With the title of their debut EP, “No One Is Safe”, West Yorkshire quintet When Giants Collide offers fair warning of the assault they are about to unleash. This is brutal stuff; but also rhythmically interesting, challenging, not for the faint hearted, and most definitely for the open-minded. The five tracks here do not always offer an easy ride; but why would anyone choose easy anyway? This band has clearly chosen the more challenging route: they cite Sikth, Meshuggah, Fear Factory and Between The Buried And Me as influences; and that’s pretty illustrious company by anyone’s standards.
Opener “Wasteland” definitely wears its math metal influences on its sleeve, as a slow build-up leads into a stuttering, staccato riff accompanied by Scott Jenkins’ extreme vocal bellowing. It’s both punishing and rewarding, as When Giants Collide continually demands the listener keeps up with their complex sound and aggressive delivery.
Each song features enough tempo changes and break-downs to make the audience work as hard in the listening as the band does in the playing.
“Codename 47” utilises some demanding, precision riffing, underpinned by pummelling double-kick drums. The guitar sound, while heavy and overdriven, is always under complete control. The more you listen, the more you appreciate the tightness of the drums, bass and guitars which remain locked together throughout.
“Defcon” moves from a spiky, technical riff, through a mid-section with real groove, to multiple tempo changes that keep the whole thing off balance and unpredictable.
The final song, “Swansong” goes all melodic metal mid-song, with twin lead harmonies and a very pleasing solo – these guys may know their power chords, but they can also deliver a pretty mean sweep picked arpeggio when the occasion demands. The melody is both striking and uplifting as they demonstrate yet another side to their playing.
When Giants Collide have much to be pleased with here: each song is heavy, brutal, challenging and accomplished. This is clearly a young band with real potential. There is a theory that to be art, a work must provoke a reaction in the audience. Well this music certainly does that: its bullying, full frontal assault will leave you reeling, but it will also ensure that you have a great big grin on your face.