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Gorguts - "Pleiades' Dust" (CD/EP)

Gorguts - "Pleiades' Dust" CD/EP cover image

"Pleiades' Dust" track listing:

1. Pleiades' Dust (32:59)

Reviewed by on May 19, 2016

"Is it good metal worth listening to? Absolutely. Does it match the level of the band's previous album? Not quite."

Three years back, I was completely blown away by the Gorguts comeback record “Colored Sands.” At that point, the band hadn't put out a studio album in a whopping 12 years and “Colored Sands” was the perfect re-entry, managing to completely defy expectations but still satisfy on all fronts. It was technical, brutal, and insanely experimental, with a concept and theme that nobody saw coming.

Working to again keep fans on their toes, the Gorguts team decided to forgo the full-length album and instead do an EP... consisting of only one gigantic, 32-minute track. The end result is almost a complete album on its own right, since it is nearly as long as earlier albums like “From Wisdom To Hate” or “The Erosion Of Sanity.”

The massive, single-track release is always a dicey proposition. Both established, big-name bands (well, for the metal underground anyway) have tried it – Meshuggah comes to mind – as have plenty of truly unknown groups struggling to be noticed in the sea of on an oversatured scene. The problem is that it frequently feels unnecessary, since typically the track will have distinct segments anyway and could have just been multiple songs instead of a single experience.

On that front, Gorguts beats the competition. While there are loads of transitions between different styles, there are also clearly identifiable themes and recurring ideas, resulting in 32 minutes that mostly feels like a single experience. Across that half hour plus of music is a fascinating mix of discordant and melodic sounds. There's straight-up black/death metal, a technical bent to the guitar and bass work, and several bouts of atmospheric down time. The track even ditches metal for awhile to become completely ambient and spacey from 18:00 – 21:00.

Although working as a single track and offering plenty of different elements, where the EP falters is in presenting its theme and grabbing the audience's attention. There is an historical story behind the music again, but it doesn't come through as strongly as with “Colored Sands,” and quite frankly, the music just isn't as sonically interesting as that previous album. The tech aspects are there, but are toned down a bit, and much of the track actually feels fairly by-the-numbers for such an otherwise avant-garde band.

The end result of “Pleiades' Dust” is pretty standard tech black/death metal that doesn't really distinguish itself much from a horde of bands that have come up since Gorguts' inception. Is it good metal worth listening to? Absolutely. Does it match the level of the band's previous album? Not quite.

Highs: It's another sonic experiment from Gorguts, so you probably want to hear it

Lows: Quite a bit of this massive track is pretty by the numbers, and the three minutes of spacey downtime will be skippable after your first listen through

Bottom line: Gorguts experiments with a massive 32-minute track, to mixed results.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)