Giant Squid
Cenotes


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eli Kleman EMERITUS
October 30th, 2011 | 22 replies | 6,070 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like its namesake, Cenotes is a deep, mysterious entity, displaying a band at the height of their creative abilities.

In my Zoological university studies, the one thing that has stuck with me the most (as well as the thing that has been hammered into my head more than anything) is that in diversifying, the Earth has become a wonderful, fascinating place. Through diversification, the world we inhabit as supported a bounty of life, each a part of a larger whole. Giant Squid, a band who has historically embraced the biological sciences, understands this. They understand that in order to obtain a beautiful, immense product, progress and evolution are an absolute must. Thus, Cenotes, their third album was born.

Cenotes is a magnificent evolution of Giant Squid. Retaining the same powerful, massive sound that was on their debut, as well as 2009’s The Ichthyologist, the band has made a record that fans could easily get behind. But Giant Squid are not the type to retread old ground. Cenotes does indeed feellike a Giant Squid album, but it is most certainly different. Where their previous works could be defined as an Isis/Neurosis related brand of post-metal, their latest feels much lighter in tone, picking up more progressive rock influences than ever. It is in this musical growth that we find the band much more comfortable than ever, allowing their creativity to flow freely. It’s certifiably a metal album, with heavy, chugging guitars and dense atmospheres. However, Giant Squid, with their incredibly varied sound, draw a lot of inspiration from a multitude of genres. Alternative rock, post rock, and even a tad of sludge are all represented here. The dual female/male vocals make for an interesting dichotomy, and the cello is used to a tasteful degree. All in all, Cenotes is a very well written, and expertly produced metal album.

From the opening moments of “Tongue Stones” it becomes clear that Cenotes is a different kind of beast. A single cello plays over an eerie atmosphere, as Aaron Gregory’s Serj Tankian-esque vocals lightly enter. The song then erupts into a darker segment, with the band’s heavier nature rearing its head. The track is a great opener, displaying just about every facet of the album. Other standouts include "Figura Sepentinata” and “Cenotes.” The latter is the album’s most bold track. It’s crushing and beautiful, with the vocals largely taking a backseat to the superb instrumentation. Although the songs here are solid, what makes Cenotes such a fantastic improvement is how deliberate it all feels. The Ichthyologist was a wonderful album, but it often felt too ambitious and too grand for its own good. With ten massive songs, the album lost momentum and felt too full of filler. Cenotes remedies this, with a tracklist and runtime of about half its predecessor. It’s concise and to the point; an album that doesn’t waste a second of play time.

Cenotes is an exceptionally crafted album (enough so that I can even forgive the gross usage of non-existent species names in the song titles), and should be seen as the band’s tour de force. More focused than ever, Giant Squid have topped themselves in every sense, giving cause for excitement and anticipation in regards for their bright future.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alex Newton (4)
Once again reinventing themselves, Giant Squid dive even deeper into their seemingly-bottomless musi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 30th 2011



10553 Comments


evening sputnik

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



30298 Comments



Cenotes is magnificent evolution of Giant Squid.


Missing "a" after is

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2011



6961 Comments


Am I gonna like this at all

Digging: Perfume Genius - Learning

Waior
October 30th 2011



11421 Comments


bravo xeno

I may just give it a shot too

pizzamachine
October 30th 2011



12568 Comments


Love the first paragraph.

WatchItExplode
October 30th 2011



3072 Comments


I sampled when this was streaming and and didn't get too excited about it.......however, their music seems to have the most impact when I let it sneak up on me (shuffle etc.)

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2011



5612 Comments


excellent review, pos.

may check this out.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

MassiveAttack
October 30th 2011



2684 Comments


*height xeno, other than that it is a well-written review

SowingSeason
Emeritus
October 31st 2011



14512 Comments


I should listen to more metal

crazyblinddude
October 31st 2011



3389 Comments


Cool review, Eli. Never listened to these guys though. Where would be the best place to start?

Valerius
October 31st 2011



1137 Comments


Good stuff. Some heavy riffs in this. Cello is nice.

Tyrael
October 31st 2011



20395 Comments


I love you Eli

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

scissorlocked
October 31st 2011



3479 Comments


If this matches Ichthyologist then its probably worth listening

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

Jethro42
October 31st 2011



12036 Comments


I approached that band recently and I like what I heard so far. Great review, Xeno.

sexpoi
October 31st 2011



597 Comments


good review. Still haven't checked this band out

iFghtffyrdmns
October 31st 2011



7047 Comments


i'll be god damned.
congrats Eli, fully deserved in every which way.
MD taking over sputnik one contributor tag at a time

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 31st 2011



10553 Comments


Hey man thanks. It's an honor to serve along side you on two fucking sites haha

Det_Nosnip
October 31st 2011



374 Comments


Oh yeah. Forgot about these guys. Metridium Fields was awesome.

seedofnothing
November 1st 2011



3425 Comments


listening to this now

pleasantly suprised at how much im enjoying this, more so then mastodon's the hunter, feels much less watered down

FenixZero
November 2nd 2011



379 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've heard this several times after it was streamed on NPR in its entirety. Love it.



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