Gorguts Conquer New Compositional Realms with 'Pleiades' Dust'

Gorguts Conquer New Compositional Realms with 'Pleiades' Dust'
Photo: Jimmy Hubbard
Quebec progressive death metal legends Gorguts just released their new EP, Pleiades' Dust, on Season of Mist. Following 2013's Colored Sands, the band's first album in 12 years, Pleiades' Dust sees Gorguts delving into some new compositional territory with a single 33-minute track. As founding member/frontman Luc Lemay tells Exclaim!, he wanted to do something challenging and try a new musical structure for the EP.

"I was always intrigued and fascinated by those one-song records, like I from Meshuggah or Chaining the Katechon from Deathspell Omega. And especially when I saw The Incident from Porcupine Tree live — I was really amazed and I said, 'I'd love to write something like this one day.' The idea stayed there and never left."

Having Pleiades' Dust be one long, cohesive track is special for him and although it's an EP, just as much thought and effort went into it as crafting a full-length. "I see this EP as just as important as all the full-lengths that we did. To me, this EP is an exercise in form and structure, so it was a challenge for composition and doing something new that the band never did before."

Pleiades' Dust has been divided up into several "movements," because of the lyrical concept. "It's been written as one full song, but I divided the lyrics into seven parts," he says. "When I found the topic, I then sat down with the music and I said, 'Okay, here I can talk about this and then the story will go from point A to B, B to C and so on.' You can see on the sleeve with the lyrics, it's divided into seven parts, but if you would isolate those seven parts, it doesn't work. I didn't want the song to feel like three or four songs put together and then sound clever in interviews saying we wrote a 33-minute song, that's not what I wanted to do."

Lyrically Pleiades' Dust explores the Islamic Golden Age.

"This [EP] talks about a library, which was built in Baghdad and [existed] between the eighth and 13th centuries. The way the record starts, it's with the fall of Rome in 500-something and then Europe went into the Dark Ages. I talk about knowledge as if it was like a wandering person. So for some reason the knowledge reappeared in the Middle East, and there was a very strong movement of intellect there."

Much like the Tibetan theme on Colored Sands, Lemay did extensive research.

"If I didn't have a topic that fascinates me, I would rather do an instrumental record because the lyrics are very, very, very important to me. And I like to educate myself while writing the lyrics," he says. "Before I did Colored Sands, I didn't know anything about Tibet, I didn't know how they founded the Dalai Lama, I didn't know about all of the conflicts. So it's a great way to learn as well, and then when a topic really fascinates me, I read as much as I can about it."

When it comes to writing lyrics, Lemay says he prefers to take a more intellectual approach rather than utilizing the typical death metal conventions, which tend to be extremely negative and are often just an afterthought for bands.

"I think we've gone full circle talking about ripping body parts apart. And it's cool, but there are other things we can talk about."

Check out a full stream of the EP below.