Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Metal to Minneapolis: Revocation, Chthonic & Gigan

Had a relatively short trip this evening comprised of about an hour at the airport and a two hour flight. I've learned to make the most of this time and take advantage of the opportunity to close my eyes, put on the headphones and absorb some full albums, undistracted by the usual day-to-day routines.

Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic LandscapesI started out with Gigan, who is appearing with Jungle Rot in support of Immolation on their tour this fall. I had never heard of Gigan before the tour was announced and just picked up their most recent release, Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes. Wow. I hadn't read up on Gigan before and, given their namesake, expected some sonic version of the buzzsawing Godzilla villain. Maybe that's what I got (or maybe they sound more like Megalon would). This is very dischordant, loosely structured, almost psychedelic death metal. They definitely build tension here and there and some magnificent fragments emerge (and disappear quickly) but really just amble through soundscapes with a multitude of effects, tempos and layers of music. To be perfectly honest, this is, hopefully, the type of thing that comes across much better live than on record.


Chaos of FormsRevocation's brand-new Chaos of Forms is downright magical. This is intense thrash with painful precision and, true to its name, seems to interpret a variety of genres while retaining what has become a signature sound. This is almost some sort of new progressive-death-thrash and, having spent a lot of time preceding this release with Existence is Futile, Revocation have established themselves at the top of my metal list and may well topple Havok's Time is Up as my favorite thrash release of 2011.

Mirror of RetributionFinally, Chthonic. Mirror of Retribution is all I own and all I have heard by this band and I have yet to do any real digging as I only recently discovered it. It made enough of an impression to guarantee a "buy" for their upcoming Takasago Army and, having thoroughly enjoyed the record in full this evening, the first thing I did when I got online was to order a copy of their '06 release, Seediq Bale. Mirror... is powerfully aggressive, yet so melodic. Death metal incorporating traditional Taiwanese instrumentation (something I know nothing about but that made this such a unique experience). This is some new virtual symphony of metal (no, not symphonic metal) and I cannot wait to hear more.

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