Helsinki Savagery is the long awaited first full-length from Helsinki (duh, of course) hardcore metal crossover thrashers, Foreseen. This record had a long way to be finally released, but it’s almost like an tradition to Finnish hardcore bands, that producing a full-length record takes it’s time to come out. With Foreseen’s case, as they say; “all good things come with time” and if you have followed the band’s career, you’ve noticed it like me, that with every single release, the band has grown. Their metallic hardcore, that originally flirted with influences from crossover and pure metal realms, has turned the other way around into crossover with hardcore influences and with this they have definitely reached into their prime. I really fucking loved the first 7″ (ok, right from the demo tape) and after it released Split 7″ with Upright (who are, if you don’t know, the hardest “newer” band from Finland for some time) and at that point they were still more hardcore than metal. Structural Oppression 7″ offered us newer side of Foreseen, thrash metal influenced mayhem with crazy screams provided by their bass player at time, Dimi (a.k.a. Bon Jovi). What seems really cool is that kids of metal and hardcore scenes both have taken Foreseen into their aim with the new lp and it actually is already nearly sold out on vinyl (European part of the pressing is sold out, USA still should have copies at least in record stores / distros).
Helsinki Savagery presents everything perfectly, what this band has become, unrelentless, fucking tight riffs and speed that matches the great one, yes i’m talking about Slayer, all other (thrash metal) bands can fucking suck ass. I’m not totally putting Foreseen into heavy metal field though, cause there is influences still so deep from hardcore too, that they should be labelled as crossover, if labelling is neccessary. You can hear bands from the Cro-Mags, (from early to their crossover era) Agnostic Front, Leeway and Carnivore in there without searching too deeply and all that has been put together into vicious burst of thrash metal. Vocals sound raw and fit in to the music perfectly, there aren’t not too much of those “cleanish” vocals, that often are present in thrash and crossover, i mean more Carnivore, less german clean sung thrash. I’m pointing out all this cause i really aren’t that huge fan of metal (unless it’s paired with hardcore or punk) at all, i love my Slayer records and some bunch of GOOD crossover and yea some metal too, but i’m very picky. Ok, so if you now decided you hate me, i really don’t give a fuck, since you too love Foreseen, so just read on.
20 Buck Spin (USA) and Take It Back Records (Germany) put out Helsinki Savagery and it’s released in most possible mediums, that music consumers still use, so you got tape, cd and vinyl versions to choose from. As i mentioned, vinyl is almost sold out worldwide and selling out a whole pressing in a bit over month after it’s release is pretty fucking sick, i think they are considering a second pressing of the vinyl. Take It Back had few tapes still available some time ago (NOT sold out!) and cd is available everywhere so you’ll get this record on one form or another if you are interested. If you live under a rock or just came across Foreseen just now by some accident, the band released a teaser 7″ for their Euro tour 2014, with two tracks off the LP with Death Injection /w B-side Market Target, if tou copped that one you might have a quick preview of what’s to come. Now it’s finally time for some Slam SWAGgery!
Slam Savagery kicks in (your teeth) Helsinki Savagery with furious thrashing and mid tempo riffing as a taste of what’s to come straight into Death Injection, that tells tales of death and drug abuse with very tasty heavy riffing, chorus will make your head bang and then it’s time for some fast rushing in the pit and finally it all ends into gigantic moshpart that again activates the pit, may it be two-step, spinkicks or whatever your style is. The Prowler continues with ultra-speed tempo and sick guitar leads, but also displays how these guys got the sense for great mosh parts and that lovely mid tempo heaviness. Next up is b-side from the tour single, Market Target, that starts with sweet leads in there. By this far you might hear too, that Helsinki Savagery doesn’t sound like overproduced clean modern metal record, but it has very natural sound on all aspects, instruments and vocals, Black Floyd’s Analog Studio has done spectacular job with the recording here (the studio is ran by Carpe Diem vocalist, Tapio Lepistö). I think that on Helsinki Savagery things sound pretty cool, it sounds really like a good heavy / thrash metal record from the 80’s, but without everything that might have sucked in production, i mean sometimes records do sound like they were recorded inside a trash can or something. Back to the action, as for a pure mosh anthem and direct crash course about the influences on this album we got; Bonded By United Blood, that tells quite a bit by just it’s name. As you’ve probably this far realized, these guys can handle their instruments, so Interlude is just pure jamming, readying you for Structural Oppression. This song is old aquintance, if you have followed Foreseen at all, here this is a fresh version recorded again for Helsinki Savagery. Delusion Of No Consequence is another mid tempo smasher and it features some backups from the drum section as Mårtenforcer drops in on the chorus for some growls and for the rest of this track, you got all you need right here, fast part in the middle of song and a mosh-inducing chugging dancefloor sweeper at the end. Ending the record is another older song, again re-worked, Paving The Way, it was originally released on Foreseen / Upright – Split 7″, but fits in rightfully as the finale for Helsinki Savagery.
If something, Foreseen have defined their style to perfection with this record and there is no doubt that it will please equally the hardcore and metal scenes. Helsinki Savagery is one hell of a ride and i encourage everyone to take it, if you loved this band before, you will definitely like what you will hear on this release. Few years back there were only a small handful of hardcore bands who were going after this style of crossover and those who actually succeeded on it, we’re pretty much Power Trip and Iron Age (on and after their 2nd LP), but Foreseen is topping their game 100-0, you really know this when you put this LP on and let that wrecking ball hit you straight intothe face.