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Ah, technical death metal. While some of it can come across with little heart or emotion, sometimes you find a band who can pull it off with such precision that it puts the genre as a whole to shame. Gorguts have made one such album in "The Erosion of Sanity". I've really loved all of their releases (except for Obscura, a bit too weird for my tastes), so labeling one of their albums as a favorite is a tough decision. But if I were forced to make a choice, I think it'd most certainly be "The Erosion of Sanity".
This album is dense and hard to digest at first. Each song is a brutal uncompromising slab of brutal/technical death metal of the highest caliber. One of the things that sets this release above so many others of the same genre is the compositional ability of one Mr. Luc Lemay. This guy has attended music college and his knowledge of adding classical elements into death metal are subtle and hard to recognize, but they are there on every song. By classical elements, I simply mean insanely technical, free flowing songs which seem to be influenced by European classical composers. Do not think that by classical influences I mean anything related to Yngwie Malmsteen or anything of that nature. Gorguts does not try to emulate Pagnini like Malmsteen does, rather Gorguts implement a more Bach-like presence to their songs : two guitar leads playing insanely technical riffs going completely opposite directions on every song yet complementing each other at the same time.
The drumming is unique and help the songs stay cohesive and the bass is present in the mix which is always a plus. This is important because with this innovative approach to the death metal genre, it would be easy for the songs to lose their meaning. Luckily, Gorguts play their instruments at such a high level that their songs never become boring or repetitive. Luc's vocals are very good : extremely intelligible and with great tone, but still very brutal to complement the music. The songs all follow a similar pattern : they are all heavy as fuck with riffs which would not be out of place on a Suffocation or Immolation album. I don't know though, I almost prefer "The Erosion of Sanity" to anything the aforementioned bands have ever put out, though I must admit there is some stiff competition, especially considering Immolation's latest masterwork. I guess it's the crystal clear production on this album, plus the obscure classical music references within the song structures which set this album apart.
At 8 songs and 36 minutes, that's pretty much the perfect length of a death metal album. So no complaints on length or lack of content. Solos are scattered throughout, and they are very good, extremely technical and well thought out. Another thing worth mentioning is on the second song "Condemned to Obscurity", the piano playing by Luc is some of the best I have ever heard on a death metal album. I really dislike keys in my metal music, but Luc does it perfectly (even better than say, Nocturnus's "The Key" & Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients") and as far as I can tell, it is the only song featuring a piano. Oh, one other thing to be sure not to miss is the classical influenced acoustic guitar playing on "Dormant Misery"... it is brilliant. So really, if you're looking for one of the best technical death metal albums ever, this is it : 99%.