Hagalas - As A Unit

Yes oh yes I am back to do the review, of a Finnish band achievement, the old habits still survive and die hard! So, Finland! A band: Hagalas. The style: melodic death metal. An EP: "As A Unit" the second of their career. There is no doubt about the factory, the mold of this style is alive and produces bands of excellent craftsmanship which would  often make jealous nations much less well endowed in talent. Let us not sulk our pleasure in listening to the four titles on offer.

The quintet from Jyväskylä, between Kuopio and Tampere, has already released a 6-track EP in 2018 "Crimson Tide", this one comes to us from afar after going through the global pandemic, will it be a revelation?

From the start we clearly enter into what the Finns have best, their very specific melodic death metal, very playful at times, very well structured, we feel that the masters in this trend: Insomnium are not far away and have become enlightened inspirations for many musical bands. However, it would be totally unfair to say that Hagalas is just one more copy, the band has its own melodic line with some very welcome rhythm changes in the different compositions. We feel that there is clearly work and research. The sometimes slowness of certain titles such as the track "animal farm" also reinforces the melodic side of the affair and the message launched by the song is a cry in the face of the world, in front of everyone! Here, there is no need through the texts to prepare for suicide or to lament on the darkness of feelings or on the time that has already passed that we never catch up with. Here we talk about war, the suffering caused by it and the many scars it causes in human beings.

We also feel that the level of orchestrations has been well worked out and works efficiently. A lot of implications also in order to split the guitars, we are far from the duettists who are a little offbeat like in so many bands, each guitarist has his own melodic line. We find ourselves in front of a musical structure far removed and very different from their old and previous productions! Nevertheless, Hagalas adopted the style so characteristically overrepresented in the land of 1000 lakes, can we blame them? I do not think so! It seems very delicate to escape from this influence but we are clearly entitled to expect something that will mark the minds and which will anchor them as artists apart with a specific trademark!

On the four tracks, there is nothing to sulk, the whole is coherent and will delight fans of the style. However no real surprise either, the style has its invariants that are difficult to circumvent and one can ask oneself the question of what will be the musical artistic line that the band will take in the future. For the moment I can easily flood all my happy neighbors with this EP (they are used to it!) and drown their ears in these Finnish riffs, once again!

So clearly, we expect more, the urge is strong to devour a whole cake and fill our ears with it, but for that we will have to wait a little bit longer. Most certainly with spring at the latest a good surprise will come from the band. They will just have to find their own musical imprint and certainly stand out a bit from their cumbersome musical elders.

3.5 / 5 STARS

1. Rampant
2. Animal Farm
3. Destination: Genocide
4. As a Unit