Reviews : Albums : Gorguts, "From Wisdom To Hate"

Gorguts, "From Wisdom To Hate"

Gorguts have picked up where Morgoth derailed, deliver what Nile promised and satisfy what Morbid Angel lately leaves hungery. From Wisdom to Hate is a monster of an album, written and performed by a band firing on all cylinders and continuing to assert their credibility after years of second-rung status.

Face it, Gorguts was never what you'd call "cutting edge," even back in the day. They came out in the Tampa death explosion [via Canada], had their standard issue Morrisound production and Seagrave album art and not much more. But after a long silence, they released Obscura, which came as a shocking air raid from a band that had been flying under the radar for a long time. If Obscura was made to wake people up, From Wisdom to Hate is the education now that they're listening again.

They've got some kind of Sumerian/Assyrian theme going on this time, with each song being prefaced in the lyric sheet by a short text that's either a very poor French-to-English translation or an attempt at replicating some ancient tongue. The ancient vibes continue in the lyrics and are brilliantly followed through in the music. Rather than relying on cheap samples or an electric sitar to get that desert sound, Gorguts have created a crumbling wall of ancient rage that truly feels foreign, with strange, off rhythms loosening into exotic harmonies and melodies as Lemay and new guitarist Daniel Mongrain explore and bring home strange new sounds just before the whole band locks up and pounds out some new tribalistic beat.

The songs are like old friends, pulling in the best elements of death metal, injecting them with an eerie melodicism and letting the hooks slowly sink deep. You can hear influence from a number of bands, but they aren't copying anyone and when they do get close to someone else's sound, they usually pull it off far, far better. There's a lot of incredible guitar interplay that creates a tomblike vibe, a thick and sinister creep across the graveyard...quiet steps lead by vicious intent. Starting with the abstraction of Inverted, the album hands off the Pestilence-ish keyboard intro to The Quest for Equilibrium, drops a devastating guitar solo in the fury of Das Martyrium Des, and peaks with the epic smolder of Elusive Treasures.

You can practically feel the sands shifting beneath your soles.

Standout Tracks

   From Wisdom to Hate
   The Quest for Equilibrium
   Elusive Treasures
   Das Martyrium Des