Over the course of its decade-plus existence, the Canadian quartet Gorguts has made the transition from being a highly skilled, yet still somewhat run-of-the-mill death metal band, to being one of the most advanced, experimental, and challenging groups in the entire genre. In the process, they have confounded many fans of their earlier records (and death metal in general) while at the same time earning the attention and respect of many listeners outside the metal community. The Quebec, Canada-based band formed in 1989 with a lineup consisting of Luc Lemay (guitar, vocals), Sylvain Marcoux (guitar), Eric Giguere (bass), and Stephane Provencher (drums). They released the cassette-only demo And Then Comes Lividity in 1990, which led them to sign with Roadrunner Records. Their full-length debut, Considered Dead, came out in 1991 and featured guest appearances by guitarist James Murphy (Death) and vocalist Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse). The Erosion of Sanity followed in 1993 and continued to mine a similar vein. However, coinciding with the decline of death metal's popularity peak, they were subsequently dropped from the Roadrunner roster.
The band then went into a five-year state of limbo, during which all members except Lemay left; in fact, many fans and observers assumed them to have broken up. However, they eventually returned -- drastically retooled -- with Steeve Hurdle (guitar/vocals), Steve Cloutier (bass), and Patrick Robert (drums) filling in the missing slots. Signed to Olympic Records, this lineup released Obscura (1998), an uncompromising, hugely ambitious album that met with a mixed reception: some applauded its experimentation, while others found it too far-out and dissonant. Hurdle left Gorguts after this album and was replaced by Daniel Mongrain of the Canadian technical metal group Martyr. From Wisdom to Hate, Gorguts' first album with Mongrain, followed in early 2001. ~ William York