Canada’s long-running and much loved craftsmen of technical death metal Gorguts are returning with a 33-minute song. Entitled Pleiades’ Dust this complex, image evoking, and masterfully arranged eponymous track fills an entire EP, which has been slated for release on May 13th.
‘Guts mastermind Luc Lemay comments: “The lyrics tell the story of the ‘House of Wisdom’, which is referring to a library that was based in Baghdad sometime between the 8th and the 13th century. There much of the intellectual activity of the Middle Age took place while Europe was stuck in the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome. Many scientific discoveries were made at the time such as algebra, optics, astronomy, and many more… Without the translation movement that brought this library to life, we would have never had the Renaissance that we know. It is a story about curiosity, beautiful minds and sadly, about how man destroys great discoveries and achievements.”
Cover artist Zbigniew M. Bielak adds: “As a child I was fascinated by the Middle East. My uncle used to work on civil engineering contracts in Libya and Iraq, so we kept receiving exotic, mosque-graced postcards throughout the otherwise lacklustre eighties behind the Iron Curtain. I have a genuine affection towards the region’s architecture, climate and aesthetics, therefore it was a pleasure to illustrate Luc Lemay’s new concept album, which is a tribute to the scientific heritage of the Islamic Golden Age. Although the pun of the album title was not intended – as much as NASA supercomputer Pleiades today, Baghdad’s Bayt al-Hikma – The House of Wisdom, epitomized the Middle East’s scientific sophistication. Boasting the largest library of the medieval world, this vibrant multicultural research and educational centre, drew in learned scholars including those of Jewish, Christian or Buddhist origin to translate, preserve and further develop important works of scholarship from across Europe and the Middle East whilst the Occident regressed into Dark Ages. Spanning from the 8th century of our calendar to its symbolic ending with Genghis Khan’s grandson’s bloody Siege of Baghdad in 1258, resulting in obliteration of the House of Wisdom, The Golden Age of Islam left the world much indebted also to its numerous original contributions in diverse fields. From astronomy and medicine, to humanities and mathematics, Islam’s heritage helped pave the way for the rise of the West to its present prominence. The mind-bending intricacy of Gorguts’ aural landscapes portrayed in this single, over thirty minutes long piece of almost classically structured music, lends an aptly dramatic narrative to the story of a leading civilisation abruptly returned to dust.”
Few extreme bands can boast the pedigree of Gorguts. During their early days as part of death metal’s first wave, they created a legacy of legendary releases including their debut album Considered Dead (1991) and its more experimental and technical follow-up Erosion of Sanity (1993). After a hiatus of five years, Luc Lemay returned with a new line-up, which released the highly acclaimed and seminal third full-length Obscura (1998). By then Gorguts had been busy at expanding and redefining the language of death metal. With a new line-up that left Lemay as the sole original member, the next milestone album was released under the title From Wisdom to Hate (2001).
Yet again the band went into hibernation, while their musical legacy continued to inspire and thrive as their native Quebec became a focus for technical death metal with acts such as Cryptopsy, Neuraxis, and Beyond Creation to name but a few following in their footsteps. After more than a decade of silence, mastermind Luc Lemay unleashed Colored Sands (2013) with an all-star line-up including Colin Marston (Behold the Arctopus), Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia), and John Longstreath (Origin, Skinless), who has in the meantime been replaced by Patrice Hamelin (Quo Vadis, Beneath the Massacre).
Now Gorguts return with their most experimental song so far that combines all their virtues into one massive masterpiece. Lean back and listen carefully!
Luc Lemay: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Hufnagel: Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Colin Marston: Bass
Patrice Hamelin: Drums