Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse

Mose Giganticus - Gift HorseMose Giganticus

Gift Horse

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

[Relapse | 07/22/10]

It’s not very often a band grabs a hold of my ears and gives them something worth while to listen to, so when I came across Mose Giganticus, a band that combines punk and heavy metal while also incorporating the use of both a synthesizer and vocoder, I was instantly intrigued. Upon further investigation, I was surprised to find out this band is led by just one man, a Han Solo of sorts with an array of talents hidden under his sleeve. Matt Garfield of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, who has played drums for an array of hardcore punk rock bands, decided to begin his own project consisting of solo electronic music. Besides being a drummer, he is also a songwriter, vocalist, keyboardist and a programmer, and his focus for the band became more intense as years passed.

Earlier albums, such as The Invisible Hand (2006) and Commander! (2008) featured Matt’s style of electronic music, but the overall sound has been rooted in hardcore punk. In support of the albums, Garfield performed live shows as a solo act where he would layer vocals and keyboards over pre-recorded backing tracks. He is now joined by an array of musicians, including Zac Hobbs (touring guitarist), Brooks Wilson (live and studio guitarist/bassist), and Joe Smiley (live and studio guitarist) when performing live shows, but the core of Mose Giganticus is still Matt Garfield.

I went into Gift Horse expecting it to be some crazy head-trip filled retread of 80’s music, which is what I got from previous albums, but to my surprise, it took a different approach with it’s sound. It’s much heavier compared to previous works and is almost to the point where it sounds like a different band entirely, but what kept it grounded as a Mose Giganticus album, was the synth and vocoder still make their presence known throughout. Gift Horse is comprised of 7 songs with a total playing time just shy of 30 minutes, but what it may lack in length, it makes up for with it’s detuned/rocking riffs and well placed vocal/synth patterns. Not to mention, the lyrics are written from the perspective of God and Lucifer addressing one another in the mounting tension of the impending Battle of Armageddon. I repeat… Battle of Armageddon. Not only is the music heavy, but the concept behind the album is as well.

Garfield’s vocal work has taken a deeper more chorus like approach this time around and it pays off big. It gives the songs an epic, grandiose feel and keeps you hooked. Coupled with dark synthesized beats and deep riffs, Gift Horse is an unstoppable album and one I feel many fans of metal (stoner, prog, tech, heavy) will no doubt enjoy. And if Gift Horse strikes your fancy, be sure to check out earlier albums as well to get a better feel of Matt Garfield’s world. There is a great cover of Mr.Roboto by Styx on The Invisible Hand album, and that in itself is enough to put Mose Giganticus on a list of bands I recommend.

Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse gets…

4/5

– DA