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The Hirsch Effekt – Gregær Award winner

The Hirsch Effekt
by Will Travers at 08 June 2021, 12:40 AM

German Prog outfit THE HIRSCH EFFEKT have returned with their most recent offering to the world of Heavy Metal, “Gregær”. The four track release coming in quick succession after their previous release “Kollaps”, and given the great reviews I have seen with regards to this release I really cannot wait to get stuck into this. The artwork is simple, but I would say that it is in keeping with the groups Artcore styling.

Opening is “Natans” and instantly the hair on my arms has stood on end. The haunting vocals pierce straight through me. The music takes some sudden drastic turns, increasing in tempo and the overall tone has changed from forboding to something straight from the pop punk heyday of the noughties. The addition of the orchaestral instruments certainly makes for an interesting effect, I’m not entirely sure that I agree with it, I feel that there were some clashes of styles, muted brass, strings and Metal are a combination I hadn’t encountered until today. But hey, that’s Progressive!

“Domstol” again begins fairly innocuously, in fact I almost felt a bit of a Country vibe around it before the harsh vocals came raking into my headphones. This sudden and sharp change really did contrast the previous track in terms of intensity, with seemingly no real structure and somewhat of a calculated blaséness to the music. I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t so sure; but its grown on me as the music has continued.

“Kollaps”, building from some very simple and controlled beginnings crescendos and develops into this humungous multi faceted beast that defies musical conventions, attacks its listener from all levels and just continues to evolve with every passing beat.

Finally, “Gregær” strolls into my headphones. The music is delectably Prog, well it is in how I would define Prog. It’s structure is undefined, it keeps you on your toes for where it is going to go next, and as a drummer I just love the drum tracking in this track. But the running guitar line is so soft and aloof that it feels as though you are being carried on the breeze, seeing the world below you, each scene playing out with the music in turn.

Overall, it’s a solid release. Obviously THE HIRSCH EFFEKT are talented musicians and it shows, with the successes they have had previously and with this powerful release. Whilst, at times I wasn’t a huge fan of the orchaestral additions (sometimes it felt a bit too much like Heavy Metal Ska, think BRING ME THE HORIZON meets REEL BIG FISH), I will concede that it grew on me as I listened through. There is an energy that cannot be denied and at times I just wanted to get up and dance, and in these times that is the mark of a fantastic release.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Natans
2. Domstol
3. Kollaps
4. Gregær
Nils Wittrock – Vocals and Guitar
Ilja Lappin – Bass
Moritz Schmidt – Drums
Record Label: Long Branch Records


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Edited 27 November 2022

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