Gorguts - The Erosion Of Sanity

There's nothing like some good old fashioned death metal. Back in the early ninties it was probably the biggest thing since Metallica, with bands like Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation and Benediction doing the rounds... but what about Gorguts? They're another band who tend to get shoved aside, yet they're relished and hailed by their fans as the best of the best. There's no denying that their debut album 'Considered Dead' is one of the finest death metal records ever released, and as much as 'Obscura' and 'From Wisdom to Hate' may destroy your brain they were two exceptional examples of avant-garde death metal. However, their second record deserves a bit more attention I reckon so here's a review to remind everyone how good the olden days were.

'The Erosion of Sanity' is essenially the stepping stone from 'Considered Dead' and 'Obscura' - I'm not saying that because it was released between the two albums, but because of how it sounds. It's not often that you see a band whose progession in sound throughout their career is so noticable, and here we have a very fine example with all of the sheer pummelling, powerful death metal from the debut still intact, yet already displaying some of the more unconventional and technical sounds that were expanded upon much further on this records successor. Straight from the crushing intro of 'With Their Flesh, He'll Create' we can hear that the band hasn't changed too drastically, but the song sounds much 'fuller' than any of those on 'Considered Dead'. Couple this leading into the frankly beautiful piano intro of 'Condemned to Obscurity' and you know you're in for something special.

One of the things that makes 'The Erosion of Sanity' so good is the aforementioned balance of technicality and 'old school' methods - a lot of these songs really kick you in the face if you look at guitar tablatures for them and such, but they're still songs. There's not a single song that wanders forward aimlessly in hope of becoming some sort of progressive technical masterpiece in any way, it's still confined to familiar territory and splashed with hints of genius here and there. Guitarist and vocalist Luc Lemay is the jewel in this albums crown, spitting forth lyrics that still strike a pretty brutal chord but not in the generic 'eating abortions' way, rather in telling a story with each track. He's an absolute genius, and the intros to 'Condemned to Obscurity' and 'Dormant Misery' show that death metal and piano/acoustic guitars CAN work perfectly well without destroying any of the heaviness or atmosphere - an art that nearly every modern band has struggled fruitlessly to replicate. Another great song here is 'Odors of Existence' which is probably the closest song to anything from the bands debut, just straight up, balls out death metal with a venomous edge that gives the album that further sense of familiarity... which in this case, I believe to be a good thing. If Gorguts had released 'Obscura' as their second album, I think the change would have been far too much for fans of 'Considered Dead' to handle.

The biggest shock for me was that this record wasn't prodced or engineered by Scott Burns - which is essentially unheard of in early ninties death metal hahaha! Scott did such a great job on the first album but Colin Richardson - who has produced many death metal bands himself - has done an exceptionally good job here, almost managing to replicate Scott's style to some degree. He's managed to get the drums and the bass sounding especially good so they're perfectly audible, with a guitar tone that give the album the perfect crunch. Shame that he only produces shite bands these days really!

Well, what else to say? Gorguts' 'The Erosion of Sanity' is a brilliant followup to an incredible debut, and a record that stands criminally underrated in Gorguts' catalogue. Their label at the time (Roadrunner) dropped Gorguts from the label shortly after this was released as it didn't shift as many copies as they'd hoped - why? What could fans possibly dislike about this release? f you ask me, it's down to the corporate idiots who couldn't forsee the incredible potential Luc Lemay has, which just leaves them off for the worse as the followup 'Obscura' is considered a modern masterpiece these days. 'The Erosion of Sanity' was recently reissued and remastered by Metal Mind Productions with two demos of 'A Path Beyond Premonition' and 'Dissecting the Adopted' (the latter being an early version of 'Orphans of Sickness') so you have absolutely no excuse to miss out on this album. And now that Luc Lemay has reformed Gorguts and released a new demo montage for an upcoming album, you can expect to be hearing much more from him in the very near future. This is death metal perfection that a lot of todays bands couldn't even hope to achieve.

1. With Their Flesh, He'll Create
2. Condemned To Obscurity
3. The Erosion Of Sanity
4. Orphans Of Sickness
5. Hideous Infirmity
6. A Path Beyond Premonition
7. Odors Of Existence
8. Dormant Misery

Roadrunner Records
Reviewer: Dave Ingram Jr.
Apr 9, 2010

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