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Gigafauna - Frozen Wastes

Gigafauna
Frozen Wastes
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 February 2020, 6:52 AM

GIGAFAUNA is a Progressive Extreme band based out of Uppsala, Sweden. With no information on their Facebook profile, a broken link to their webpage, and no info sheet included in their promo, this is all I know about the band. So, let’s let the music do the talking. The title track leads off the album, with a fairly full, heavy and aggressive sound. Clean vocals come first, sung in a melancholy fashion, cutting against the heavy instrumentation. Some nice lead guitar work comes into play towards the end of the song, and this is definitely a sound that I haven’t heard before.

“Kaiju” is close to ten minutes in length. Harsh vocals lead the way at first, then it settles into a looser grove, with clean vocals and an air of mystery. The heaviness returns with a stoner type vibe and then it’s back to the more melancholy side. The two wrestle together locked in mortal combat. “Luminous” has a much more quicker pace and then settles into a slower groove. Again, it waxes and wanes as the dissonance spreads. The passage with Kristian’s bass work is also interesting. This is some trippy, heavy stuff for sure.

“Solid Fuel is Dead” opens with a faster moving riff but settles pretty quickly into a discordant groove, with that opening riff making a return in between the clean vocal sections. This is a unique listen for sure, but I’m not sure that I jive with it completely. Still, the guitar work is mesmerizing here. “Future Null Infinity” highlights some Progressive elements out of the gate. It’s like BLACK SABBATH meets DREAM THEATER, if you follow me. The guitar work is fantastic here but the vocals pull you back to the 1970’s in the way they are performed.

“Orbital Motion” starts off slow and easy, with vocals that don’t quite line up with the guitars in terms of the notes used. I am not sure if this is on purpose or not but it’s one thing that always bothers me when I listen to it. It begins to crawl at around the half-way mark, with notes that pound into you with pressure and exertion. From there it barely moves, but does establish some melody. “Night’s Retreat” is an over eight-minute opus. A riff pattern develops and is repeated, then it slows to melancholy territory, before returning again with a gut-wrenching vocal performance here by Matt Greig. The dark tones towards the end are intriguing.

Overall, the album has a very dissonant tone, with many minor chords used. Encyclopaedia Metallum calls them “Progressive Sludge” and I would agree with that genre label. It is quite unique from other albums that I have heard, so I will give them originality points for sure. But, I really had a hard time connecting with the music. I enjoyed the Progressive elements for sure, and you can tell the band has a strong sense of musicianship, but the heavy dissonance and lack of much melody made it hard for me to like. However, fans of this type of music may very well find this to their liking, and the band poured their all into the album for sure.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Frozen Wastes
2. Kaiju
3. Luminous
4. Solid Fuel is Dead
5. Future Null Infinity
6. Orbital Motion
7. Night’s Retreat
Lineup:
Kristian Backbrant – Bass
Rickard Engstrom – Drums
Arvid Nyden – Guitars
Matt Greig – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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