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Giant Squid - Cenotes CD (album) cover

CENOTES

Giant Squid

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.17 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sgt. Smiles
5 stars CENOTE - A deep natural well or sinkhole formed by the collapse of surface limestone which exposes the ground water underneath.

The title of Giant Squid's monstrous EP very much fits the suffocating onslaught of the music trapped within. On "Cenotes" the band strays from the variety of instrument and personnel experimentation of their previous effort, "The Ichthyologist", to a simplified version of what the four core members are capable of on their own. It does not disappoint. Each track, save for Figura Serpentinata, travels from the realm of heartfelt melody to an ocean of crushing riffs without altering the song structure. Predictable crescendos perhaps, but nonetheless exhilarating. If you can't bang your head to this album you simply have no pulse.

To be fair to the band I will also annoyingly complain that this album is an EP, not a full length LP as it is labeled on this site, and therefore excused for it's play time of only 35 minutes. And to quote one of the band members, it is "the mother(expletive) Voltron of EPs". Yes, yes it is. The guitar/cello interplay is sublime, backed by a punishing rhythm section and very much complimented by the male/female vocal blending which can be absolutely haunting at times.

Tongue Stones- Heavy, epic and formidable way to start the album with plenty of highs and lows. A lengthy song which begins softly, then gives birth to devastation and refuses to quit. Mating Scars- Similar in vein to it's predecessor: A long track with a beautiful intro that naturally dives into the deep end, comes back up for air and sinks again. Stunning vocals and nice tribal-esque breakdowns in this one. Snakehead- An upbeat Squid song with a funky middle-eastern feel that completely rocks, for lack of a better term. You'll find yourself waiting and waiting for the heavy riffs to take over, completely immersed by the time they do. Figura Serpentinata- Sort of a quickie for this band. Fast paced and relatively short, but captivating enough to leave a whet palate. Personally I am never ready for this song to end. Cenotes- I find the album's closer to be a reverse of formula for Giant Squid, starting fast and heavy and eventually morphing into a trailing trance-worthy fade to black. An exquisite outro to say the least.

Most music lovers will, at some point, discover a lesser known act whose lack of widespread popularity boggles the mind. For me, Giant Squid is that band. Granted, part of me enjoys the diamond in the rough obscurity, but I can say with pure honesty that I simply do not understand how, on a songwriting level, they have not made bigger waves in the gigantic metal community. They offer the perfect blend of complexity and simplicity without losing any hook. The artistic integrity of their music is, in my opinion, unchallengeable. As an LP this would get 4 stars, based on length and length alone, but this is an EP, and I've heard few EPs more deserving of 5 stars.

5 emphatic stars for Cenotes, only because there are no more to give.

Sgt. Smiles | 5/5 |

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