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The Hirsch Effekt: Holon: Agnosie

Progressive German-sung genre-defying mash-up.

Part three of the band’s Holon trilogy, the Hirsch – or should that be Harsh? – Effekt continue to do their damnedest to avoid pigeonholing by combining everything from mathcore and death metal to jazz and post-hardcore pop into a collection that’s bound to be lapped up by the alternative cognoscenti.

Able to conjure up soundscapes of mesmerisingly ethereal beauty – opener Simurgh and piano-led Tombeau – alongside completely bonkers squigglecore wig-outs, the real skill on show is the ability to maintain a consistent and powerful band identity.

The album’s ultimate statement is, suitably enough, the epic nine-minute closer Cotard – a complex construction of aggressive dissonance fused to soaring, delicate tunefulness. Holon: Agnosie is imaginative, bold and just way, way out there.

Classic Rock 214: New albums A-L

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.