Gire - Gire
Firebox Records
Avant-garde metal
11 songs (62'55")
Release year: 2007, Firebox Records
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

When I learned that I would be receiving a Gire CD, I wrote to Tamas Katai (keyboards, programming, poetry, beautiful graphics and cover art) and told him that, contradictory to my general policy of reviewing every album sent to me by an independent band, be it a positive or a negative review, I won’t write a Gire review if I don’t like the album. I have way too much respect for the man after what he has done with Thy Catafalque to pipe in with my nonsense if Gire is something I can’t get into. I thought I was simply being fair.

Turns out Tamas and Gire weren’t fair to me. Not only they delivered an album I’d gladly tell you all about, they delivered an album I can’t force out of my player, be it my home audiosystem or my car. This self-titled full-length debut, with collection of songs written as early as 1997, has been on constant repeat not letting me get to anything else I have to be listening to, occupying not only all of my time lately, but also a large chunk of my mind.

The reason for this addiction is simple. Gire, from Hungary, play a very unique brand of avant-garde metal combining harsh programmed industrialized rhythms, barrage of explosive fast played guitar riffs, synthesizers’ sonics, a touch of Central European folk melodies and vocals ranging from hellish roars to dreamy female. The opener Zold Zivatar frames all of the above giving a glimpse of what’s to come. It may blow by you, but I guarantee the next track, Aranyhajnal, to grip you forever, never let go, and make you go back to really get serious with this masterpiece of an album. The combination of the insane tempos (impossible to replicate with the live drummer), bass slinging and heartbreaking folk melody played with some non-standard string instrument (jew-harp?) will draw you in. And once you get in the frame of mind, you will find that a great tune is made to be an unbelievable one, when you recognize narcotic keyboard loops amidst this whole churning wheel. Gire does it over and over again. Aranyhajnal, Babel, Trans Express are hypnotizing vortexes making you reach back and peel your face skin in awe. Hereby, I proclaim Gire to be the Space of the 21st Century, both cosmic and mesmerizing, with moments of pure reverence, but also with the modern techno aggression not known to Didier Marouani (Ecama) back in the 70s.

For collection of songs spanning 9-10 years the album sounds extremely cohesive. The arrangements, no doubt, are a big part of it, but it is if the musicians composed and recorded everything in one big studio take. You will appreciate it too, as the album can be listened to in one sitting, with one big inhale. At the same time, with all of the fast and mechanized rhythms, the last thing you can call Gire is boring. Every song is colored with a different hue, some of them using unusual instruments, like conga rhythms in Ejmely or Australian flute didgeridoo. Hei Madar is less frantic, more nature oriented with its bubbling keys and clean, from behind the wall, vocals, reminding of rain forest. Ejmely, on the other hand, is a lot more urban and jazzy with the dirtier and grittier sound. Az Ozek Fudasa runs non-stop, only to crush at the very end. Torjon Testunk! oscillates between dark melodies and hammer & anvil oppressive headbanging. Closing culmination composition Nadak, Erek is spacey and mystical with the clean female vocals, and Trans Express will never let you look at the passing train in the same way again, punky and full of clanking metallic notes at the same time. (The song is really a cover of another Hungarian band called Necropsia, but let’s none of us pretend that we ever heard of the band, much less heard this song in its original interpretation.)

It would be a crime on my part if I didn’t let you all know about Gire, as singing and doing everything else in Hungarian limits this band’s access to the more international metal market. Inspired by nature and local folklore, determined not to follow the beaten path, this trio deserves your interest and attention. Make an effort to seek this CD out, and get ready to write me a “thank you” note. The credit, however, should all go to Gire. The CD is self-financed, but is distributed by a rising Finnish doom label Firebox.

Killing Songs :
Once you get it, you will love it all, but my favorites remain Aranyhajnal, Babel, Trans Express, Nadak, Erek, Az Ozek Futasa, Eocen Expressz
Alex quoted 92 / 100
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