The Hirsch Effekt
Holon: Anamnesis


4.0
excellent

Review

by Arche CONTRIBUTOR (81 Reviews)
October 4th, 2015 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

Balancing musical ambition with listener connectivity is the finest of tightropes to walk, and is largely dependent on the listener themselves. In progressive metal, by definition a genre shaped by artist ambition, this tightrope is possibly among the finest in music. Some prefer to push musical conventions as far as they will go using a whole menagerie of devices, ranging from utilising the most bizarre time signatures to bringing in the most unlikely of outside genres as influences (polka immediately springs to mind, referring to a certain spearhead of this movement); the people alienated by this are the ones appreciating the music as an exercise, but find very little to 'feel' from it. Similarly, those that work towards a more conventionally friendly ethos find themselves attracting those wanting a more emotional attachment to their music, but leaving the ones wanting more experimentation feeling a bit cheated. Obviously the argument presents itself that you can't please everyone, or even that you shouldn't; that being said, The Hirsch Effekt's sophomore album, 'Holon: Anamnesis' is possibly one of the most convincing arguments that it's possible to achieve both at once.

Opening with 'Anamnesis', the listener is immediately confronted with their first 'peculiarity'. An oddly timed piece consisting of pizzicato strings, cello strikes and flitting viola, it highlights one of the album's most intriguing features: a noticeable classical influence. This doesn't rear its head again until the 4th track, 'Agitation', but onwards from that the usage of strings, brass and choral elements crops up again and again, sometimes for an almost empyrean effect (see the first half of 'Ligaphob'), other times an altogether more sombre feel (the last couple of minutes of aggressive prog-heaven 'Mara'). It's not simply classical instruments that The Hirsch Effekt flirt with throughout the 63 minute running length – guiros and a distinctly Latin sway pepper the mid-section of 'Limerent' evoking heavy images of The Mars Volta, and album closer 'Datorie' features, alongside the string section and piano an electronic trip-hop beat which, despite building to a fever pitch, brings things to a somewhat subdued climax after all the fun and games.

Despite this penchant for instrumental variety, The Hirsch Effekt are, at its core, a 3-piece band consisting of a drummer, a bass player and a guitarist, the latter of the two also sharing vocal duties. Therefore, it comes as no massive shock to find that, for the most part, Holon: Anamnesis is built around using these elements – which they do so with a wondrous mixture of fast-paced progressive post-hardcore (much in the same vein as Protest the Hero), slow, sludge-tinged riffs and arpeggiated vocal-led sections. It's through this mixture of influences that they're able to maintain a grounded, sometimes even catchy character half of the time, and a deranged, unfollowable barrage for the other. This is exacerbated further by the melting pot of vocal styles, ranging from a mid-range, undeniably Teutonic clean to indecipherable lows and manic rasps – not to the same extent as, say, SikTh, but distinctive and not unpleasant in any way. Occasionally they let their prog tendencies get the better of them, such as in the aforementioned Mara which is overlong and meandering to the point of slight loss of interest, but for the most part they succeed in using the potent mixture of peculiarity, familiarity and dynamics to a genuinely endearing outcome.

The late Maya Angelou once said “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” Whether or not The Hirsch Effekt were ambitious or wise in making Holon: Anamnesis is entirely down to the listener's perception, but it's definitely arguable that they succeeded in being both here – and even if they don't satisfy everybody's desires, they put a damn good shift in trying to do so.



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user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream/buy here - https://thehirscheffekt.bandcamp.com/album/holon-anamnesis. Really pleased to have gotten this in the review game, even if it did take me faaaar to long to write. Enjoy guys!

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


13216 Comments


good review man, posd

this sounds interesting, will check

Digging: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude ^.^ I totally forgot to mention in the review that the entire album's in German. I'll try and figure out somewhere I can put that.



Top dig by the way.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


10767 Comments


Wow, brilliant review Aaron, that intro is great and I love the way you tied it all together with that quote. I'll give this a listen tomorrow.

Digging: Russkaja - Peace, Love & Russian Roll

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


10767 Comments


Ooh also "This is trait aided further by" got those two mixed around.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a ton! Should definitely check it out when you get the time. Thanks for the spot as well, forgot an 'a' in there I think.

EDIT: Changed the wording slightly, wasn't overly happy with that when I wrote it anyways :]

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


13216 Comments


"Top dig by the way."

first time listening to them, absolutely blown away already


Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


15746 Comments


liked the most recent one more than this one

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Mort: Aaaaaaaaaah it's a beast of an album, it'll only get better with time. Pretty much all CoL is amazing, so regardless of where you go you should have a blast :]

@Calc: I think they're pretty close for me, this might just edge it but that's probably because I've been listening to it more for the review.

treeqt.
October 4th 2015


16894 Comments


the cover is actually one of the two band shirts i own

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


15746 Comments


how random

treeqt.
October 4th 2015


16894 Comments


didn't even know there was a new album 8 ()

wacknizzle
October 4th 2015


14516 Comments


I listened to a few songs from this a month ago but wasn't into it, might give it another try tho

TheSupernatural
October 5th 2015


1652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm the one who submitted this for the review game. Delighted to see it was finally reviewed



Still not sure when I'll ever get around to mine. I got some ugly 60's album that puts me to sleep

CalculatingInfinity
October 5th 2015


7386 Comments


I may check this actually, bangin' review Aaron.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2015


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@TheSupernatural: Great choice! Was hard to write about, but it's a great album! May get up to a 4.5 one day.

@CalculatingInfinity: Thank you kindly :3

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2017


5398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://thehirscheffekt.bandcamp.com/album/eskapist



New album! Opening track sounds good, will check the rest at some later

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2017


15746 Comments


new?!!? sweet arche I just listened to this thing two days ago



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