Review Summary: While we all wait for the new Gorguts to drop, why not indulge your ears in this.
Before you all get your pants wet with the summary statement, let me just inform you that Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes
is indeed a marvel of the tech-death world that seems to be either a hit or miss whenever I stumble upon a new release (you either love it or hate it if that makes anything more clear). Two of the worst things that people complain about within the genre are the mindless noodling antics and absolute waste of talent that takes favour to riffs that are about as dry and grating as licking sandpaper. Take for example the list of bands here: Abysmal Dawn, Revocation, Carnifex, The Faceless, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, pretty much anything that’s part of the dreadful Sumeriancore Label scene) – bands that falter from all of the mentioned above attributes + breakdowns. Looking at the brighter side of things, technical death metal done right sounds untouchable in it’s approach to musical chops as well as a good sense of song-writing, atmosphere, and memorable riffs with plenty of dynamics to boot. Take for example the list of bands here: Atheist, Gorguts, Ulcerate, Gorod, old Cryptopsy, Demilich – bands that have thrived off these qualities as well as created some of the greatest albums to preach the genre. As for QHSL
, I bet you’ve already figured out by now where this fits into.
Not to be confused as a bona fide classic, Gigan are still a force to be reckoned with and can still slap the *** out of most musicians - particularly lead song-writer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Hensemenn who has a knack at creating tricky walls of chaos within the realms of death metals mighty technical blasts. Opener “Mountains Pearched Like Beasts Awaiting the Attack” slams on a wicked atmospheric bombardment before leading into a frantic alarm of grooving tech-death that really seems to dive in and out of all sorts of off-the-wall riffage and mind-***ingly fast rhythmical dynamics. After listening to this jumble of ideas, the rest of the album goes by at a blurs pace despite a few of the tracks elongated playing times. It’s not until around the fourth or fifth time through that these tracks begin to come together and make a bit more sense. As well if you’ve made it this far, an appreciation for the amount of detail unfolds revealing a treasure chest of golden ideas that come in the forms of crafty, dynamic song structures such as “The Raven and the Crow” serpent-like meandering, atmosphere galore (album opener takes the cake on this one), and nuanced detail to filling in the gaps where breathing space is barely present in the instrumentation (pretty much every song on the album).
Revving up on all musical fronts since their 2008 debut The Order of the False Eye
, Gigan – particularly Eric Hensemenn - has created a densely dynamic, technical death metal album that not only serves as reminder that uniqueness does indeed exist within the realm of new and upcoming tech-death bands, but potentially Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes
could be followed up with an absolute masterpiece.