Tuesday, 20 May 2014

In Memoriam. Steeve Hurdle (August/15/1971 - May/20/2012).

A homage to Steeve Hurdle on his second death anniversary.

Myriad images flash one's mind at the mere mention of Steeve Hurdle as we can recognise him easily when we know his style. With his passing, we have lost an excelsior musician perhaps as importantly, Gorguts have lost an innovator. Who died of surgical failure aged 41 in 2012. There might have been great architectures of grotesque aural art before and after Steeve but the only thing which always stands the test of time is art. He had managed to keep fans fascinated by his incandescent transcendental creativity for Gorguts for years. And his grandiose presence, in albums including, Inverted Decay (1992), Purulence/Amaymon split (1993), Obscura (1998), and Negativa (2006) have led to the boundaries of compartmentalization. Although Obscura overshadow Steeve's other works. 'Purulent' is by far, one of the most brilliant works by this exceptional guitarist-vocal.

What I really like about his music composing is that it’s always on several level. He had a big role in bringing the dissonance and complexity to song writing, For example, 'Sinking into Transparency' was a game changer for death metal. Love that song I mean, their entire side of that split was way ahead of its time just like Demilich. His works are eternal, it’s not stuck in a time as they are forever. It something that is made incarnate. Today May 20th 2014, Steeve Hurdel's second death anniversary.

Latest being drowned
In fictive degradation
Coming depression revolved
Around an Earth
Nostalgia excludes the whole
As spleen takes over me
Resound, the echoes of my threnodies
And then the fact of being
Has no longer meaning
The hymns of light
They'll sing once I'll be gone. 

He was 9 years old when his parents gave him his the first guitar.
He was born on 15th August 1971 at St. Vincent hospital in Sherbrooke, Canada. He took an early interest in Metal. He threw himself into music with compelling enthusiasm and worked constantly. He could express the potential depth through his bands. The vibrant mind of this luminary forever sought new avenues to satisfy his creative urges. He had written lyrics for Gorguts, to which he belonged to another level with his artistic vision and genius.

The Different people like Steeve Hurdle for different reasons, my affection for this departed soul comes from that fact. It was not about enjoying Steeve's guitar execution style or Luc's brutal vocals, the music of Gorguts in the nineties was like a mind-numbing atmosphere of the crypts of insanity and delirium and goes to an apocalyptic direction. Such intense musical intelligence, which isn't very easily available around. There have been bands that successfully warped the genre 'death metal' to a remarkable degree, creating originality through creativity and undiluted personal expression.

A track like 'Clouded' provides a good reference of what I am talking about. An unexplainable atmosphere comes whenever I attention to it. Timeless, that one word that keeps playing in my mind whenever I listen/think to 'Obscura' as it was technically impeccable. I love when Gorguts gets slow and dis-harmonic, the sound is akin to the pure agony one must feel from trying to reach a stage of enlightenment. A struggle, catharsis that never seems to resolve itself. A few words about the album itself. "Obscura" is almost like a religious experience to me. When I first heard 'Clouded', I was crushed and transcended. Magical, is an appropriate word. I was 9 or 10 years old when it was released but its songs refuse to fade out even today, when I am 24. The densely enraptures music was a true classic for sure. Cannot possibly imagine a better song than 'Nostalgia' or 'The Carnal Stage' on this immaculate album, or for that matter, a better album than 'Obscura'. 

More to the point, Obscura, as the name is an apt title for the collection of epiphanies present on this work of art. Scathing and pummelling and yet highly subtle. This was definitely one of the most eerie and abysmal sounding albums ever. Ne plus ultra. 

The cover art (he embodied the mediating figure on the cover) and lyrics also enhance the experience of the music on this album. That's how albums should be presented to an audience. Everything should be well conceived, with much thought put into every detail so that every component makes the album whole. Music, vocals, lyrics, artwork they all matter that's why I like concept albums even albums that aren't necessarily considered concept albums, sort of are like Obscura for example. There is a unifying theme throughout the entire record, nothing was random. It’s cinematic, in its delivery. Steeve gave some serious innovations for this massive third record of Gorguts. This album, which is Hurdle's peak. They felt special and unique, and discovering them was like uncovering some lost and forgotten treasure. Now it is a repository of memories. 

Another album that gave me a similar dark religious experience was DsO's Fas -Ite... The use of silence and minimalism in part makes me feel like I'm suspended high above in cathedral of horrors. The cover art is so absolutely fitting for that record, the depiction of Lucifer falling from god's graces, falling in endless darkness from which there is no bottom. Another album is 'The Destroyers of All' by Ulcerate and the track 'Omens' is one of my favourite modern pieces of metal/atmospheric music. The staggeringly gorgeous track is transcendental as fuck. Obscura/Fas - Ite.../The Destroyers of All stand up as the best in the last decade and a staple requirement for any true aficionado of grotesque aural art. Real music written by real people with unique  ideas, who could express them thoroughly but that's lacking these days methinks. I would like to state that Gorguts will always be the inspirational death metal band of all time and just can't believe it was two years ago today that we lost such an enormous visionary talent. Rest in peace Steeve Hurdle, still missed by so many.

After the first Negativa EP. Everybody was kinda happy
Canada, is a centre of intellectual and artistic ferment. Existing in two decades for a band is a big deal as Gorguts continue to work the best till date. The death of this extraordinary man was not the huge blow to the band methinks as this band's level of humility and respect for their art is vitalizing even today and that is distinct on colossal massiveness of 'Colored Sands'. There are countless extreme metal motherfuckers who have Steeve's aural ecstatic woven into their life. But people are usually forgotten after their favourite musicians die. It happens to the best of people, at the most they are perfunctorily remembered on their birth and death anniversaries.

He lived thousands of miles away, I have never met or spoken to him but the void of this departed man make a way to an incredible sense of loss. 2 years ago today since he left the world. Time marches on natheless memories stay. As I said before 'only thing which always stands the test of time is art'. I find that the people I don't personally know are the people I respect the most. He's the one person I regret never being able to have a conversation with. Let this day be a day of remembrance and reflection of his great music. He is a genius that the humankind has produced.