Gigan is slowly but surely losing touch with this planet. With each subsequential release, Eric Hersemann and co (featuring longtime drummer Nate Cotton and new vocalist Jerry Kavouriaris) separate from the rigors and routines of standard death metal and venture out into more progressive, psychedelic territory. It’s interesting to hear a band experiment with sound and technology, but oftentimes that leads to self-indulgent drivel that would make post-Beatles John Lennon cringe in embarrassment.
Label: Willowtip Records.
The more standard “metal” presented (“Elemental Transmography” and “Plume of Ink Within a Vacuum”) is reminiscent of Gigan’s more mosh-friendly work on Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes, but there are zero “big” moments. Nothing builds in tensity towards a climax, and there isn’t a payoff for patience. There are a couple reasons to dig this– not only does the band refuse to play into the basic emotions of humanity with easy moments of catharsis, it also allows the record to flow as a passive piece that doesn’t require full engagement. Undulating Waves can function in the background just as well as it does in headphones.
It is pretty long, though, especially the finale “In Between, Throughout Form and Void,” a number that spends its middle five minutes or so meandering between sparse percussive pepperings and pure noise. There are also spots with so much going on that it sounds like a volcano getting ready to erupt.
Anyway, writing 101: clarify thesis. Gigan has a solid outing on its hands here and there’s a definite arc present in their catalog. This is definitely not the place to start with the band, but seasoned DM fans and longtime Gigan affiliates should be pleased with the band’s bold choices in composition and style. There’s also the possibility that they’re recording the next one on Jupiter and it won’t be comprehensible to humans, so get it while it’s tangible.