Pioneering extreme metal band Gorguts first rose to acclaim as part of death metal's first wave, releasing the genre classic The Erosion of Sanity in 1993, then reinventing themselves five years later with the more technically ambitious and experimental Obscura.
Over the years, the Canadian band has endured numerous lineup changes with founding singer/guitarist Luc Lemay, remaining the only consistent member to help guide their evolution. In spite of their frequent turnover and a mid-2000s breakup, Gorguts have proven amazingly resilient, making music that is consistently challenging and turning in an impressive second act that saw their fifth album, 2013's Colored Sands, earn them their first Juno nomination.
Formed in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1989, Gorguts' original lineup consisted of Lemay (guitar, vocals), Sylvain Marcoux (guitar), Eric Giguere (bass), and Stephane Provencher (drums). They released the cassette-only demo And Then Comes Lividity in 1990, which led to their signing with Roadrunner Records. Their full-length debut, Considered Dead, came out in 1991 and featured guest appearances by guitarist James Murphy (Death) and vocalist Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse). While it would later be hailed as a milestone release, their follow-up, 1993's The Erosion of Sanity, sadly coincided with the decline of death metal's popularity and Gorguts were subsequently dropped from the Roadrunner roster.
The band then went into a five-year state of limbo, during which all members except Lemay left; in fact, many fans and observers assumed them to have broken up. However, they eventually returned -- drastically retooled -- with Steeve Hurdle (guitar/vocals), Steve Cloutier (bass), and Patrick Robert (drums) filling in the missing slots. Signed to Olympic Records, this lineup released Obscura (1998), an uncompromising, hugely ambitious album that met with a mixed reception: some applauded its experimentation while others found it too far-out and dissonant. Both Robert and Hurdle left Gorguts after this album, with the latter being replaced by Daniel Mongrain of the Canadian technical metal group Martyr and the former being usurped by Steve MacDonald. From Wisdom to Hate, the band's fourth studio long-player, followed in early 2001. MacDonald, who had long suffered frequent bouts of depression, took his own life the following year, and by 2005 the Gorguts had officially called it quits.
The band re-formed in 2008 around Lemay, Colin Martson, Kevin Hufnagel, and John Longstreth, and in 2012 they inked a deal with Season of Mist. The following year saw the release of the Juno-nominated Colored Sands, which was a concept album based on Tibetan culture and history. The historical, narrative-driven Pleiades' Dust, a 33-minute EP broken into seven movements, followed in 2016. ~ William York, Rovi