First Impressions: Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
Our boy Rolderathis hasn’t heard Gorguts’ latest. Today he’s fixing that by continuing our First Impressions series, but what does he think of it?
Like most denizens of this wretched water closet, I bought a one-way ticket to falsehood long ago. Grains of colored sand run through the hourglass as I shirk the classics, hemorrhaging clout that can never be reclaimed. You’ve heard the death throes of metal cred before—from Spear’s ghoulish confessions to Lacertilian’s travels far beyond poserdom—but nothing so brazen as what you’re about to experience. Who would win: a 33-minute tech/prog/skronk death metal opus or one owlboi?
To give you some background on my extensive Gorgutsian knowledge, I’ve spent more time pressing the backspace key to correct typos of “Pleiades” than listening to their discography. Several years back, on the East Coast run of the Decibel tour at the Paradise (a most egregious misnomer) in Boston, I got a taste of Colored Sands, but the sound quality at the venue was so shite that it managed to make Carcass‘s comeback a slog to sit through. A dense, technical sound had no hopes of making a positive impression, but I never held that against Lemay and Co. Being a fan of astronomical song-lengths, Pleiades’ Dust seemed like a natural starting point for my journey; the heaps of accolades didn’t hurt either. Before we begin, let’s take a look at what some lesser posers think of the EP.
After what is arguably the greatest comeback record in metal history (Colored Sands), I remember being extremely eager to hear 2016’s follow-up Pleiades Dust. Although as someone who’s not typically put off by long tracks, the prospect of a single 35 minute song seemed like a bold move, even for a band as accomplished and skilled as Gorguts. And while I did enjoy it at the time, there were a few other records which were more immediately compelling and instantly rewarding released around that same time, so analysing the codex of Pleiades Dust was put on the backburner.
However, seeing the song performed live sometime in 2017 had me in absolute awe and renewed my interest in the monumental track. Luc and Colin’s volume swell trade-off in the middle passage may not be as bowel-rumbling as the extended version they play in concert, but even the minimalist sections of the song captivate me, their ephemeral ebb and flow have become one of the composition’s major draws. As the years pass I’ve found this record to have grown on me considerably – not only is it an exceptional companion to Colored Sands, but if someone posited it to be the band’s magnum opus, I wouldn’t mock them. That disdain would be reserved for someone who DIDN’T LISTEN TO IT.
Alright, so no matter if this is your first time or your fourtieth time, let’s all hit play on Gorguts’ Pleiades Dust and share our thoughts below.
0:00 – No blasting yet…not sure whether I should feel safe or continue clenching.
0:54 – These first few chords remind me of Artificial Brain’s latest S L A B. Skronky yet satisfying!
2:18 – Strong, independent bass that don’t need no ‘may.
3:36 – I’m honestly surprised at how digestible this is so far. I was expecting something along the lines of Behold…The Arctopus.
5:00 – I like how brittle this segment sounds compared to the claustrophobia of the preceding riffs.
6:30 – This is nice, I wonder how many seconds I have until an anvil falls on my face.
9:00 – Is…is it safe, mom? Are all the scary guitars gone?
12:50 – Not sure if I like the constant mellow detours…doesn’t really feel like the song is building up to anything.
17:00 – These riffs are cool, but the floorboards in my apartment are starting to get really interesting.
18:17 – Am I being abducted rn?
21:00 – Damn, this is a long tractor beam.
22:05 – Some cool doomy vibes. Unexpected!
23:55 – Literally nobody:
Colin Marston’s bass:
25:39 – That chiming guitar note in the background is oddly hypnotic.
26:05 – Spidery shit like this is my jam.
28:24 – Pretty creepy effect here, almost sounds like there’s a choir buried underneath the instruments.
29:00 – Ready to huff this Huf solo.
30:30 – Better not be this for the next 2.5 minutes.
33:00 – I don’t remember anything I just heard.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that this EP works for me. While the individual riffs were impressive and demanding (along with the rest of the performances), they never coalesced into something I’d feel compelled to return to. I’m not averse to dissonance or absurdly long songs (see Cormorant‘s “Migration“) as long as they include memorable sections, but I found little of the sort in Pleiades’ Dust. For the first third or so, the sheer technicality was enough to carry my attention, but shortly after, my mind began to wander and the sinking feeling that there would be no payoff crept in. By the end of this monster, my fears had been confirmed. Sure, it’s a textured composition that would take several listens to crack, but my first impression is of a blank slate, 33 minutes that I forgot as soon as they passed through my ears.