Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the quiet opening of “Cenotaph” — or better yet, do. Go ahead and let the dreamy drift of the first 40 seconds or so carry you along at a comfortable pace, minimal, contemplative, maybe just a little foreboding. All the better to let the slam into full weight tonality that follows catch you off balance, Seattle trio Giza launching their third outing, Migration, softly enough but soon giving way to a lumbering groove drawn in part from the post-Neurosis school, but given just a touch of YOB-style kosmiche, the lead line that emerges in the midsection calling to mind some of the fellow Pacific Northwesterners’ mystical ways.
It’s a steady diet of rumble that Migration feeds the listener, the subsequent “Hashteroid” fleshing out trades between airy acoustics and further crushing atmospheric sludge, a chug underlying a dense mix of layers that almost fools you into thinking it’s done before finally deconstructing itself in a momentary freneticism of guitar that nods at some of Russian Circles‘ payoffs while retaining its own identity as well, drummer Justin Rodda stepping forward from Richard Burkett‘s guitar and Steve Becker‘s bass to finish the track with a vicious flurry of snare. Impressively, “Strawberry Caviar” changes methods, building up from a hypnotic, soft guitar line to a more ambient wash, feedback only helping to set the mood.
That feedback ends “Strawberry Caviar” cold to make way for the opening bells of 13-minute closer “March of the High Priests,” which is the only non-instrumental piece of the four included on the 32-minute full-length. Vocalist Irene Barber tops the building rollout and instead of ultimately fading behind the wall of riffing that Giza construct, as one might expect, remains for the duration, giving the song a spacious presence somewhere between Ides of Gemini and Pallbearer, but again, not wholly indebted to anyone over the concoction of their own making from the various stylistic ingredients, huge-sounding crashes finishing out by giving way to a last, sustained rumble cut short. Clearly, Giza‘s work here is done.
Giza release Migration on Aug. 1 as the follow-up to last year’s I am the Ocean, I am the Sea, and I’m pleased today to be able to host the premiere of “Cenotaph” for your streaming pleasure. Please find it on the player below, and enjoy:
GIZA’s newest effort finds the band in its most creative/heavy/mild-melting/amp-worshiping effort to date. It’s also the bands first foray into added musicians. “Migration” boasts two guest appearances by Bryce Shoemaker (Bronze Fawn, Jules, Vermillion) on guitar on “Hashteroid” and Irene Barber on vocals (Dust Moth, XVIII Individual Eyes) on “March of the High Priests.”
* Album art by Ryan Frederiksen
“Migration” Track List:
3. Strawberry Caviar
4. March Of The High Priests
US live appearances coming soon.