Stumbled upon: Giant Squid

Posted in Stumbled upon on June 23rd, 2009 by Alex


Like their cephalopodous namesake, Californian post-metal oddballs Giant Squid are somewhat unusual and have long appendages (or songs). And what are curious beast they are. At times sounding like they ascend from the depth to confuse sailors; their obscure mix of styles is mesmerizing and unsettling.

From a bedrock of post rock like Godspeed.. and Pelican, Giant Squid layer flavours of 90′s American alternative, world music, and the classic prog of King Crimson and Pink Floyd. The vocals, a clear nod to the Jello Biafra/Serj Tankian, are accompanied by a plethora of instruments (trumpet, piano, cello). But this is no prog/muso noodling, there’s well structured songs here with tunes that reveal themselves in layers. They’re indie sensibilities add a popier dimension that their peers lack. It’s a refreshing mix in a sea of turgid Meshuggah wannabes.

Stretch your tentacles folks, and embrace the Squid.

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One to watch: Xerath

Posted in New, Watchlist on June 4th, 2009 by Alex

British progressive metal upstarts Xerath aren’t so much adding something new to the scene, but merely mashing it up in a very entertaining way. Combining the metronomic brutality of Meshuggah with orchestral ambience. It’s a compelling mix, and one which conjures Faith No More at times, although it’s still more Decapitated than Dimmu Borgir.

Their debut album I is out now.

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New: Devin Townsend Project – Heaven Send

Posted in New on May 31st, 2009 by Alex

Devin Townsend Project

Devin Townsend Project

Devin Townsend continues to confound. Somewhat predictably, his new album KI is nothing like anything he’s ever done before. Part of a 4 album cycle, all due this year, Ki is the mellow one. The albums will get heavy (Strapping Young Lad style one would assume) before going all quiet again. Well that’s nice.

Devin sobered up and apparently has got all growed up too. He also shaved is trademark hair off (this is truly a sad turn of events). Time will tell if this is a good thing, but Ki is an impressive start to this new venture.

Heaven Send is the schizophrenic center piece. A mesmerizing prog-rock epic, reminiscent of Porcupine Tree with a bit of Nine Inch Nails thrown in for good measure. The driving female sung mantra really gets the head nodding. This is certainly my favourite Townsend recording since Synchestra. Nice one Dev!

Heaven Send – Devin Townsend Project

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