Sacramento / San Francisco based, progressive doom-rock scientists, Giant Squid, have been wielding palatial vocals and enormous waves of cello, keys, and exotic sludge riffs for over ten years, garnering universal critical acclaim from all over the world.
Marine biology and natural history metaphorically collide with heartbreaking stories of historic human tragedy; resulting in some of the most unexpectedly emotional and sincere music being made today in any underground scene. Cherished by a cult following of fans, Giant Squid has maintained and nurtured their fierce originality for over a decade, while still remaining relevant and tactful in the expert execution of their art. History: With the addition of famed metal electric cellist, Jackie Perez Gratz, (Grayceon, Amber Aslyum) in 2007, Giant Squid, moved back to California and took up residence in both San Francisco and their home town of Sacramento, after operating out of Austin, TX for all of 2006.
The band continued to tour the United States and Canada behind their explosive and critically adored debut, Metridium Fields, released by The End Records and engineered by heavy music legend, Billy Anderson (Neurosis, High on Fire). In 2008, the band wished to move forward with their new line up and dive deep in to the writing process of the land mark release that would define them to the world, The Ichthyologist, engineered, mixed, and produced by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon, Minus the Bear).
This decision lost them the support of The End. Finding themselves with out a label, the band self-financed the entire process, from recording costs to hiring a PR firm, and finally manufacturing the custom packaged CDs, hand numbered and limited to 1000 copies.
This initial batch sold out exclusively through the band’s myspace page and a few select online distributors in less than six months, resulting in the band personally shipping every order themselves to the furthest reaches of the world. Following this, Giant Squid quickly signed to Translation Loss Records who re-released The Ichthyologist with full SONY/BMG distribution, gaining a monumental amount of exposure for the band and the album.
The new version featured altered mixes and all new album art by comic book legend, Sam Keith (The Maxx). Vega Vinyl handled the release of the double LP version of the record, limited to 500 copies. In 2011, Giant Squid returned to the studio in Seattle, WA again with producer Matt Bayles, to record their most pummeling collection of songs.
This second official release for Translation Loss, entitled Cenotes, is technically an EP, though all five songs total nearly thirty five minutes of music. Cenotes continued the adventurous subject matter and story of The Ichthyologist’s protagonist, and features album art entirely by founding band member, guitarist and vocalist, Aaron John Gregory. In 2013, Translation Loss gave an official release of the long lost, self released 2005 EP, Monster in the Creek.
Originally released only in the Sacramento area with just 400 CDR copies in hand made packaging, Monster in the Creek had long since been sold out and fell into obscurity, even with the band’s most die-hard fans. This official reissue not only includes a newly mastered version of the original six song EP, but also never before released pre-production demos, live tracks, and an entire DVD featuring never seen before studio footage and three different live sets from that era.
This double disc release comes packaged in a gatefold digi-pak with lyric booklet, updated art, as well as the original art and written account of this strange era in the bands history by Aaron John Gregory. In late 2014, Giant Squid released their fifth studio album, and third official release with Translation Loss entitled, Minoans. This eight-song conceptual masterpiece sees the avant-garde band at their most refined, focused, and vital, as they fully embrace their Mediterranean leanings and lyrically excavate one of the earliest civilizations known to history; examining how the aquatic demise of these ancient proto-Greek people may foretell our own.
Minoans was engineered and mixed completely analog, then digitally mastered; all by Tim Green (Melvins, Red Sparrows, Karp, Fucking Champs, Christian Mistress.) Crushingly heavy, exotically beautiful, and unapologetically musical - Minoans is Giant Squid's finest hour to date. .
"The Ichthyologist - One of the 100 most essential albums of the decade. #15 of 25 top albums of 2009" - metalreview.com "The Ichthyologist is, for lack of a better term, a grand fucking slam. Sublimely textured but crushingly heavy, deep as the ocean at its heart and yet instantly approachable, this is more than a great metal album—it is a beautiful work of art, by any standard. Even after writing this review, I can’t wait to listen to it again, and I’ll consider it a gift from the heavens if I hear another album even close to as good as The Ichthyologist this year." – metalreview.com "An encompassing and engrossing sensory trip." - Terrorizer Magazine "The Ichthyologist invokes the elemental force of Neurosis, the cinematic scope of God Speed You Black Emperor, and the attitude of punk rock" – Revolver Magazine "Musically, however you view The Ichthyologist, it's a massive undertaking with layers of instrumentation, voices, sonic moods, waves and textures, presenting a life affirming twist on the light-dark, up-and-down, seesaw post metal style.".. - Decibel Magazine, 2009 "Finally, a post-everything band that actually meets and sometimes surpasses their insta-cool laundry list of influences." - Decibel Magazine, 2006 "This is some of the most honest, sincere, and best executed music out there today, and I think every music fan owes it to themselves to hear Giant Squid at least once. Again, this isn't just fanboy enthusiasm for a new album, this is genuine excitement that is found only upon hearing something I find truly great. Five Stars!" – progarchives.com "So, I would say that if you want to discover one of the most original and essential bands of the current era, put away your preconceived notions about what is and isn’t progressive rock and heavy metal and give these guys a listen. The album (like the band) is simply incredible and very unique and inventive. It’s still quite early in the year, but I won’t be at all surprised if this disc makes my “best of 2009” list." - musicstreetjournal.com "The band is a gobbling monster, wrecking any ship who wants to confine it in a sole genre… I would say that I was expecting a good follow up to Metridium Fields, but Ichthyologist has really surpassed my greatest expectations. So early in the year and already we have a strong contestant to prog metal album of the year!" – proggnosis.com "It is fitting that such a beast would serve as the moniker for San Francisco/Sacramento based metal band Giant Squid. Titanic in sound, Giant Squid is difficult to categorize." – Submerge Magazine "The Ichthyologist is a powerfully emotive, original album that accomplishes the rare feat of having powerful singles that don't disrupt the flow of the album as a whole. Along with Rose Kemp and Grayceon, Giant Squid are surfers on a cresting wave of smart, contemplative rock music that defies classification."- stonnerock.com "GIANT SQUID reaches out to the world with an array of outstretched arms; some quirky and wandering, some melodious (often in disturbing ways) and others are simply heavy as hell." - blabbermouth.net "Giant Squid has crafted a worthy sophomore album that is sure to hook both new listeners and established fans." - cosmosgaming.com "A sonic and visual full meal deal of ball vibrating, doom spelling force (not to mention the class only a cello can provide), Giant Squid mixes a heavier than healthy power with mind-stretching songwriting and fantastical story telling, and pushes and contorts the established boundaries of music — to full affect." - Weekly Volcano "GIANT SQUID's dynamic prog metal led by skillful male and female vocalists and sparse but evocative cello, oboe, violin and trumpet are one of the most effective evokers of tender romantic moods in metal since psychedelic doomsters ANATHEMA, being sensitive but not sappy." - peacedogman.com "In short, this album is brilliant. From track to track you will not be disappointed. It’s one of the true great metal albums of the year.".. - therecorderonline "This album is every thing the sea represents. Brutal, calm, mysterious, and overall enveloping. One moment,you feel as if your calmly being swept along with the sea in an ambient passage, then you smash on a rock the next in the form of a crushing riff. ".. - sputnikmusic.com "Great album from an avant garde band. It connects 90’s doom, experimental progressive music, post (metal or rock doesn’t matter) and modern sludge." - noizine "If a better-structured, better-executed and more suitably-produced song in a similar style to "Dead Man Slough (Pacifastacus Leniusculus)" is released before next January, 2009 truly will be a spectacular year for music. I cannot recommend this album highly enough - I defy you to tell me when you last heard a mariachi trumpet solo glide over a sludge riff as though there couldn't possibly be a more obvious pairing!" - thesilentballet.com "Demonstrating the same irrepressible vision that distinguished their debut" - maximummetal.com "Regardless of who you think they compare to, the album is an absolute eye-opener, and should be on the radar of anybody who's taste goes beyond the ordinary." - rabbitholemusic.com "Nearly every song will take you up, then down, back right, over to the left, in directions you didn’t even know existed.".. - Dryvetyme.com "The Ichthyologist' commands your attention from the very first listen, and like most good prog albums it gets even better with each listen. If you don't need to lie on a therapist's couch after listening to 'The Ichthyologist' you're in for an instant classic you won't soon forget." - dangerdog.com "Giant Squid = Pelican + Blonde Redhead + Jacques Cousteau" - SLUG magazine "Monstrously penetrating, conceptually abstract, doomingly essential."- Thrasher Magazine "The amalgamation of musical genres that Giant Squid presents before us, are tightly orchestrated and interwoven together in such a way that it will take several listens to fully understand how complex the music really is." - Zero Magazine "hauntingly heavy indie-rock" - SURF Magazine "Very few songs have ever fixated on the torture in my own heart with their frequencies." - heathenharvest.com "EPIC It's the only word that can aptly describe the tremendous riffs and thunderous symphony that blends effortlessly with ethereal soundscapes to form the album, "Metridium Fields" - thehvscene.com "Metridium Fields is breath of fresh air... another in a long-line of The End Records releases that kicks convention to the curb and over time reveals its hidden treasures to those patient enough to stick with it.".. - blabbermouth.net "grab a well-worn copy of Moby Dick, and lose yourself in Metridium Fields. It is simply fantastic by all definitions of the word." - decoymusic.com "Let me introduce to you what may get my vote for best album of 2006. Metridium Fields is simply unbelievable." - criticalmetal.com "After the first spin of Metridium Fields, its become increasingly clear that Giant Squid are the new champions of ambient doom.".. - metalcityzine.com "I really find it hard to believe you've ever heard another band that sounds like Giant Squid." - musicstreetjournal.com "Though certainly falling under the doom/sludge/ambient umbrella of the likes of Isis, Neurosis, Pelican and Mogwai, as youd expect from a band on The End, Giant Squid take the paradigms of a known genre and turn it upside down." - digitalmetal.com "Each of the six songs is like a tentacle. It probes. Caresses. Latches on. Strangles. Pulls you further in to the darkness.".. - deadtide.com "Dark, potent and mysterious, there'll be little else like Metridium Fields this year.".. - chartattack.com "A very good opus of modern American doom showing a creative musical approach.".. - 666metal.com "Giant Squid is one part heartbreak equaled with one part aggression. This is a must have for anyone that loves music.".. - Absolute Media "Metridium Fields is a strong contender that will most likely be a sleeper hit, though it deserves much, much more." - Ultimate Metal "I can best describe their sound as mountain of gloom and doom rock with perfectly placed keyboards swirled together with an eclectic mix of down tuned guitars with leviathan-ish riffs and saturated bass lines that are used as a wrecking ball to smash through the glassy atmosphere set around the music." - blackangelpromotions.com
Sacramento / SF bay area post-metal, prog-rock, sludge scientists - active from 2003-2015. Listen to every album and buy merch @ thissongisaboutsharks.net
- January 2004
Monster in the Creek
- January 2004
- August 2006
- The End Records
Giant Squid - Grayceon
- November 2007
- Infinite Vinyl
- February 2009
- The End Records
- October 2011
- Translation Loss
- October 2014
- Translation Loss