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Not hideous, but also not a masterpiece. - 65%

Idrownfish, June 27th, 2010

One of the biggest disappointments that one can possibly have is to buy a CD that is supposed to be great and not like it. "The Erosion of Sanity", however, took it to a whole new level: it is praised by everyone who has bothered to review it, yet it lacks the very elements that make a recording stand out from the rest.

One thing is sure, and it is that this band is extremely technical. They do have a lot of riffs, they do have a creative drummer and they don't show most of the symptoms of bad death metal (like loud-as-fuck bass, nonstop tremolo picking and wall of noise), but this is a rather average album. Creativity falls short sometimes, starting with the riffs: they are sure varied, but most of them are not that great. Actually, excluding the opening riff of the title track and the one that introduces "Condemned to Obscurity", I am pretty sure I didn't like any of them, and the reasons are clear to me: the band overuses rhythm changes, prefers the "brutally disgusting" over the "brutally beautiful" and sometimes even makes use of atonal riffing. The two guitarists are great technically speaking, but they fail to deliver anything that you will remember after not listening to the album for two days. The vocals are another source of problems: Luc Lemay doesn't do his job perfectly in terms of technique, but the biggest letdown is that the vocals are pretty much a growl followed by a scream, which is followed by another growl. The pattern stays the same for the whole album, which is weird for a recording that has variation from beginning to end as its main selling point.

One thing helps the album, though: the bass lines are extremely interesting. Not only the bassist stands out from the rest of the band by refusing to stick to root notes, but also makes the music sound undeniably malevolent. Gorguts was literally trying to do something that was on the line where the bizarre unconscious meets the rational thinking, and unfortunately the bass is the only element to be exactly on that point: it is at the same time audible, consistent and unpredictable. The drums are not your average death metal drums either: the drummer refuses to stick to blast beats (although they are there when needed), preferring instead to deliver a smooth double bass when the focus is on the guitars or on the vocals and then using his creativity with the snare drums and the cymbals when the focus in on him.

There is nothing to complain about in terms of production. The mixing was great, never letting the bass go unnoticeable and never letting the double bass attract too much attention. The production is thick and heavy, but also unbelievably clean, to the point where you don’t miss any details delivered by the guitars. Yes, they are many, and yes, most of them are completely unnecessary, but what matters for the production is that they can be heard. Summarizing, this is not a terrible album that you are supposed to hate, but this isn’t the masterpiece it is often said to be either. I would say that it is unnecessary in your metal collection, but if you like death metal a lot, go and buy it, it will not hurt. It is not the best death metal album of all times and not the best album by Gorguts either, but quite enjoyable if given a chance.