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  #1  
Old 06-18-2009, 07:33 AM
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Thumbs up Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist (2009)

The long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s critically-acclaimed “Metridium Fields” is finally here, and what a follow-up it has turned out to be.

The band had undergone a few changes since their previous album, the most ostensible being the divorce of guitarists / vocalists Aaron Gregory and Aurielle Zeitler. With Aurielle’s departure, a large chunk of Giant Squid’s signature sound had left the band.

Luckily, her pseudo-replacement, Jackie Perez Gratz (founding member of Grayceon, and also a member of Amber Asylum) provides a whole new twist to an already progressive doom metal sound. Jackie plays cello and sings, and although Aurielle did play both guitar and keyboards as well, those parts did not serve as a very basis for the music the way Jackie's often do in the new version of Giant Squid. The strong cello parts fold into the sound of the guitars and drums quite seamlessly (as they do in Grayceon), and the result is something that I doubt anyone has ever heard before.

The music is sometimes crushing, sometimes quite melancholy, but always intense and interesting. This album also includes several additional instruments and guest appearances, including flute, oboe (played by Jackie’s sister Cat Gratz), violin (played by Kris Force of Amber Asylum), beautiful backing vocals from Anneke van Giersbergen (formerly of The Gathering), and also some ear-piercing screams from the inimitable Karyn Crisis (a friend of the band, who was instrumental in their originally being signed by The End Records).

All of these myriad pieces are melded together with great care and skill by the band – Aaron Gregory in particular, who writes and arranges most of the music – to create one of the best albums of 2009 (so far!).

Highlights:
Throwing a Donner Party at Sea
Dead Man Slough
Blue Linckia
Panthalassa

Nat
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:29 AM
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This is on my "to-hear" list, and near the top. I loved Metridium Field.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
This is on my "to-hear" list, and near the top. I loved Metridium Field.
Aw, son - you are in for a real treat.

Think "Metridium Fields", but way better.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:39 PM
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I dunno I only listened to it once, couldn't remember what I had just heard, haven't put it on again. I used to love listening to Metridium Fields in high school when I was studying or doing homework, especially the title song and "Summit".
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:50 AM
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I dunno I only listened to it once, couldn't remember what I had just heard, haven't put it on again. I used to love listening to Metridium Fields in high school when I was studying or doing homework, especially the title song and "Summit".
"Summit" might just be my favorite Giant Squid song. But seriously, dude...you really have to give this album another shot. Repeated listening is a must. It is just so good. All the guest instrumentation really enriches the whole thing...plus, it is a theme album of sorts (which I normally don't find all that interesting, but still). The song "Throwing a Donner Party at Sea" is my favorite - it is actually a reboot of an old song of theirs from the Monster in the Creek EP, but redone with the current lineup. The trumpets are cool as hell, and the guest vocals from Karyn Crisis are just insane. This is probably the next closest song to being their best (and possibly "Neonate" qualifies as well).

Lovin' the Squid,
Nat
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Natrlhi View Post
"Summit" might just be my favorite Giant Squid song. But seriously, dude...you really have to give this album another shot. Repeated listening is a must. It is just so good. All the guest instrumentation really enriches the whole thing...plus, it is a theme album of sorts (which I normally don't find all that interesting, but still). The song "Throwing a Donner Party at Sea" is my favorite - it is actually a reboot of an old song of theirs from the Monster in the Creek EP, but redone with the current lineup. The trumpets are cool as hell, and the guest vocals from Karyn Crisis are just insane. This is probably the next closest song to being their best (and possibly "Neonate" qualifies as well).

Lovin' the Squid,
Nat
Word man my computer broke though so i wont hear this one again for days. i believe that its good though
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:54 PM
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Time for another shameless bump.

I saw these cats with Grayceon last Saturday night, and they fucking tore the place apart. The highlight of the set was definitely "Throwing a Donner Party at Sea" (no surprise there). Their whole set (posted elsewhere) was absolutely awesome, and what a nice bunch of people to boot. Stellar show - you NEED to see these guys live before you die (or at least buy this album, for fuck's sake).

Nat

P.S. - Sorry about the f-bombs - I do that when I get really passionate about the subject.
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Last edited by Natrlhi; 08-10-2009 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:40 AM
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This one didn't really do it for me. The stuff came off much better live, and there's no memorable hooks and riffs like on Metridium Field, and I think the odd instrumentation was used better on that album too. It's a pleasant little album but it didn't rock my world.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
This one didn't really do it for me. The stuff came off much better live, and there's no memorable hooks and riffs like on Metridium Field, and I think the odd instrumentation was used better on that album too. It's a pleasant little album but it didn't rock my world.
My first thought: YOU BITE YOUR FUCKING TONGUE, HEATHEN SCUM!!!

My second thought: You are just flat out wrong, bro. Or maybe deaf. Or both.

My third (probably closest to being correct) thought: This album took time for me as well (and I was already a huge Squid fan). Perhaps it will grow on you as it did me. I think it will honestly be in my top five this year (top ten for sure), but I didn't think so at first. Maybe give it a couple more spins before you give up on it...?

Nat
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2009, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natrlhi View Post
My first thought: YOU BITE YOUR FUCKING TONGUE, HEATHEN SCUM!!!

My second thought: You are just flat out wrong, bro. Or maybe deaf. Or both.

My third (probably closest to being correct) thought: This album took time for me as well (and I was already a huge Squid fan). Perhaps it will grow on you as it did me. I think it will honestly be in my top five this year (top ten for sure), but I didn't think so at first. Maybe give it a couple more spins before you give up on it...?

Nat
I'll put it on a few more times. I mean, I have to, I own it and I need to listen to music every waking moment of my life or I won't be happy. But yeah, right now I kinda feel like "Oh, that just happened" when the album ends. "Throwing a Donner Party at Sea (Physeter Catodon)" would be the highlight, but even that gets stomped all over by the likes of Neonate, Ampullae of Lorenzini, Summit, and Metridium Field, and its furthermore disappointing that they wrote that song before Metridium Field, meaning that the best song on the new record is an old song.
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