Hirsch Effekt, The - Eskapist,
Socially critical, caustically political and musically overwhelming, the fourth album from the Hanoverian band is truly a lesson in progressive metal, prog and core. The one thing that strikes the listener from the first note to the very last is the sheer intensity of this album, it sounds like the trio were wringing wet by the end of each take, putting their very beings on the line as they wreaked havoc on their instruments. All three band members – drummer Moritz Schmidt, guitarist and singer Nils Wittrock and bassist and singer Ilja John Lappin – had an equal share in the writing of the record. The 12 complex compositions, interfused with prog, tech and sludge metal, continually shift between the different styles and were recorded with Tim Tautorat (who has previously worked with AnnenMayKantereit, Turbostaat, In Flames), Max Trieder and various guest musicians in Hanover, Leipzig and Berlin.
Several songs revolve around social oddities. “Aldebaran” deals with the phenomenon of present-day citizens of the Reich, “Berceuse” highlights the globally growing right-wing populism, as does the haunting “Xenophotopia”. In addition to the theoretical, genuine refugees are also discussed in “Natans” on the album. In turn, the 14-minute long monster “Lysios” deals with the fall of an alcoholic and is probably the bleakest observation that Wittrock, Schmidt and Lappin have ever captured in their music. Escapism, in its many different forms, is the link between the different pieces and what holds the album together.
It is bleak and nihilistic, music that is never a comfort blanket, but instead is all about broken glass and the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. Somehow, among all this it is also melodic, with reason among the madness. Impressive.