For Giants
There, There


2.5
average

Review

by While She Sleeps: [in the back] STAFF
January 17th, 2021 | 29 replies


Release Date: 01/08/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There, There "There, There"

For Giants, the "long distance" prog-metal outfit from Brooklyn and Chicago, make a point of starting out their 2021 in true m/ fashion, churning out a rather large number of riffs with There, There. As its opener "Being" roars to life - jolting forwards with thicc, technical chugging and soaring lead melodies - you get the sense that you're in for a real treat, anticipating a truly no holds barred riff-fest of epic, unadulterated proportions (finally!). With great riffs, however, comes great responsibility, and despite There, There's encouraging opening moments, the duo fail to deliver the spectacle expected.

For all the admirable musicianship and competent songwriting present on There, There, there's little here capable of meaningfully distinguishing For Giants from the multitude of groups operating in the same lane. It's admittedly no easy task to carve one's own unique path through such a crowded subgenre of metal - the likes of Polyphia being amongst the few to have successfully done so as of late - yet for all their technical prowess and apparent ambition, it almost feels as if For Giants aren't really trying.

Whilst almost certainly not true, this lack of effort at least appears apparent due to just how well-trodden the trail down which For Giants travel is: one defined by its safe and (dare I say) self-indulgent nature. Very few of the instrumental passages that constitute There, There seem intended to contribute towards something greater than themselves, existing in isolation as showcases for individual musicianship rather than forming a larger, multifaceted whole greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, despite the extent to which Eric Lowrey and Earl Lee play off each others instrumentation, the constituent parts of There, There feel oddly disconnected - symptomatic, perhaps, of the physical distance between each half of the duo, or maybe the lack of space left by Eric for Earl and Earl for Eric. The riffage here is incessant, the concept of pacing unfortunately absent from For Giants expansive musical repertoire.

Worse than failing to stand out from the crowd, the members of For Giants often struggle to distinguish themselves from themselves. The grandiose "Church" - with its noodly lead motifs and tentative, airy backdrop - sounds strikingly similar to "The Lucky Ones", whilst the staccato chugging of "What Happened To You" mirrors up with the similarly jagged "How To Die". Whilst you'd think such repetition would go some way to rectifying the project's lack of cohesion, it instead imparts it with the character of characterlessness, the record’s deeper cuts smacking of less interesting renditions of its best moments.

The thing is - when assessed on a strictly mechanical level - There, There is exceptional: the playing is tight, the songcraft is tighter, and it has all clearly been put together with a whole lot of labour and love. What's lacking is that elusive, creative spark, necessary to take the duo beyond the tired hallmarks of the genre in which they reside to new, more exciting pastures. For your quick fix of m/, For Giants' latest endeavour is more than passable, but for something truly engaging, look elsewhere than There, There.



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user ratings (35)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2021


7187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not a fan of writing critical pieces (posi vibes >), but I think these guys have so much potential if they just tweaked their formula a lil bit. Seems I'm on the more negative end of the spectrum on this anyways, probably worth a go if it's your kinda thing.

LeddSledd
January 17th 2021


6586 Comments


sounds about right

their debut was kinda lame as well

SailorMars
January 17th 2021


45 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ye, this is p accurate. Background noise that all bleeds together

heck
January 17th 2021


6240 Comments


at a glance I thought this was a new album by the post-punk band For Against

Digging: Converge - Bloodmoon: I

Tundra
January 17th 2021


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cant say I'm surprised yall dont like this at all, but I'm a sucker for this type of stuff so, blargh

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2021


7187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

All the more power to you my boi, wish I had more love for this, clearly took a whole lot of effort and passion to craft it

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2021


3566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

aw, shame this isn't that special bc the album art's pretty sweet

might give it a listen out of curiosity

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2021


9320 Comments


Disagree with the rating and the review.

I am not a djent fan - imho Meshuggah is the first and last thing to listen to from the "genre" - but I caught myself playing this back to back, which in my book, is a 3.4 at least.

Plus, the concluding paragraph reads exactly like a 3.4+.

*my two cents*

Digging: Lock Up - The Dregs of Hades

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2021


7187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fair play, fair play. The thing is, personally I never want to listen to this again - I found its generic, cookie cutter modern prog/djent tendencies irritating and its lifeless borderline-wanky noodling worse still BUT the intent of the last para was to give credit where credit's due: this clearly took a lot of heart and energy to pull together and I'd never want to be the type of person to shit all over that, irrespective of my particular musical tastes.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2021


26465 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I come back to the first 2 tracks and that's about it. The rest is pretty standard for the genre.



Great write up Ben.

Digging: Ethereal Shroud - Trisagion

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2021


3566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

okay yeah this reminds me of a less good long distance calling, still pleasant though!

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2021


26465 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

FIFA soundtrack



Or a djent band's demo (really well produced demo though) to look for a singer.

BlackTaxi2d
January 18th 2021


294 Comments


the song structures make this album really long for a vocal track, more so than other bands in the genre (night verses, pomegranate, distant dream, etc.). It's a fine listen just lacking something

bigweinerdon
January 18th 2021


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shit is pretty good. First two tracks slap

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2021


26465 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Opener bangs, agree.

gravityswitch
January 18th 2021


805 Comments


Nice opener yes
I remember liking You are the Universe but thinking they needed a vocalist.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2021


7187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"It's a fine listen just lacking something"



pretty good summary tbh. the lack of that 'something' ended up fuelling a lot of my frustration with it. a vocalist might help give this a bit more shape and character, and force the lead guitarist to stop playing every once in a while.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2021


12883 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review mate. Considering the visuals and song titles, I was expecting something that didn't sound so cold. Atmosphere is completely absent here.

NorthernSkylark
January 19th 2021


11763 Comments


Where?

Digging: Rival Consoles - Persona

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2021


7187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There.



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