Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes

I covered Gigan’s debut, The Order of the False Eye, back in 2008, and I remember it being a difficult write-up. Describing music is hard enough, but when it’s complex, undulating tech-death, it really does become a you-have-to-hear-this-to-understand-it kind of deal. The Obscura review I wrote up a few weeks ago was a challenge as well, but that’s because it required many listens to digest everything that was going on. Omnivium is exquisitely crafted and composed, with an intricate mix of metal and musical genres – death metal, thrash, prog and classical – stitched together with surgical precision. Dizzying, but relatable.

Gigan, by contrast, sounds like they just plugged in and immediately started channeling some malevolent insectoid entity who communicates entirely in multi-dimensional geometric theory. It’s exceedingly strange and difficult music – a nightmarish and psychedelic blend of tech-death, astral doom and dazzling electronic ephemera that comes off less like traditional death metal and more like some nihilistic form of sonic pointillism.

Yet it’s also hypnotic, fascinating and mostly listenable, and there’s a sense of order within the massive ebb and flow of each composition. Some segments are rigid and mathematical, others lurching and spasmodic, and some even attain a jazzy, swinging groove. And luckily, it’s assembled with some sort of logic. These guys may be trying to aggressively mindfuck you into oblivion, but at least you’ll understand what’s happening to you. Despite their psychotic, mutating attack, the band still employs repetition and motifs in each song so that its structure is eventually revealed. Songs occasionally employ dynamics, always switching up to a peculiar interlude or a sludgy tectonic stomp before fatigue sets in. That said, additional variance might have helped define each composition even more strongly. Once again, this is a far different experience than Omnivium‘s carefully designed symphonies, but I also don’t think that was the band’s goal.

Song titles get another plus here – colorful descriptions like “Suspended in Cubes of Torment,” “Transmogrification into Bio-Luminoid,” or “Mountains Perched Like Beasts Awaiting the Attack.” I’m not even going to bother describing each song, though these titles definitely go a long way in inspiring all sorts of bizarre imagery as you’re pummeled by Gigan‘s mesmerizing assault. In fact, only the album title seems rather drab and straightforward by comparison. Yes, these are Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes, but what the album really sounds like is Xplfhgd Gheghegeg Xplfhgheghezzkjkjkghegxplfhgd.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
May 25th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Storm King

    I should love these guys.

    I don’t, and I really can’t put my finger on why.

  2. Commented by: shaden

    Omnivium was a horrible joke,one which didn’t even make me laugh it was so bad.bua pretty gigan is a pretty good band and this cd is not too bad at all.

  3. Commented by: faust

    Don’t know if I wanna hear this or not but I do know that you, Jordan, are one helluva writer.

  4. Commented by: gordeth

    I can’t wait for this. The samples on Willowtip’s site sound amazing. This album will be the perfect soundtrack for summer.

  5. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    good stuff. not usually a tech-death guy, but the psychedelic aspects and DEP riffage make this a bit more palatable.

  6. Commented by: Dave S.

    Just got this in the mail yesterday, ripping stuff. Very dense record, and it’s refreshing cause although the recording hasn’t been overprocessed and overproduced, you can hear every little effect, guitar lick and drumroll.

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