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The Hirvi - Old School Killspree Award winner

The Hirvi
Old School Killspree
by Martin Knap at 16 July 2018, 9:24 AM

Before getting this promo I didn’t know about the band, THE HIRVI, and you probably didn’t know them either before stumbling upon this review. That is because the Finnish band THE HIRVI, which translates as “The Moose”, only released a demo in 1987 and – apparently – called it quits in 1990 after they failed to get a record deal. In 2017 they reformed and are now releasing an album through Inverse Records, a Finnish label that, as you may have noticed, has lately signed some really cool up and coming bands like MORS SUBITA or CALLIDICE. The old-school logo coming straight from a high-schooler‘s sketchbook, the cartoonish moose on the cover and the bit corny album title “Old School Killspree” had me a bit worried that this release is going to be some clichè grandpa Metal, but right form the get go it started to be clear to me that THE HIRVI are a band who’s taking no prisoners.

This Helsinky based four piece band plays addictive, muscular Thrash that bears similarity to some Bay Area as well as Teutonic Thrash bands. You can hear some of the proto-Black Metal aggression and evilness of bands like SLAYER, SODOM, or KREATOR, the vocalist Juha does sound a bit like Mille Petrozza or Tom Angelripper. He can sound really ferocious, especially on songs that are in Finnish, where his singing seems to be even more unhinged than on other songs. But THE HIRVI also throw in some jazz-oid riffs and progressions into their compositions that have a clear VOIVOD ring to them. You can tell that this band some seasoned musicians in their ranks – Otto Luotonen surely has been an active musician since he shelved the band’s first demo – the songs often have interesting twists and turns, they may be a sudden shift from a laid-back part to an absolute sonic onslaught etc. There is a certain weirdness and playfulness that sets this release apart form more gimmicky re-thrash act that I admire greatly. The the title song, for example, starts of as a typical blues jam, then comes a heavy AF Doom riff followed by some Death Metal riffing and blast beats – and that is just  the intro for this song.

I think the peculiarity of this record reflects some kind of genius loci, I’m reminded of other Finnish bands that are are unusual in similar ways  - Finnland’s  Black Metal, for example, has a very distinctive sound. In any case, this album is a hell of a ride. It is brief (clocking at the 35 minute mark) but very compact, it flows really well and the production gives the music the punch that it needs. Don’t  miss this album just because the band is called “The Moose” or because the album cover looks a bit shabby.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8
Originality: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dying Time
2. Satan's Back
3. The Hirvi
4. Dance Dance Dance
5. Vihan päivä
6. Don't Fuck with the Runners
7. Killer Instinct
8. Jumala on hyvä
Lineup:
Otto Luotonen – Drums
Joni Tanskala – Guitars
Juha - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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Edited 21 August 2018
 

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