Giant Squid - Metridium Fields
The End Records
Sludge/Experimental Prog Metal
8 songs (60:25)
Release year: 2006
Official Website, The End Records
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

This is yet another band that I knew very little about, but have recently had an interest in. Giant Squid got together in the early 2000s, but it wasn't until they were signed to The End Records in 2005 that they garnered much attention. Metridium Fields was a collection of songs the band first released by themselves in 2004, but decided to re-record and release it in 2006 as their debut album. This is certainly an interesting album that pulls in many different influences, but at times it lacks direction and can unfortunately become monotonous.

After a short intro track, Neonate begins with riffs that remind me of Pelican and some other sludge/instrumental acts. There are also some wandering keyboards that come in, though they are a bit too loud in the mix in my opinion. Then the high pitched vocals of Aaron Gregory come in. His singing isn't bad, but sometimes it's a bit too far on the whiny side for me. He also reminds me of System Of A Down's frontman at times. I do really like the experimental guitar work on this song. The harsher vocals that tear through the relatively calm atmosphere from time to time also fit quite well with the diverse guitar work. Many of the influences here seem to be Middle Eastern in nature. The next song is my favorite from the album. Versus The Siren sets a calm atmosphere to begin with; the drums, soft guitar, and synthesizers create a very tranquil sound. The female vocals that accompany Gregory's also add to this. It is kept up for awhile until the electric guitars muscle their way in about halfway through the nine minute song. These are not very heavy riffs though, and for the most part keep the feeling of serenity while adding energy. After this the song mellows out once again with slow bass work and melodic female vocals. The symphonic elements also add another layer to this song, keeping it interesting and out of the ordinary. Ampullae Of Lorenzini begins on a more ominous note with slow drums and bass, soon following by heavy riffs. The atmosphere stays that way for most of the duration. This song definitely has a doomy, sludgy feeling at times. Gregory's clean vocals don't really fit well here in my opinion, though the growled ones certainly do and are offset nicely by Aurielle Gregory's melodic ones. Summit shares this sort of bleak feeling, but goes about achieving it with softer sounds and more melancholy. The epic-length title track ends the album, starting slow with clean electric guitar and building from there. When the electric riffs first start crashing in I’m a little let down as I wanted there to be a bit more power to this song. The vocals do bring in some more energy, but unfortunately it’s not enough to keep my attention for more than ten minutes.

This album is definitely worth your time, but it will take some serious listening to really enjoy. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you like this type of doomy, atmospheric music, I have a feeling you'll like this album. As for me there are a few songs I really like, but the rest I tend to skip over. In this genre that's not typically how it works, but this album just has a lot of different emotions and influences running through it. Ultimately this is a pretty solid release, but its randomness can be a downside.

Killing Songs :
Versus The Siren, Summit, Revolution In The Water
Khelek quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Giant Squid that we have reviewed:
Giant Squid - Minoans reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Giant Squid - Cenotes reviewed by Khelek and quoted 86 / 100
Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
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