Monday, August 24, 2009

Prog Archives review of giant squid

THE ICHTHYOLOGISTGiant Squid Experimental/Post Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website Sgt. Smiles Music for the end of days.
With their self-released 2nd full lenght album, Giant Squid have themselves a masterpiece of exotic metal. While catagorizing their brand of music proves to be difficult, The Ichthyoligist is nothing short of immense. Elements of doom carry over from their first album in a lesser quantity, and the songwiting and raw texture are taken to the next level. Every track is practically a mini-epic in my mind, flowing perfectly from brutal to peaceful, delicate to explosive, droning to climactic, etc. Giant Squid have an earthiness quality that is hard to find in Math Rock/Doom/Sludge, something technically superior music is usually incapable of capturing. All of the instruments are blended to perfection on this album, and nothing is lacking. The Ichthyologist is an expected improvement on Metridium Fields, powerful and peerless!

1)Panthalassa has more interesting drumming than all of their debut album, and like the song, starts off quirky and ends in a wave of intensity.

2) La Brea Tar Pits (which I remember visiting as a child) has a grungy/sludge feel that intertwines softer, more elegant passages with some ugly distorted guitar riffs. The outro takes creepy banjo music to a level not heard since 'Deliverance'.

3) Sutterville is all beauty no brutal. Great melodies, fantastic cello and piano, lovely music.

4) Dead Man Slough starts off mellow and catchy, but eventually leads to something heavy, then comes full-circle toward a soft end.

5) Throwing A Donner Party At Sea rocks hard and fast(by Giant Squid standards) right from the get-go. Some very gritty bass accompanied by very gritty growling make this song a beast.

6) Sevengill is one of the more powerful and awe-inspiring songs I've ever heard. In just over 7 minutes you are transported from something sad and beautiful to the land of gutteral anguish. One of those songs that gets the neck hairs upright.

7) Mormon Island's tranquility is almost necessary after the previous 2 tracks. Equal parts nice and simple, with a hint of sadness.

8) Blue Linckia has both superb change-ups and fantastic lyrics, finishing off in a doomy fashion. Once again, transition from light to dark is ever-present.

9) Emerald Bay is similar in nature to Sutterville or Mormon Island, being a rather calm track, but with almost psychadelic guitar work closing the song, reminding me of early- Metallica melodic pieces.

10) Rubicon Wall has a good mix of all the elements that make up any GS song. Slow and organic in parts, upbeat in others, and always heavy.

Simply put, there is not a bad moment in the 60+ minutes of music on The Ichthyologist. I've heard it called Mood Metal, which seems fitting to me, considering the dark and heavy mood it conjures, regardless of the song. The music is both ugly and pristine, something I love, and something few bands can pull off. What seals the deal, however, are the vocals. I've never heard any bany in their respective genre harmonize as oddly or as beautifully as they do, and, much like the music, they are able to find the perfect balance in light and dark through singing style. For a relatively obscure band, Giant Squid has quickly become one of my all-time favorites, and I couldn't be more excited for what's to come.

Many bands are louder, many are more sinister, some are more progressive, and others crazier, but none...I repeat NONE, are heavier. In fact, I consider The Ichthyologist to be the 'heaviest' album I've ever heard.

Disturbing never felt so good.

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