Gigan are one of my favorite bands and always have been since I first heard The Order Of The False Eye. What a damn fine record it was in all its complex, noisy, esoteric, and bizarre glory. Naturally I was really stoked to hear Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes when it released. I picked it up a few days after release and listened to it nonstop along with the new Origin for a few more days. Musically Gigan is a band that tends to require time to digest, so I feel that now I can safely review Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes without feeling like everything I said was wrong. We'll have to see how it turns out.
Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes is essentially the continuation of Gigan's sound on The Order, but with the noise turned to eleven. Given tracks like "Unnamed" and "Hiding Behind The House Of Mirrors" on
the previous album, guitar effects were always present in Gigan's music.
Here we have Gigan experimenting with enough effects to make a shoegazer's ears bleed. Phase shifters, loops, vocal distortions, whatever, it's all on Quasi-hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes at one point or another. Sometimes this muddles up the sound a bit but it generally makes the songs have a more dense feeling.
I find it really tough to describe the songs on the album without just
saying they're fucking technical. Every instrument is played with a high
degree of finesse, and each song feels like it was almost overly
composed. My only complaint with the album is a rather large one and its
with the riffing. Sometimes the riffs become so cacophonous that they
lose their memorability. For example I couldn't remember the opener if I
tried. This wasn't a problem on Gigan's previous release, where
everything had a bit more memorability. Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes is still a quality release though, no doubt about that.
With that said there are some really cool tracks on here that fit the full range of speeds and intensities one would expect from a technical death metal band. "Suspended In Cubes Of Torment" is chock-full of schizophrenic riffs on speed, while the bizarre "Transmogrification Into Bio-Luminoid" slows to a mushroom-induced vegetative state (there's also a bunch of robot vocals). It almost sounds like Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes could be the soundtrack to an alien invasion. "The Raven And The Crow" even manages to be catchy and fun while still retaining Gigan's whole techdeath-plus-acid vibe. "Skeletons Of Steel, Timber And Blackened Granite" is a really cool grindcore-esque track that builds to a squeaking crescendo. The album ends with "Fathomless Echoes Of Eternity's Imagination" which has some killer riffs and a noisy, blaring outro. The album certainly has variety, and each track displays a degree of hypnotic qualities which make it at the very least a unique listen. Vague descriptions aside, Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes is one that really has to be heard to be understood.
8.5 out of 10