Type: CD Company: Willowtip Records Release: 2017 Genre: Death Reviewer: David Loveless Published: 10/24/2017
If Hate Eternal, Voivod, and Gorguts had a baby it would be called Gigan
The term "technical death metal" gets thrown out a lot these days and is even over used and considered a misleading label for some bands. When one thinks of technical death metal, a few bands that come to mind are Origin, Beyond Creation, Spawn of Possession, and the late, great masters of the technical death metal genre, Death. However, in the vast sea of all of these technical bands--with the clean production and pristine instrumentation--is another technical death metal giant in the form of Gigan. However, they take a completely different approach to this metal sub-genre by incorporating elements of psychedelic guitar wizardry, rawer production, and lyrics based on diabolical monsters. To sum up what Gigan sounds like, imagine Hate Eternal (in their prime) mixed with Voivod (during their Killing Technology, Dimension Hatross days) and Gorguts. Those are immense shoes to fill but Gigan can wear them properly as well as take giant steps along the way. Their fourth full-length album, 'Undulating Waves of Rainbiotic Iridescence' is without a doubt, their best effort to date!
The album opener, "Wade Forward Through Matter and Backwards Through Time" starts with a lone sinister riff and then after a few minutes breaks into a Voivod style riff before all hell breaks loose. This track is over 10 minutes long and is sure to put you in a psychedelic metal induced trance. Next comes "Elemental Transmography". At just over 4 minutes long, it is the shortest track on the album but no less mesmerizing than the rest. Following is "Plume of Ink Within a Vacuum", one of the more accessible tracks on the album. Never fear though, as the guitar work is stellar and the vocals are absolutely haunting. The fourth song, "Ocular Wavelengths' Floral Obstructions" is one of my favorites as it has a strong Voivod vibe, just much heavier. Piggy [former Voivod guitarist (RIP)] would especially be proud of the guitar work during the bridge sections of this song. One of the more psychedelic songs, "Hideous Wailing of the Renowen During Nights Hade" is next and is sure to send tingles down your spine as the riff drones through this slower track. The vocal work is chilling and ranges from deep death growls to powerful screams. "Hyperjump-Ritual Madness" is a savage offering that is more in line with Hate Eternal. "Clockwork with Thunderous Hooves" starts off suddenly with a twisted riff and some blast beats before settling in to another psychedelic riff with extremely raw vocal. The final track, "In Between, Throughout Form and Void", is another 10 minute masterpiece and has more of a progressive approach than some of the other tracks. With the vicious riffs and polyrhythmic drumming, this is another one of my favorite tracks on the album.
Gigan's approach to technical death metal is different, odd, more organic than usual, but very fitting for their style. They've consistently released impressive albums without them all sounding the same and you never know where each album (or song for that matter) will take you. That being said, they've easily become one of my favorite metal bands and are on constant play rotation. With their music, Gigan will take you on a journey, down a dark path, where anything can happen. 'Undulating Waves of Rainbiotic Iridescence' is in the running to be my favorite metal album of 2017, so you need to check this album out right away!
About this Writer: David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.
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