – “Colored Sands” is still technical to the core, and there’s a hugely prominent bass element to be found. In fact there are some parts where the breakneck chaos is barely constrained and it even gets a little overbearing, like on “Enemies of Compassion.”

The concept and lyrics this time around deal with the Tibetan landscape and culture, as well as the choosing of the Dalai Lama, which leads to some interesting changes in the music. “The Battle of Chamdo” – the album’s shortest track at a little under five minutes – is the major curveball, ditching metal entirely and instead offering film-score style strings. Rather than an instrumental interlude, it’s a full-on track of its own with fantastic arrangements. Frankly it needs to be made into an animated music video post-haste (think “Drag Ropes” from Storm Corrosion, but, you know, not boring).

The more than decade long absence was worth the wait, as “Colored Sands” just destroys on all fronts, and moves into new musical territory for Gorguts. Time will tell if this is a one-off assault from the band or just the beginning of a new chapter in Gorguts history. Either way this is an album well worth the time and effort.

Highs: Tech-death meets avant-garde black metal for amazing results.

Lows: There are times when the chaos could actually be restrained for better effect.

Bottom line: Gorguts is back with a vengeance, and the long awaited return does not disappoint!

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)