It’s been 12 years since the last Gorguts album, but the French Canadian technical death metal band’s legacy is not forgotten; two albums in its relatively short discography (1993′s The Erosion of Sanity and 1998′s Obscura) are often regarded as beacons of the genre. The new incarnation of Gorguts includes several Americans alongside frontman Luc Lemay, the group’s only remaining founding member: guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia), bassist Colin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Krallice) and drummer John Longstreth (Origin, Skinless).
The new lineup gels solidly with Lemay, and Colored Sands is a fierce addition to Gorguts’ dissonant sound. Instead of just unleashing an unholy terror of disjointed technical riffs, the quartet builds songs that meld riffs together, with space to breathe in between. The album’s longest track, the nine-minute “Absconders,” tweaks tempos as the group shifts from one heavy groove to the next, while the title track grows to a howl from an atmospheric groan. The instrumental string quintet song “The Battle of Chamdo” — dark and tense in its own right — gives way to the raging assault of “Enemies of Compassion”. It might seem arrogant to open an album with a song whose title means “The Top of the World” (“La Toit du Monde”), but that’s precisely Gorguts’ vantage point with Colored Sands.