Gorguts - _From Wisdom to Hate_
by: Adam Lineker (
Opening with a bizarre riff, including guitar harmonics that sound more like a squeaky gate and a snare drum that sounds more like someone tapping a pot with a pencil, Gorguts create raw, intense feelings and complex riffs, but nothing stands out on its own and the song structure is merely identified by sections, i.e. this is the fast bit, this is the slow bit and this is the solo. The riff progressions and melodies are occasionally impenetrable and it is nigh on impossible to whistle any of this. We have a limited bio that claims their previous opus _Obscura_ was like nothing that had been done before and that _From Wisdom to Hate_ is a progression of this. What we have in reality is rough and very progressive death metal. The musicianship of this band is in evidence as they almost go overboard on complexity, with time signatures and dissonance aplenty. The sound is dark and ominous in a style akin to Nile. We often get similar-sounding riff progressions in harmonic minor, which creates the ambience. The mix is raw in a way that makes early Deicide sound slickly produced and the drums suffer particularly, with the otherwise tight kick-drums lacking prominence and the gated snare sounding plain annoying when they blast. The guitars lack the razor edge that can mean so much in terms of impact, becoming sludgy, and the vocals are powerful but lamentably monotone. Musically this is occasionally enjoyable and in equal measure not so. The complexity of the music is the most prominent stylistic trait and sometimes this makes for an inspirational musical experience, but occasionally lapses into an unattractive cacophony. Consequently this is only half absorbing, particularly as the songs are lengthy. It is all very extreme and full credit must be given to the effort and craft gone into producing this work, but the quality is variable. I enjoyed "Elusive Treasures" a lot, with its many dark corridors of expression and mood, but found opening track "Inverted" nothing short of a chore to sit through. In many songs, specific sections stand out as the music ebbs and flows with your interest levels. The last track is one of the few that kept my interest and, somewhat tellingly, it was an instrumental. _From Wisdom to Hate_ is dark, extreme and progressive but it doesn't always translate into a vital musical experience. It's good stuff but it has been done better. [Brian Meloon: "After the masterful _Obscura_, I think anything Gorguts released would be considered a disappointment. _From Wisdom to Hate_ isn't a groundbreaking album, preferring to stay close to the formula that _Obscura_ developed and tweaking a little around the edges. Ultimately, this album offers little that Gorguts haven't done before."]
(article published 9/1/2002)
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