Gigan’s fourth full length is their first release that isn’t obsessively fixated on technical showmanship and ear-aching brutality. They’ve retained a hundred percent of their extremity without cluttering up the R and L channels with oppressive flaming pomp. Instead they’ve traded excitable left hand technique for righteous abstraction. Kiss your goodbyes to Gigan’s chaotic buzzsaw-like hammering and overblown skull-scooped guitar tones. The leads previously functioned as some kind of amazing collision of science fiction effects and guitar hysterics always clobbering away with too many pointless technical runs. Do not compute my logic emitter wrong-ways though, the actual melodic suggestion and riff personality is entirely intact in the lead guitars. The band is perhaps less brutal for the sake of focus on being followed in their unique stream-of-consciousness style.
That stream, for the first time in Gigan’s history, creates theme with unpredictable metrics rather than atmospheric oppression. The guitarist is now boiling up riffs like a confident magician rather than a young cyborg shredder pissing out mindless technicality. The trip is better because the leader is seasoned. He guides an experience into mind-flowering territories as you travel. The lack of hand-springing and cartwheeling around you in circles like an excited chimpanzee shows growth and evolving senses.
Gigan is still a relentlessly vexing and dissonant machinated monster. It still circles you menacingly while scanning for weaknesses and bio-metric reaction. With a decade of experience pushing Gigan’s robotic urges, it has finally learned to toy with its prey. The more distant production reserves higher pulse frequencies while cyborg-exploding guitar leads have become sharper weapons of effect. Australia’s own Alchemist similarly used leads as phasers, pew-pew’ing their blasts as end-level riff needling but Gigan finds a far more extreme execution. The atomic level skill and mountains of psychedelic guitar over-dubbing create a vibration so cosmically spooky that I could be convinced Gigan is at a peak point of transcendence potential. Very few bands are capable of these bizarrely abstracted guitar jaunts, and while I might reference the grind-math metal intensified technical death metal of Pyrrhon it would be like comparing an electron to the nucleus it orbits. Gigan cull influences from greater universes than their competition; instead of bubbling in filth and directional illness, their alien charms extend outwardly with only enfeebled peer.
I like that I don’t have to describe Gigan as “avant-garde” anymore. The term doesn’t apply now that their approach to both guitars and production have gained minor sonic restraint. It is a foamy, headache-inducing surprise that they were able to do so while retaining structurally loose intensity. I remain confident that technical death metal is the antithesis of memorable music, but I do believe Gigan have created a listening experience that is valuable beyond mere flashy gimmickry and pompous noodling.
|Released||September 15, 2017|
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