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Band Name Gholes
Album Name Coexistence
Type Album
Released date 2008
Labels Self-Released
Music StyleMelodic Death
Members owning this album8


1. Raw Material
2. Sweet Illusions
3. Dust And Destiny
4. Coexistence
5. Collapsing Identity
6. Emerging From Blindness
7. Trancing Procreative Chainwork
8. Paradoxical Collective Suicide
9. Desastrouse Incompletion
10. Orbital Awakening
11. Exile

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Review @ GandhiEgo

19 July 2011

Coexistence is a great and rich record but also quite the grower

The members of Gholes created the band back in 1995 but they had to wait till 2001 to see their first full-length Fleurs de Soufre released. If Coexistence looks like it's been out since 2008, the Digipack version from which this review is written only came out in 2011.

With experienced musicians, Gholes nonetheless turns sour to eventually split up following various problems. Tamatoa, behind the drums, leaves mainland France to establish himself in French Polynesia but, more than that, it’s the death un 2010 of Pierre, singer and programmer, which will mark the end of Gholes. Coexistence wasn’t meant to be released but the remaining members of Gholes took it the other way round if only to pay a last tribute to their departed friend.

We may thank them for this. In my book, Coexistence is one of the very best Death Metal releases of this year. You'll read that their Spirit of Metal page mentions that they play « Melodic Death Metal » which is obviously true but yet quite restricting when it comes to defining their music. Whereas most major bands in the Melodeath bandwagon have turned into pale copies of their former glorious past, the comparison may not serve Gholes’ interests very well.

Based on a sci-fi concept, Gholes do deliver a melodic album but it’s also one that is most ambitious. If sci-fi has been one of the roads less traveled in Death Metal imagery, it’s still impossible to forget the major influence that albums like Nocturnus’ The Key or Thresholds have had. Nocturnus which are undoubtedly a blatant influence in Gholes’ sound. Some key parts are even more than similar.

While we just mentioned keys, let it be known now: keyboards are not some added instrument for subtle atmosphere here, they really are part of the line-up as much as guitars or drums. I know of some people that seem to be genetically hostile to keys in Death Metal, so if you're one of them, you may as well leave this page now.
On the other hand, if you think you’re open-minded enough, I beg you to go on.

All of the tracks feature fantastic songwriting. Sure, they’re not exactly material for MTV and are quite complex, but what seems to be only chaos on the outside is a lot more than meets the eye. Gholes have the knack to create terribly complex and technical songs but making them sound as if it were the most natural thing ever done. Another trait they share with American legends Nocturnus. Alternately some tracks go into more introspective realms relying almost only on keys to end up delivering outbursts of plain violence as displayed commonly in Brutal Death Metal because when they want to hit the nail, they nail it hard.

When it comes to lyrical concept, Gholes’ universe, which is reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s Dune Gholas, humans genetically recreated by the Bene Tleilax to bring back to life those who departed, is rather rich and it’s a pleasure to read the lyrics while listening to the music, A feat that’s quite unusual for a Death Metal band.

This is a very improbable mix between parts laced with keys and others made of sheer brutality as found in bands like Neolith or Nocturnus with more atmospheric moments a la Elend. In the end, Coexistence is a great and rich record but also quite the grower. And if you consider what the band went through to release this, it’ll grow all the faster on you. This digipack version is limited to only 300 copies. Get it as soon as possible!

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