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Gigantic Brain - "World" (CD)

Gigantic Brain - "World" CD cover image

"World" track listing:

1. We've Reached the Stars (4:02)
2. He Became the Machine (1:22)
3. Debris (4:33)
4. Ember City (0:33)
5. We Are Gods (0:59)
6. We Come Together in a Hell (3:06)
7. Bacteria (2:33)
8. Burning Road (0:25)
9. World (3:00)
10. Colors of Bone and Blood (0:11)
11. Eons Pass (2:44)
12. Final Life (0:47)
13. Melting Brain (0:35)
14. Solar (2:41)
15. The God in the Flames (1:47)
16. The Living Sun (0:39)
17. Travel to Earth (2:05)
18. Station (0:41)

Reviewed by on August 23, 2010

"Where Gigantic Brain has proved they can pull of the unyielding grind sound on 'The Invasion Discography,' they have proved that they can keep that sound, yet create something entirely unique, on 'World.'"

I’ve seen a lot of genre-mixing in metal, for better or worse. Whether it’s between metal genres, such as blackened death metal pioneers Behemoth, or between more disparate genres, such as Blood Stain Child’s melo-death/trance combination, some bands pull it off amazingly while others fall short. On “World,” Gigantic Brain pulls off with exceeding skill a combination that I have never heard anywhere else: grindcore and ambient. Longtime grindcore fans may scoff at this unlikely union, but pushing labels aside, the sound on “World” is absolutely fantastic.

Where Gigantic Brain’s 2004 release “The Invasion Discography” was mostly unrelenting, skin-stripping digi-grind, “World” scales it back considerably and takes a route that can be called the polar opposite. The album still features some of the raw, sinister aggression of “The Invasion Discography,” but in much smaller doses. What dominates this album is the ambient side, and while fans looking for pure brutality won’t be satisfied with “World,” it is still a worthy listen, especially for those looking for something different.

The album starts out beautifully with “We’ve Reached the Stars.” Heavy but not brutal, ambient but not dull, the track does well to prepare the listener for the rest of the album and really communicates themes of open space and strange, cosmic vistas. “Debris” is the first ambient track on the album; the rest of this album stays fairly ambient. Gigantic Brain manages to still fit in just enough on the grind side though. “We Are Gods,” alongside the other short grind tracks, are completely unforgiving and pull off the digi-grind sound well. While there’s obviously a drum machine at play here, it doesn’t come across as a gimmick in the least and the assault is well balanced, yet incredibly brutal.

Amongst this mixing of two very different genres are some tracks that stand out from the others. The title track is a moving piano piece that crescendos in a frantic, blistering section. “Eons Pass” is a mid-paced track that has more of a post rock/wall of sound feel to it. “Solar” is one of the stranger tracks on the album that sounds like some sort of alien transmission.

My only problem with this album is that the transition between some of the songs isn’t very smooth, but that’s a minor thing. Gigantic Brain has managed to mesh digital grindcore a la Dataclast with easy space ambient similar to Stars of the Lid in a way that I’ve never heard yet. Where Gigantic Brain has proved they can pull of the unyielding grind sound on “The Invasion Discography,” they have proved that they can keep that sound, yet create something entirely unique, on “World.”

Highs: An unlikely union of genres that creates an unforgettable sound.

Lows: Some transitions between songs are weak.

Bottom line: A beautiful mesh of grind and ambient makes this album an essential.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)