The Hirsch Effekt
Eskapist


5.0
classic

Review

by Zac124 USER (49 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2023 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not BA-BA-BA-DA, BA-BA-BA-DA but still pretty good.

The Hirsch Effekt has proven themselves to be masters of the mathcore genre over the years, and Eskapist is clear evidence of this fact, and arguably, it may even be their strongest work to date. From the skillful and intense instrumentation to the catchy vocal melodies to the effortless genre fusing, Eskapist is nothing but a powerful release.

What is evident from the very beginning with Eskapist is how energetic and fierce the instrumentation is. Lifnej is the perfect opener as it sets the precedent of the band's mathy style as the guitars enter sudden bursts of panic chords and swift tapping. Nils Wittrock has a seemingly innate knack for writing effective riffs, with Aldebaran exploding immediately with one of his strongest and heaviest. The strength of the guitarwork becomes even more apparent with the classic rock influenced solo that crescendos Xenophotopia.

Another undeniably strong aspect is the vocals. The screams throughout the record are potent, and the cleanly sung melodies manage to burrow themselves in my brain despite the fact that German is not a language that I am exactly fluent in. Lifnej and Xenophotopia both have choruses that have been stuck in my head throughout the year, and the scatting “do-do-do’s” in Natans are simply infectious. However, Inukshuk is easily the strongest in this department and is a definite highlight of the whole album due to the emotive melodies and the eruptive climax that are bolstered by the fantastic and clever lyrics.

The genre hopping/fusing on Eskapist helps inject even more character into this already lively and distinctive beast. The use of classical influences in the interludes brings a sense of calm to the listener while it is obviously foreshadowing the upcoming storm. Jazz influences are practically everywhere on this album, but they are at their most creative on the 14 minute long epic, Lysios. It is aptly named after the Greek God, Dionysus, who is the God of winemaking, insanity, and pleasure, among other things. Half way through the track, it enters a jazz break with a dissonant saxophone playing behind spoken word until the guitar eventually kicks its way in. This is the album at its most insane and at its highest intensity, as the guitars and saxophone play in conjunction with each other. After some funky bass work and a sax solo, the song slows down before it finishes with a foreboding conclusion that mixes with horns and strings.

Overall, Eskapist is The Hirsch Effekt at their craziest yet catchiest at the same time. Each member is at their A-game, but the guitar is the real standout throughout due to the plethora of creative riffs in each song. The vocals are also a highlight, with their own moments to shine. The album is intense, creative, and endlessly enjoyable. It is a hidden gem in the mathcore genre, so if you even slightly enjoy mathcore and you have yet to listen to Eskapist, put this on right now.



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user ratings (88)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zac124
September 22nd 2023


2588 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This was difficult review to write for some reason so I hope it turned out good. I also wasn't sure whether to add a paragraph on the lyrics or not due to it being in a language that I am not 100% fluent in but from the translations I have read, they seem great.



Cannot wait for Urian next week though.

Tundra
September 22nd 2023


9596 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

its ok

kalkwiese
September 22nd 2023


10390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yea, one of their best albums for sure

Pikazilla
September 22nd 2023


29712 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i remember checking xenodumbia and not liking it



the two colons are their best releases ig

kalkwiese
September 22nd 2023


10390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

There are 3 holons though

And Xenophotopia fucks agreed

Pikazilla
September 22nd 2023


29712 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I've only heard two



xenodumbia is bad yeah

Pikazilla
September 22nd 2023


29712 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

oh I haven't actually heard their debut

kalkwiese
September 22nd 2023


10390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Natans is my favorite here though

kalkwiese
September 22nd 2023


10390 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Check it out! It's quite raw and quirky

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2023


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hello! You have asked for feedback on our new staff "feedback" list feature, uh, thing. Here is some feedback!!



First of (before my constructive criticisms make me sound like a mean person): I like the review. You’ve got your fundamentals down - sentence length is good and well paced, grammar/spelling spot on, broadly sensible structure. My points are therefore less on writing 101 and more on persuasive / creative writing technique and the ways you could build on these areas, depending on what your goals as a writer/reviewer are.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2023


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Vocabulary: Boring point to start (sorry) but one area you might want to think about is how you spice up your word choices and/or make these more precise, in terms of more clearly revealing what you want to say about the record. Words like “effective”, “powerful”, “creative”, “strength” and “strongest” are vague and - particularly when used without being paired with a revealing explanation to back it up - read as (a) uninformative (in that merely saying something is “strong” doesn't tell me why you think it is strong and, therefore, why I might think it's strong and therefore want to listen to the record and (b) uninteresting (if I don't fully understand what you mean, im less likely to get engaged). Possibly the best isolated example is: “Nils Wittrock has a seemingly innate knack for writing effective riffs, with Aldebaran exploding immediately with one of his strongest and heaviest.” This is just a repeated statement - you kinda say ‘the riffs are good, because they are good’. Instead, expand(!), tell me why they are heavy and well written, explain in what sense the song is explosive as a result, etc. Reading through writing / reviews that you like with this in mind may help with this, as can using a thesaurus - this can needlessly overcomplicate writing, if you start mindlessly substituting long boi words when short would suffice, but it can help expand your vocab or at least encourage you to pause and think “is this really the word that most accurately depicts what I want to say”.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2023


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Explanation: Linked to the above - you have a tendency to occasionally make a statement, and then not fully back it up. A good structure to bear in mind is (a) state your argument, (b) point to an example (e.g. a song), and then (c) explain why that example supports your argument (this structure can get boring if you overuse it, but is a helpful mental exercise to undertake every time you make a new point that you haven't already justified earlier in your review). In fairness, you do this well in paras 2 and 3, but don’t elsewhere e.g. in your conclusion: “Eskapist is The Hirsch Effekt at their craziest yet catchiest at the same time” is not a statement that I really felt you justified in the previous paras - you praised vox, guitars and genre switches individually, but never quite made the leap to say “and therefore the album as a whole = catchy/crazy/etc”. Perhaps compare/contrast with their broader discog or their contemporaries to make your point - you say it’s particularly creative, so drawing these kinda parallels may help you make your case. May also be linked to the vocab point - if you replaced some of the more generic words like “strong” with words that indicated that you felt it was strong because it was catchy / crazy, then the conclusion would feel more justified by the proceeding paras.



AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2023


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Why are you writing?: When writing or editing a review, it’s always worth reflecting on (a) why you want to write and publish the piece (i.e. what is your goal) and (b) what specifically you wanted the reader to take home re this specific album. Reflecting on these points, and then tweaking your writing to ensure you are hitting these as much as possible, is a helpful internal sense check, and can help ensure your writing reflects the goals you intended to achieve. For example, I notice your writing switches occasionally from a formal/objective/professional reviewer tone to very personal, individual, non-objective statements (e.g. phrases like “endlessly enjoyable” and “Another undeniably strong aspect is the vocals” - this may be the case for you, but it's not an objective truth - I, a different listener, may just not like their range/tone). You also mix in some very casual turns of phrase (like the final sentence). I don’t think there is anything wrong with adopting a casual tone in a review, or making very personal subjective statements, but (a) you’ve got to be consistent and (b) you’ve got to OWN it!! Like, if this is one of your fave records and you just wanna gush about it with love, then just do that - don’t try to coat your personal feelings in a false, more reserved, pseudo-objective lens - it’ll get in the way of expressing how the LP feels to YOU. If however you are going for a professional review tone, then cut the more gushy/personal elements that conflict with this.



AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2023


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How you frame your argument: Another thing worth thinking about (linking to the “Why are you writing?” point) is how you present your argument. Framing your piece around individual instruments or elements in different paras (starting with guitar, then vox, then genre) is (imo) less interesting and more rigid than talking about how the music makes you feel, the emotions and colours and textures that it works with, the different ways this is achieved, and then (within the scope of that discussion) flag that you think the vox and guitar are dope and contribute to those things. If you really do love the LP simply because the vox and guitar are technically good, then fair enough, and that is the impression that this review gives off, but if there is something more than musicianship that makes you love them, then I think reframing how you make your case to emphasize this would help to get this across. It’s telling that the write up didnt feeeeeel like a 5 to me when i read it - you havent either argued that it is a genre classic with loads of influence and pedigree and therefore classic, and you also fall short of gushing on a personal level to a degree where it comes accross that is a 5 to you.



Formatting: Finally, in terms of formatting, personally I would put song names in “quotation marks” (not in bold)



I hope this is helpful!!



AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2023


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If it helps, my first review (and many after it) contained all of the sorts of issues I am now describing: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/68648/The-Wonder-Years-No-Closer-to-Heaven/



Practice practice practice etc

Zac124
October 8th 2023


2588 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the constructive criticism. This is extremely helpful.



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