By Dr. Abner Mality

It's pretty well known that the Finnish music scene is off the wall and in its own universe. In many ways, the Finns seem separate from the rest of Europe when it comes to music, but their love of metal is unquestioned. Ektro Records is a label run by eccentric and ultra-eclectic musician Jussi Lehtisalo, most known for being a member of the super-prolific Circle. Much like Jussi and Circle, Ektro Records is all over the map when it comes to weird music. Undoubtedly the heaviest and angriest of Ektro's bands is Hebosagil.

This is some ugly, raw and heavy music that serves as a giant mixing bowl of influences. Punk, sludge, grunge and heavy alternative are all part of the Hebosagil lexicon, but mixed with that Finnish weirdness. When people think of "grunge" music, they think of shined up stuff like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and the later Nirvana. Hebosagil is much closer in spirit to the very early grunge sound...filthy, angry and edgy. Lyrics are all in Finnish and jabbered in a breathless pissed off shout. God knows what any of it means, but I'm sure profanity plays a large part. This stuff just hammers at the brain, ranging from the near-thrash velocity of "Valot Paalle" to the lumbering doom-like sludge of "Kavelet Pois" to the jangly, repetitive "Juippi". The spirit of early 90's noise rock smothers "Lahto" like a fog but seems more focused and intense. No ballads here!

It's very heavy but not in a traditional metal way. Compared to some of the other stuff on Ektro, though, this is almost conventional. I've also got to pay a compliment to the striking photograph on the cover of a flooded, ruined parking is really memorable and seems to epitomize what Hebosagil is about.