I hadn't been so stoked for a new album as I was for Gigan's Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes since I can't remember when. And the thing is, I knew nothing of Gigan before they released a YouTube stream of "The Raven and the Crow" a couple of months before the album dropped. I remember thinking, "that's crazy...I've never heard anything like this" and just sitting in front of my computer with a perplexed looked on my face listening to the track over and over. Seriously, I bookmarked that sumbitch and went back to it on a daily basis.

I was definitely curious to hear more from the band so I went and sampled some of their earlier material from 2008's The Order of the False Eye and their debut EP Footsteps of Gigan and was impressed to say the least. Still somewhat skeptical but interested in hearing more from the new album and sure enough June 7th rolled around and the rest of the tunes from the album hit the web in the form of YouTube streams. After about two songs I'd heard enough and laid down ten bones to the peeps at Willowtip to have the CD delivered to my front door (I don't do much as far as digital downloads...I'll buy the physical product until I have no other choice).

Yes, I had heard every song from the album on YouTube but for an old school bastard like me there's nothing like cracking a beer and listening to the CD front-to-back. Needless to say the album held up to my ritual litmus test and became a staple of my stereo leaving it only to make the trip to my pickup.

Gigan is not a band for the casual music fan...hell, not even the casual metal fan, but instead they're a band for dudes like me that are looking for someone who is willing to take it to the next level. And in that respect, Gigan might be the most forward thinking band on a label that prides themselves on forward thinking metal.

Eric Hersemann's guitars are out there man...I mean way out there. I can actually smell marijuana smoke coming from the speakers as I listen to tunes like the aforementioned "The Raven and the Crow" and "Mountains Perched Like Beasts Awaiting the Attack" (really??? goddamn that's a badass song title!!). And you absolutely, positively can't look past Kesava Doane's insane drumming abilities...I love it when drummers make use of every piece of their kit and there's nothing in his kit that's there just for looks. And then you have John Collet II's percussive, pissed off style of vocals. They were the selling point for me...the icing on the cake for lack of a better term. I don't usually get into the "alien" vocal effect (I'm just not a fan of processed vocals) but he uses it sparingly and when he does use the effect it sets things off a bit.

Gigan is a band that seems poised to rival Cephalic Carnage in their ability to bring over the top metal to unsuspecting audiences and win them over with sheer power and technicality. I expect great things from this band and will be the first sumbitch in line for their next release.

Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes is out now on Willowtip Records. Bong and quarter-sack of hydro not included.