Gorguts Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 7

Gorguts Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 7
Photo: Adam Wills
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Fresh off of a performance at Katacombes the night before, Sherbrooke's technical death metal wizards Gorguts showed absolutely no sign of physical or intellectual fatigue. Their set was incredibly early in the afternoon, with many festivalgoers still waiting in line for tickets at will call or blinking sleepily in the bright sun, but the passionate clutch of people in front of the stage were utterly rapt.
 
It's extraordinary to watch them work, and the merciless light of day only threw that into sharp relief rather than dispelling any of their performative magic. They don't make it look effortless. Rather, it was the beauty of the effort that goes into their music that shone through: Luc Lemay and Kevin Hufnagel facing each other and counting down aloud into a particularly difficult passage; Colin Marston being positively cruel to his tight, screaming bass strings. They made the labour of their music lovely in its own right, and even with that difficulty so illuminated, it still came across as aural magic.