Review : MOSE GIGANTICUS – "Gift Horse"

Mose GiganticusGift Horse
Release Date: 2010Jul20 (US)
Label: Relapse Records
Rating: 4/5

If there is any one distinguishing feature of Mose Giganticus, it is not simply the fact that multi-instrumentalist Matt Garfield creates all of this music himself, but when performing live, the dude slings a mean keytar.  And in a way stripped of the goofiness and/or irony that bands like DragonForce or Horse the Band employ. No, we’ve got some thinking man’s heaviness here—a concept album steeped in apocalyptic Christian mythology.  It may be my imagination, but I could’ve sworn I saw some reviewer nickname this Masto-Tron, since some of the electronic effects bring Genghis Tron to mind, and the vocals are reminiscent of Troy Sanders (Mastodon). It also helps that all have been under the Relapse umbrella, but to simply search for parallels is to look this Gift Horse in the mouth.

I actually hear a lot of King Buzzo (Melvins) roar in Garfield’s voice (as opposed to Lorenzo Music or Bill Murray), and the tunes he crafts are unbelievably infectious and heavy in a way that few attempt; even fewer do it well.  The music mostly interlocks—the guitars, drums, and keys flow as one—accenting and playing off each another.  The construction of Gift Horse is a positive testament to single-mindedness.  Even the often-dicey vocoder is utilized prominently in songs like “The Great Deceiver” and “Days of Yore”.  When used as a tool and not a reliant crutch, any instrument can be useful.

Mose Giganticus does tour as a three-piece, and having seen them live, I can say that the live product is amazing.  Matt isn’t some egomaniacal prima donna, who is only able to compose in basements and does not play well with others.  But he is a guy that proudy bears the mark of DIY.  All those yearning for a break from the usual metallic crunch, yet still crave something oddly familiar, may accept this offering.

FCC OK
Try 1, 2, 3, 5, 7

01. Last Resort
02. The Left Path
03. Demon Tusk
04. Days of Yore
05. The Great Deceiver
06. White Horse
07. The Seventh Seal

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