Tuesday 7 May 2013

One Inch Giant - The Great White Beyond (Album Review)

The Great White Beyond cover art

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 19/4/2013
Label : Soulseller Records

The Great White Beyond, album track list :

1. The Sea Opened Up
2. Mountains Will Erode
3. Malva
4. Jiraya
5. Only Scorn Remains
6. Tell Meteor From Star
7. The Years of Mist
8. Awaiting the Wave
9. My Unshaped Form
10. A Fear Aflame
11. The Great White Beyond

Bio :

One Inch Giant was formed by university classmates Gabriel Lugo Méndez (guitar) and Gabriel Ek (drum) in 2009. The Gabriels had some fine riff works going, and they soon started looking for other musicians that could get the little giant on its feet. After some time Axel Berglund (bass) and Filip Åstrand (vocals) we’re meticulously selected. Songs began to take form and soon six songs were ready for recording. During a weekend at the end of 2010, the debut album Malva was recorded live. The band debuted live shortly thereafter. The mastering was done by the legendary Peter In De Betou. In August 2011 Malva was released and was met by positive criticism by reviewers and bloggers worldwide. Many seem to hear influences from Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Alice In Chains and Mastodon, and has predicted a bright future for One Inch Giant – something the band take very seriously, prophecies are not to be messed with


Line up :

Gabriel Lugo Méndez – Guitar
Jakob Strand – Drums
Axel Berglund – Bass
Filip Åstrand – Voice


Review :

One Inch Giant’s new record, The Great White Beyond is the perfect example of a “grower” album. When I first heard it, I wasn’t sure how I felt, but after a couple subsequent spins, I am--without a doubt--a fan of this record.

One Inch Giant’s previous record, Malva, was a slab of sludgy, doomy goodness with smooth, soaring vocals. The Great White Beyond is all that and a little more.  Most notably, the band has tightened their sound a little bit. They don’t play quite so loose on this record, and while one might think that would detract from a filthy doom record, One Inch Giant has made that work distinctly to their advantage. They keep the songs noticeably shorter than on their debut (none runs longer than 5:08, whereas the shorter songs on Malva were about 5), while adding a distinct production “punch” to their already fairly heavy sound.

One exciting thing about this record is the willingness to try some things one might not find on a doom/sludge release. There are elements of traditional metal included along with the ever-punishing blast beat (which I am a HUGE fan of when used properly). The record has a ridiculous amount of variety and genre blending to keep it from being a run-of-the-mill record to pass over.

“Only Scorn Remains” is a definite stand out track (in this reviewer’s humble opinion), for no other reason than it brings a little of everything to the table. There is a blast beat frenzy out of the gate and a punk rock-tinged groove rock verse takes us to the middle of the song. Then it happens. GROOVE. The groove in the middle of this song is DIRTY. It’s heavy, catchy and had me repeating the track over and over again. Definitely a personal favorite of the album.

What I love the most about this record though, is the vocals. Man, they are sweet--loads of melody coming from a strong voice. Minus some echo, it seems as though the vocals have maximum effect put to them, which is different for a sludge/doom metal band.  But again, One Inch Giant make it work. The sound they are putting out is heavy and intense, but at the same time very melodic and tight.

I can’t say enough that you have to give this record a chance. If you don’t get into it right away, wait a day and spin it again. It WILL grow on you.


Words : Chris Centanni

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available now here. Thanks to Jan @ SureShotWorx and Soulseller record for hooking us up with the record for review.