Personnel: John Paul Collett II (vocals); Eric Hersemann (guitar, synthesizer, xylophone, electric bass, Theremin); Kesava Doane (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Sanford Parker.
Recording information: Semaphore Studios, Chicago, IL (11/2010).
Gigan is a highly technical, progressive death metal trio formed by former Hate Eternal touring guitarist Eric Hersemann. Membership has fluctuated quite a bit since the group's inception; Hersemann is now the only remaining original member on this, the band's second full-length. The music is at times extremely psychedelic and abstract, sounding more like the space rock of Hawkwind than brutal death metal, though they do that, too. On "Suspended in Cubes of Torment," Hersemann's guitar work becomes extremely spacy, journeying far afield from the crunching, staccato riffs the genre is known for. Similarly, "The Raven and the Crow" is built around a fairly complex yet compelling groove that only becomes herky-jerky and crushing about a minute into the piece. Drummer Kesava Doane skitters across his kit like a speed-crazed octopus; vocalist John Collett is less essential, contributing hoarse growls that almost anybody in the extreme metal world could provide on cue. Gigan are definitely a band best appreciated by listeners with a taste for the artier, more intellectual side of death metal, as heard in the music of Gorguts, Portal, or Obscura. This is absolutely not intended for folks who just want something to headbang to; it's much more challenging than that. ~ Phil Freeman
The Wire (p.58) - "[I]t's drummer Kesava Doane who grabs the attention here, as much for his willingness to leave empty spaces as for his tricksy, unorthodox fills."