5 years after their previous album, GORGUTS show the meaning of change, and more importantly, progression. Whereas their previous masterpiece, "The Erosion Of Sanity", was a somewhat typical Technical Death Metal affair, this one defies all categorization of music. Yes, Luc Lemay is still growling, and he has one of the most brutal and tortured vocals I have ever heard in my life. The man truly sounds scary. Yes, the guitars are still distorted and the drummer does play double bass and does blast beats. But that's where the similarities end between typical Death Metal and "Obscura" end.
The riffing and song structures? I'm not sure if those two words will have their normal meaning when attempting to describe this album. The riffs are chromatic atonal notes mixed with scrapes, harmonics, squeals, whammy dive bars, and other weird noises that Luc and Steve Hurdle were able to produce out of their guitars. The solos are not your shred solos, they're a weird collection of notes and noises that somehow seem to form a melody.
Now, imagine an hour weird riffs that seem to be out of tune noises at different pitches, and seemingly no steady time signature. Sounds like noise, eh? I think I got a certain sound in your heads.
Now, imagine that somehow, by a bizarre stroke of genius, all those squeals, noises, screeches and just plain wacky noises formed a coherent, melodic, and more importantly, LISTENABLE whole. What I'm attempting to do here is try to put a musical staple on something that is unique and original, not in terms of what musical styles are mixed together, nor in terms of how the songs go off into pretentious breaks that seem to be nothing more than musical indulgence.
This album redefines on how the main backbone of a Metal song, the guitar riff, is written. Most people can't even imagine than riffs like this can exist, much less sit down and listen to an hours worth of atonal noises that somehow fit together to form a song while there is a singer who sounds like a maniac that's about to rip apart his mind. It can be, and was, too much to take the first time you listen to this.
I swear I did the best I can to attempt to describe the music on this album, but I'm not sure if it's possible. You have nothing to draw comparisons to, nothing you've heard ever sounds like this. The only thing I CAN tell you write know is that if you want something different within the world of Death Metal, you should attempt to find this album, and approach it with a VERY open mind. And if you don't like it at first, don't toss it aside. The genius of this lunacy will only be clear after multiple spins. (Online February 10, 2003)