#FOR FANS OF: Techno Death, Gorguts, Mithras and Ulcerate
There appears to be a subtle, but still fairly noticeable recent change in the direction death metal's heading in. Instead of just making thrash metal heavier, meatier and more gruesome, new death metal bands take the more outlandish aspects of Morbid Angel and Autopsy, add a nice dose of Obscura-era Gorguts and streamline it into something very detailed and showy, but still twisted and ugly. Popularized by Ulcerate and Portal, Gigan has actually been playing this brand of abrasive, incomprehensible death metal for quite a while at this point. Back in 2008, 'The Order of the False Eye' was an incorrigible slab of filth that seemed unfortunately out-of-place on a label like Napalm Records. Fortunately, Willowtip is much more fitting to their style and they've refined and grown as a band in the five years since that album came out. 'Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery' is an endless blitz of frantic riffing, but there's still enough oddly captivating melodic guitar frills to give the album a bit of accessibility to almost any death metal fan. Is this the rebirth of Floridian death metal? One can certainly hear the cues taken from things such as 'Altars of Madness' in the brute, low-end death metal riffing, but that's only one face of the multidimensional fabric of the album. Mostly thrashing about in mid to high-note spastic dissonance with the suffocating, mostly linear structuring of Immolation and Gorguts, there are additional flashes of intricate consonance amidst the frantic riff blender to give you something that actually sort of makes sense before swallowing you up in a discordant riff frenzy again. Even in giving you that small piece of melody to grasp at, 'Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery' never loses its speed in the process as long as the guitars are playing. Even when they give you something even remotely pretty-sounding, it's just as detailed, twisted and alien as anything else in the music. As seems to be the staple for any extreme metal band attempting to be "atmospheric", there are a few sections where the guitars and drums stop playing and the keyboards dominate with simple, haunting verses. These infrequent moments actually serve as quite welcome breaks from the intense abrasion that surrounds them, and are placed in the music only for that purpose and never wander for too long to distract the listener from the main purpose: getting paralyzed, scrambled and suffocated in a cosmic vortex. The sense of professionalism that both Willowtip and years of evolving in artistry as well as musicianship has provided to Gigan is almost crucial to the expression of the themes on 'Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery'. Chaos is, in reality, a complex and precise process, and only with the capabilties and resources the band has accumulated can these sort of things properly be articulated. New drummer Nate Cotton is an absolute beast, constantly changing up what he's doing while still staying consistently manic and active. Constantly changing up the riffs like Gigan does on this album requires the drumwork to consistently keep up with the pacing of the riffs, and Cotton accomplishes this masterfully. He stands out really nicely on "Mother of Toads"; it's like Brann Dailor if he listened to way too much Marduk. His performance could have been buried under a raw production, but the crystal-clear modern sheen on this album captures every minuscule detail. That's very fortunate, because 'Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery' has a lot of riffs for you to sink your teeth into. Inevitably, Not every riff is going to be particularly accessible or intriguing. There are riffs you probably won't like very much because they do throw them at you at a rate so fast you can barely catch up to what's going on and nobody bats 1000 with this sort of approach. Nothing ever strays far from the chaotic, astral atmosphere, though, and that in itself is commendable. So this is technical death metal then? I guess. The band is technically proficient, they play death metal--but this won't sound like the technical death metal one might be used to hearing in this day and age, which tends to take heavy cues from modern brutal death metal and deathcore; the similar bands are too old-school on 'Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery' and the music is way too jam-packed and dissonant and lacks the punishing groove or bludgeoning that death metal usually has almost as a byproduct of its nature. Gigan serve to remind us of how versatile death metal can be and how broad a palate of influences death metal bands can draw from these days.