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Straight from the sewers of Canada comes Gorguts, a young band who, within a year of their inception, were already miles ahead of other bands who had been playing together years prior in terms of musicianship and composition skills. ‘...And Then Comes Lividity’ is a fantastic demo, and it shows a band with a stunningly large amount of potential, which would inevitably be fulfilled on the band’s first LP, ‘Considered Dead’. Like the aforementioned debut LP, this demo is more in the “standard” old school death metal vein, but this is Gorguts we’re talking about, so you know this is anything but “standard”. Of course it’s not as technical as ‘The Erosion of Sanity’, and you can forgot about comparing it to the technical mind-fuckery that is ‘Obscura’, it is still equally as good, intense, and masterfully written. And even then, it’s STILL far more technical than a lot of their contemporaries at the time.
But I am in no way saying that technicality just automatically equals quality. For example, look at Trigger the Bloodshed – they may be technical, but that does not change the fact that they’re cock-gobbling, cum-guzzling scenester garbage who couldn’t write a solid death song if their hair-straighteners depended on it. However, in the case of Gorguts, the technical elements just add to the overall sense of manic schizophrenia that makes Gorguts so fucking good. And it is with this overwhelming sense of insanity created by the music that captivates the listener, as well as works as a barrier separating them from the other bands who try, and fail, to properly incorporate technical elements into their death metal.
The production on here is awesome; filthy to the deepest of mires and covered in muculent, putrid slime that only a low-budget demo could achieve. But its layers of filth are not overbearing by any means. Thanks to the guy behind the mixing board, each instrument, as well as Luc’s vocals, is able to be heard very clearly, so not a single detail is lost amongst this rotten heap of death metal. And given the amount of details and intricacies present in their music, this is a really important factor.
The demo begins with an introduction, aptly titled “...And Then Comes Lividity”, which is also the same one used for ‘Considered Dead’ (just a different recording, of course). This intro consists of a double-tracked acoustic guitar playing some rather haunting melodies with a great amount of thought put into them. But unlike a lot of other intros, this track is not there for the sake of being there. Instead, it’s there to set a tone for the rest of the demo that shows their ability to take an idea that may not be incredibly original and turn it into something remarkably unique, just like what Gorguts did with the death metal genre.
After the 45-second intro finishes, the deranged death metal onslaught that is ‘...And Then Comes Lividity’ begins. The first thing you notice is the originality in the riffing. Within the first 25 seconds, you hear four riffs that sound like nothing else you’ve heard before (unless of course you’re familiar with other Gorguts material). Each one is masterfully put together, and the way in which each one is intertwined with the others creates a strong hypnotic-yet-requires-attentiveness effect that really can’t be matched by anyone other then the mighty you-know-who. The guitar tone in which these riffs are carried by is also deserving of some praise. It’s meaty and thick yet razor-sharp at the same time, kind of like a 10-pound rib-eye steak with a backsaw sewn to it (or something else that is equally as awesome/ridiculous as that would be).
But Luc’s talents were not only limited to the guitar. His vocals here are also in top-form, and prove he simply had one of the best voices in the history of death metal. The way in which he vocally spews forth those horrific lyrics actually makes them that much more convincing, and actually helps paint a mental picture of the vileness being portrayed in them. Not only does the bass do a great job of keeping up with the constantly evolving riff frenzies, but it also has a really cool clunky plunky kind of sound to it, but not in an annoying “funk metal” manner. No, this clunkiness just piles even more dirt onto this godforsaken mess. And without Stéphane Provencher behind the drum kit, or at least someone of his caliber, none of this would work AT ALL. He does a remarkable job on here, leading the way for the other musical madmen in the group to follow as he flawlessly applies dynamics, fills, build ups, and other techniques in every part that requires such skills.
When all of these elements are woven together in such a way Gorguts has done here, the end result is nothing short of perfection. And their death metal mastery does not end here, as they kept this consistency of constantly out-doing themselves on the three albums to follow (I didn’t like ‘From Wisdom to Hate’ very much), leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. Gorguts are hailed as masters of the craft, and this, their earliest outing, is still just as valid of an example of death metal perfection as the next three.