The Hirsch Effekt - Eskapist album review

Seizure-inducing shenanigans from German tech-polymaths

Cover art for The Hirsch Effekt - Eskapist album

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These German alchemists already have a compelling trilogy of albums, and their fourth is a resounding exercise in dismantling expectations. Lifnej thunders out with a flurry of notes and fiendish vocals before evolving into a lush wilderness. Xenophotopia and the 14-minute Lysios encapsulate impetuous techmetal, big-band bombast and dreamy passages into cohesive wholes, with the latter ebbing, flowing and heading off on obscure tangents, not least piercing saxophone noodling. Aldebaran is a jolt of jagged riffs and dissonant notes while the cinematic orbit of Inukshuk adds yet another string to their bow. As is the case with such restless minds, the sheer scope covered here may take even the most committed followers months to get their heads around, but its intrepid nature and outright confidence should be admired.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.