Photo by Nex Cultus Photography
Here’s an interesting ongoing death metal tour: Lecherous Nocturne with Gigan. Lecherous Nocturne are supporting The Age of Miracles Has Passed (Unique Leader, 2008). It took me a while to get into it, as I have tired of brutal/technical death metal. (I reviewed their previous album here.) Once I “got it,” though — hoo boy! Sure, it’s hard and fast. But it also captures the contradictions inherent in death metal. Behind the overt strength (growls, blastbeats, barrages of notes) is great vulnerability (desperation, loneliness, feverish neurosis). This record has a soul. It’s not an obvious one. But the more I hear it, the sadder it feels. It’s most so in the title track, a mournful, doomy trudge. I love it when death metal bands do their one slow song. Usually, it’s a stretch, and there’s tension in the execution. When a band accustomed to 250 bpm gears down to 60 bpm, it’s like a sports car forced to go off-roading.
Gigan took me even longer to “get.” I got wind of them two years ago, when Randy Piro left Hate Eternal to concentrate on Gigan. Demo tracks sounded promising, but The Order of the False Eye (Napalm, 2008) initially went over my head. It’s bizarre, as if Voivod were stoners and made death metal. But I’ve been listening to a lot of Morbid Angel, which has made Gigan snap into focus. Morbid Angel are almost like their own subgenre. On a spectrum where left is weird and right is normal, Morbid Angel are flanked on the right by Krisiun. On their left are Hate Eternal. Further left are Gigan. Then Portal comb the outer reaches of angelic morbidity. I can’t get enough of this vibe right now. Death metal should not be a security blanket. It should challenge, subvert, and terrify. Bands like Lecherous Nocturne and Gigan are pushing the envelope — yet no one knows about them. In a time when so many package tours peddle the tried-and-true, this one offers something different.
Lecherous Nocturne & Gigan: September 2009
Denizens of the Underground Tour, remaining dates
14 Chicago, IL – White Star Sports Bar
15 Indianapolis, IN – Melody Inn
16 Nashville, TN – The End
17 Raleigh, NC – Volume 11
18 Spartanburg, SC – Ground Zero
19 Jacksonville, FL – The Pit