• Ambitious concept with flawed song writing - A review of Gorguts' "Pleiades' Dust"

    Gorguts - Pleiades' Dust (2016)

    Gorguts' Pleiades' Dust is an ambitious conceptual track divided into seven chapters with a stunning running time of almost thirty-three minutes. This release mixes progressive death metal with gloomy drone elements in nearly equal parts.

    On the positive side, let's point out the solid production where every instrument sounds organically balanced in the mixing. The drum riffs are very technical without being overtly fast. The guitar riffs are mostly atmospheric and discordant while the riffs and solo sections are a little bit less gripping. The bass guitar play is very distinctive and adds a lot of sinister vibes to the sound. It's the most outstanding instrument on the release in my book. The traditional death metal vocals are solid but nothing more. They suit the gloomy soundscapes and almost work like an additional backing instrument. Despite the band's sophisticated musicianship, this record focuses on its mysterious atmosphere that serves as instrumental guideline. The lyrics are ambitious and progress very well until the track's coda harks back to the overture.

    On the negative side, the transitions from sinister progressive death metal passages filled with additional details to uncover with each spin to limited atmospheric drone sections are getting somewhat predictable and repetitive after a while. The track lacks ideas to justify its abnormal length. This song would have had much more momentum if it had been half as long as the final result. While the lyrics evolve, the music doesn't. Smooth sections are followed by sinister passages but there is no obvious rising or falling action and especially no climax in the song. The transitions are solid but could have been a little bit more developed to have a greater impact. The track is lacking clear highs and lows or standout moments in general. It has a great flow but doesn't offer anything truly memorable. 

    That's why the final result is quite a mixed. The atmosphere, concept, musicianship and production stand out. The most important element though, the song writing department, is quite underwhelming at times. The track works well as a whole but the different sections aren't very impressive. The final result is also clearly too long in my book. I could only recommend this release to patient progressive extreme metal fans. Pleiades' Dust has its very own stylistic niche and does quite well in that category but is also limited within its boundaries.

    Final rating: 75%

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