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January 16, 2008 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Massive, sprawling, jarring, yet soothing, intimate, and inescapable. Listening to Giant Squid is like waking up to find yourself trying to escape from underneath a mile-wide sheet of lake ice. Featuring stark contrasts between soothing instrumentals and oceanic heavy riffs, intertwined with male/female vocal harmonies that are alternately calm and frantic, Giant Squid creates a dynamic that is haunting and irresistible.

Any bands that list, "creatures with gills, though vertebrae are not necessary" among their influences is cool by me. Their MySpace features recordings from their latest EP, as well as their album Metridium Fields. Doom metal has never been this seductive.

Unfortunately, the videos above from the Austin show were Giant Squid's last show with their Metridium Fields lineup- lead singer/guitarists Aaron Gregory and Aurielle Zeitle, married in 2005, have since parted ways, and Aurielle has parted with Giant Squid. They have re-emerged as a four-piece, with a new line-up featuring the addition of a cello player. This video shows them playing in '07 with this line-up. According to Gregory, the band is currently on break from touring to write material for a new album.

Giant Squid were quite honored to play with their idols (and my heroes) ISIS at that Austin show. This fan-made video for the ISIS epic "Dulcinea" is totally awesome.
posted by baphomet (11 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
"Listening to Giant Squid is like waking up to find yourself trying to escape from underneath a mile-wide sheet of lake ice."

and that's a pleasant experience how?

Sorry, I could only listen to about 30 seconds of that before I wanted to escape from know...

But, I'm getting old...
posted by HuronBob at 11:53 AM on January 16, 2008

Yeah, you have to have a musical attention span of more than 30 seconds to appreciate this kind of stuff.
posted by baphomet at 11:54 AM on January 16, 2008

Wait a second. Are you telling me I could have leveraged all those years spent hunched over a cello into starting my own metal band? Are you telling me that as the lone cellist in every orchestra I ever played in, I was actually channeling the underground?

The cello has been metal all this time, AND NO ONE TOLD ME?!
posted by Pastabagel at 11:56 AM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also I would like to add that it's posts like this that argue for legal high quality mp3 file sharing. I can't listen to these clips where I am now (no audio), but they're live performances captured on a video camera, which means after two seconds the predominant sound is going to be 60 Hz hum.

Nice post, baphomet. I check them out later tonight. Also, fyi, the link to the fan made video points back to this post.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:00 PM on January 16, 2008

Thanks Pastabagel, from you that's a compliment I much appreciate.

On the subject of cello in metal, look no further.

Correct link for the Dulcinea claymation video is right here. And it is really cool.

On sound quality- the sound quality on these isn't unbearable but it isn't great either, on the whole though I think it represents their sound well. I did skip a few that had really poor sound quality. If the music makes you curious, check out their MySpace as there are several recorded versions of these songs (including "Ampullae" and "Neonate") there.
posted by baphomet at 12:09 PM on January 16, 2008

I'm a huge metal fan, and like doom quite a bit, so I watched all three clips. I don't see what's so special -- this band is not bad, but not great, either. The quiet instrumental parts are only OK, and the same with their doom metal riffs; combining two second-rate styles does not a first-rate band make.

It's a matter of taste, but I really wish the hipster/post-rock crowd would un-discover metal, already...
posted by vorfeed at 12:19 PM on January 16, 2008

That ISIS video is sort of what Tool videos would look like if they starred Gumby.

I don't know if that's parody or not.

I'm digging Giant Squid, though.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:24 PM on January 16, 2008

"Yeah, you have to have a musical attention span of more than 30 seconds to appreciate this kind of stuff."

And even that's no guarantee.

Couple complaints—First off, those aren't the YouTubes you want, if you want somebody to like 'em. The sound sucks ass, and the band looks sloppy (and not in a good punk way). Second, they just seem to be treading through the boring post-rock dirge territory already done better by folks like A Silver Mt. Zion.

Gimme Black Mountain over these guys any day.
posted by klangklangston at 12:37 PM on January 16, 2008

(But, upon reading through the more inside, I also find Isis incredibly boring, so take it as you may.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:41 PM on January 16, 2008

hmmm.. i've seldom found a group that sounded any better the last 30 seconds than it did the first 30 seconds... but I'll go back and give them a try for a whole 60 seconds and see if my opinion changes...
posted by HuronBob at 2:23 PM on January 16, 2008

Bah, this is nothing, all the coolest kids are listening to Colossal Squid now.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:33 PM on January 16, 2008

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