The “up-and-coming” Hebosagil released their first sludge / doom metal EP Colossal in 2008. After Colossal they switched their language to Finnish and released Ura in 2011. My favourite work of theirs, the LP Lähtö dates to 2013. Their split from 2008 with another classic Oulu weirdness hardcore punk / metal outfit Viiiiisikko is also entertaining and gruesome.
Lohtu from 2016 seemed to gain some international visibility and has two of my very favourite tracks of their discography, Pian tämä kaikki on ohi and Peltirumpu. Overally it is a tad bit sluggish but still a good entity.
However with the just released EP, Fortuna, Hebosagil may be on to something special that will appeal to larger audiences as well.
I’m half expecting sludge-trolls to come out of their caves shouting “Hebosagil sold out!”. The near-title-track of the single Oi Fortuna is indeed most accessible Hebosagil to date, a real 9 minute sell out epic! Oi Fortuna combines uptempo melodic hooks and post-metal. It definitely does flirt with pop music, which is quite absurd considering its length. A good track with a really memorable melodic theme.
The real jewel of the release is the next track, Auta. Auta starts slow but soon turns manic in its output. Paranoid violent lyrics and thunderous musicianship goes on to slow down to depressive downtempo drone bass riff and quiet speech. The track just screams for ear-bleeding volume levels. It does bring in mind some post-metal giants but also contains the distinctive Hebosagil sound which owes as much to hardcore punk as to metal.
The cover definitely has hipster appeal and does not really look like the sound of Hebosagil. Thematically it hints to the lyrics of Auta, the protagonist of the cover just looks a tad bit sexier than the vocalist Tatu Junno when he calls out:
“Kaikkihan meistä tekee joskus virheitä –
en uskalla mennä savuisessa kämpässä kuselle ilman kirvestä – [possibly misheard]
voin kuvitella miten paljon se ihmistä kuluttaa –
kun olin valmis tappamaan kaikki vastaantulijat surutta”
There’s quite a bit of hype in the Finnish music media about Fortuna, maxi-single / webrelease. Because of the vocal language, it is subjective whether Fortuna can really reach large audiences Unless Hebosagil can pull out a Moonsorrow? The fact is: post-metal / hardcore hybrid with this high quality is a rare occurence.