By JON PARELES, JON CARAMANICA, BEN RATLIFF and NATE CHINEN
Published: September 2, 2013
(Season of Mist)
Even beyond the baseline unfriendliness, death metal can, from a distance, seem restricted and uniform, and can want it that way; it pushes a listener back. But Gorguts, from Quebec, a cult band in a cult field, needs you to come in close.
“Colored Sands” is Gorguts’ first record in 12 years, and will, rightly if unfairly, be compared to “Obscura,” from 1998, because there are few records that broke out of any aesthetic framework so aggressively as that one did. Go back and listen to it, and feel no shame if you never heard of it. The strong rhythm section erased its tracks all the time, sorting among shifts in tempo and feel, routing through grooves and far less comfortable patterns; it used strong consonant riffs and bizarrely raw (though never haphazard) atonal harmonies.