|Death To Giants
|Blood Pours Out
|Zang Nan Recordings
Shanghai hosts the biggest international community in all of China, so it’s very easy to casually discover local bands which are actually composed of foreigners. Quite frequently, I’ve had chance to see small festivals and gigs in which every band featured at least one foreigner in its lineup.
Death To Giants started as a not-so-serious side-project of bassist Dennis Nichols (Rainbow Danger Club) and drummer Ivan Belcic (formerly the lead vocalist for Moon Tyrant, here taking up his “true” instrument). This encounter resulted into something halfway between Tenacious D, System Of A Down and a random death metal band, definitely far from the progressive/indie-ish rock of Nichols’ “main” act.
The album was released in early March with a promotional live show. Although the two do have quite a vast live repertoire (including two devastating System Of A Down covers, “War?” and “Deer Dance”), this disc only contains ten tracks, roughly running over twenty-three minutes. The lyrics seem to have come out straight of Jack Black’s head or some of the most nonsensical System Of A Down tracks: “30 Extra Lives”, for example, is basically a cheat code to obtain thirty extra lives in a videogame, while “Uggghhh!” is nothing but a recipe for eggs (clearly paying homage to Tool). There are a couple of songs explicitly “metal” in content, in which the two here quote and there make fun of one of the main influences (“Tyr And The Wolf” and “Children Play…”).
In musical terms, Death To Giants strive to explore all of their influences as much as possible; here you can notice the album is too short, perhaps failing to give a thorough idea of the true variety behind this band. The sound goes from growling headbanging frenzy to melodic and even danceable moments. Not sure about the decision of including about thirty extra minutes — more than the album itself — in the premium version (available for download on Bandcamp), there you can find some live performances as well.
The inside of the booklet (designed by Belcic) strongly reminds me of “Steal This Album!” through its do-it-yourself aesthetic, definitely adhering to the concept behind this duo.
In short: a semi-serious project founded by two Americans living in Shanghai, technically well-executed and showcasing multiple influences (System Of A Down being the first that comes to mind). A tad too short, with a couple more tracks could have been even better.
Fuck you! Fuck you Jared Leto!