Pleiades' Dust is the first EP by the Canadian technical death metal band Gorguts, released on May 13, 2016 through Season of Mist. It consists of a single track, "Pleiades' Dust", which runs for thirty-three minutes and is divided into seven movements. The EP is a historical narrative about the House of Wisdom, an institution set up in Baghdad after the fall of the Roman Empire and concurrent with Europe's Dark Ages. As a result of the House of Wisdom, Baghdad became the world's centre of learning and scholarship and was home to the world's largest repository of scholarly manuscripts. This period has been referred to as the Islamic Golden Age (although the city was also home to Christian and Jewish scholars) and spawned advances in such diverse fields as astronomy, mathematics, medicine, chemistry, zoology, geography, and cartography. However, the sack of Baghdad in 1258 by the Mongols resulted in the destruction of many of these manuscripts and the deaths of thousands. It took Baghdad centuries to recover.
Musically, the album is fairly representative of Gorguts' style since 1998's Obscura, but features dynamic shifts beyond the scope of what is found on the band's previous material. The other aspects of Gorguts' sound, such as dissonance, technical complexity, and frequent shifts in time signatures and tempo are still present. Gorguts have cited the French black metal band Deathspell Omega as an influence on this EP. It is also the band's first recording with new drummer Patrice Hamelin, who has been performing with the band live since 2011 but only became an official member in 2014 after the departure of John Longstreth (whose schedule with Origin was incompatible with Gorguts).
The EP's movements, along with their estimated lengths (based on printed lyrics and musical shifts), are as follows:
I. Thinker's Slumber - 4:05
II. Wandering Times - 3:12
III. Within the Rounded Walls - 2:12
IV. Pearls of Translation - 3:16
V. Compendiums - 5:19
VI. Stranded Minds on the Shores of Doubt - 3:10
VII. Besieged - 11:46
The EP has been released digitally, on vinyl, on CD, and on cassette. The vinyl edition has movements I through VI on side A and movement VII on side B.
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