Gorguts

From Wisdom to Hate

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After releasing the extremely challenging Obscura album, Gorguts left fans and critics wondering where they would turn next. Would they continue in that record's aggressively experimental direction, or tone things down to something more in line with the more standard (and less controversial) death metal of their first two albums? From Wisdom to Hate shows the answer to be "both" (or "neither," depending on how you look at it). On one hand, this music is certainly not stereotypical death metal fare, something that's clear in everything from the difficult (beyond math rock) time signatures to the discordant guitar parts, which utilize advanced harmonies rarely heard in the genre and frequently bypass traditional power chords altogether. Even the song structures themselves are unique, often based on detailed, interlocking patterns that cycle over and over (see "Elusive Treasures"), as opposed to relying on standard riff sequences or verse-chorus-verse forms. On the other hand, From Wisdom isn't quite as far-out as its predecessor. Luc Lemay's vocals, while still rather agonizing, are not the same as the abrasive, high-pitched wailing on Obscura -- they're much deeper. In addition, the tempos are steadier and less extreme, while the actual songs aren't as crammed with details, making them easier to follow. (Drummer Steve MacDonald, replacing Obscura's Patrick Robert, is less inclined to fill every space with an insane blastbeat or drum fill, which contributes to this change.) In the end, From Wisdom to Hate may not have the same epic scope or crazed intensity as Obscura but, by taking that album's experimentation and fitting it into a (relatively) more straightforward setting, it is certainly more approachable. While still not for the timid, this disc is a good introduction one of death metal's most creative, musical bands, circa 2001.

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