Review – Gaijin: Gaijin

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  • Bio: ""Gaijin" was started in late 2010 with a vision of creating music which is heavy and thought provoking. " - Facebook
  • Label: Transcending Obscurity Indie
  • Release Date: November 7th, 2015
  • Genre: Technical Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Hailing from Mumbai, India, Gaijin formed in 2010, but only recently have entered the studio to unleash any official recordings. Early November of 2015 saw the release of their three song self-titled EP, which was picked up for distribution through Transcending Obscurity India as a digital offering with a limited run of one hundred physical CD copies. Since it dropped, fans and critics alike have quickly embraced the group with open arms, hailing them as another fit contender in the quickly growing technical death metal world. But does Gaijin actually pose a threat to the legends that lead the stylistic hordes, or is it actually just another drop in the bucket that could be overlooked?

Gaijin immediately comes off as boasting some of the best traits of analog audio format, but still has an underlying level of modern precision backing it up. The lower, distant sounding guitars give off more of a burdening ritualism at times without ever actually caving to that style of execution, while the bass guitar roars loudly in the mix, asserting its dominance without drowning everything out. However, instead of rivaling the crisp sounding drum kit and the many changes in rhythm that occur with it, the two work hand in hand, forming an effort comparable to recent Job for a Cowboy, but with a little more bite thanks to the obvious bluntness found from the latter mentioned of the stringed instruments, creating a backdrop of subtle deserted plateaus without being swept up in the sandstorms.

“Dead Planet” is quite the dismal sounding piece most of the time, only losing steam for a bit as the tempo slows to a less-than-impressive slam that doesn’t quite bewitch the listener the way it seems to have been intended. This change is one of the many progressive death metal laced segments you can pick up on, comparable to the likes of Atheist or later Death, the latter really baring its teeth during the extensive introduction of “Meiosis” before diving head first into the decrepit realm of Morbid Angel territory until the pace of this instrumental track picks up once more. While this one leaves you dying for Chuck Schuldiner’s signature voice to flare up out of nowhere, “Anamnesis” cranks up its cold dissection, methodically cutting at the listener with chilling pieces of melodic melancholy, marching orders from the drum kit, and catchy rhythms that later take an odd science fiction turn towards the end that Obscura would be proud of.


The thing about these three songs, however, is that they take some time to gain an appreciation for, especially at lower volume levels. Gaijin pull plenty of inspirations from all across the death metal world, something that becomes clear in just these three recorded compositions. Even its own audio quality nicely blurs the realms between the analog legends and the modern icons, leaving behind a pulsating mass of dominating death metal. Granted, a little more energy captured would help this offering a lot in the long run, and hopefully future releases can show as much enthusiasm as it does methodical planning, but, for now, Gaijin is an impressive debut outing for this five-piece from India.


Digital review copy of this release provided by Transcending Obscurity India.