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Giant Squid - Metridium Field CD (album) cover


Giant Squid


Experimental/Post Metal

3.60 | 27 ratings

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3 stars Rough waters and what lurks below the surface (insert evil laugh...)

Metridium Field is a dark and heavy slab of music featuring sounds meant to convey the murkiness of the subjects of deep waters: heavy guitars and drums, a teaming of harsh male and lighter female vocals, unique fringe instrumentations. The sounds of the core rhythm backing throughout brings to mind the slow rocking of "Kivitetty Saatana" from Alamaailman Vasarat. Different instruments and approach of course, but the mood of that song is the mood running through this album, and here it reminds me of the swaying of our ship on the rough sea.

"Neonate" begins with a crunching wall of sound as heavy as Sabbath but just as quickly pulls back into quieter sections with nice bass parts. The male vocals are pretty harsh although not growling, and accented by light female vocals. "Versus the Siren" starts with a wavy mellow lilt courtesy of some clean guitar, keys and soft drumming. Here the male and female vocals are both mellow. There is some interesting trumpet (I think) playing here as well. Halfway through they punch it hard and make the trumpet fight through some violent guitars before it settles again into a quieter section that ends the song with calm. "Ampullae of Lorenzini" features some nice vocals harmonies amidst alternating sparse sections (just bass and drums) and heavy sections (full throttle guitars.) As Ruben said the playing is not all that complex, especially the guitars and drums, but aimed more at achieving emotional atmospherics. The first half of "Summit" is just drop dead gorgeous with more lovely harmonies and sparse guitar, the second half is a mid-gear rock out. "Eating Machine" is an annoying one minute spoken dry-humor bit they dropped in, cute the first time but they should have realized that by the 20th play it gets awfully old. "Revolution in the Water" is very loud with some blood curdling screams and power chord assaults but is not all that interesting frankly. Then comes the big 20+ minute title track to make or break things. It starts slow and brooding with clean guitar over eerie human voices in the background. The guitar is picking slowly at some lovely notes as keys and a second guitar build in more density behind, but very gradually. At about 4 minutes the huge heavy main riff finally descends and we're now loud but moving at a slow, deliberate pace. This reminds me of Agalloch's sound. Various strange instrumentals and vocal styles will emerge from the fog for a brief appearance and then disappear back into it. But from that point at around 4 minutes until the end, you have nearly a continuous repetitive drone riff that will drive some people crazy, despite the embellishments going on in front of it and the slight fluctuations towards the end. Speaking for myself, it's not compelling enough to interest me for 17 straight minutes. By about halfway through this I'm ready to start painting the windows. Had this track stopped at about the 10-12 minute mark it would be a winner. It's not bad but just too damn long for what they have. The last minute concludes with a calm section.

"Metridium Field" is a pretty decent album that I could certainly recommend to fans of this genre although not much wider than that. The rhythm guitar sound seems pretty low-rent like the guy is playing through a really cheap distortion pedal/amp without many changes in dynamics. He's not a bad guitarist, I just don't like the sound. Big difference. The album is good for sure but it is not as accomplished as Pax Cecilia, not as polished as Agalloch, nor as deliciously melodic as Morningside. A respectable effort. 3 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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