Saturday, July 9

Hevisaurus - Jurahevin Kuninkaat

Hevisaurus
Jurahevin Kuninkaat
2009

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Looking at the cover of this album, the most likely reaction that any metalhead would have is a raised eyebrow. A bunch of dinosaurs dressed in spikes and leather? Yeah, that's pretty strange all right, and the childish depiction on the cover is fairly indicative of what lies inside. This is indeed metal written for children. Strange as that may sound, most sectors of entertainment are becoming so personalized and specialized these days that it really should come as no surprise. However, there's one very special thing about Hevisaurus that is not conveyed by the cover: this album is GOOD. It'll lift you up and drag you by the collar as well as or better than many conventional heavy metal releases. And since it's sung purely in Finnish, most of us won't connect with the lyrics either, which makes it a bit less childish-seeming to listen to.

Though the of the songs here are painfully obviously kid's songs ("Kapteeni Koukku"- basically "When The Ants/Johnny Go(es) Marching Home"), and the dinos have names like Milli Pilli, Riffi Raffi, and Komppi Momppi, this is very catchy and proficient heavy metal that's actually surprisingly ballsy in places for a child's record. It ranges from classic, sweeping Finnish power metal to modern hard rocking tracks, all performed in a high-energy and very skillful fashion by a group of Finnish musicians that you'd expect this kind of work from (most notably Henrik Klingenburg and Jens Johansson). Silly or not, Hevisaurus has the same knack for melody as the rest of their kinsmen, and they infuse every song with it.

The vocalist (name not provided publicly) definitely utilizes a style that will appeal to children more than adults. He's animated and friendly sounding, and while this might get irritating in some metal, it really lends character to Hevisaurus's music. Though little of this is original, it's performed in such a novel way that you'll almost forget that you've heard nearly identical tunes before. The instrumentation is part of this feeling- there are speedy guitar riffs, shiny keyboard accents, and fun but not over-the-top guitar solos. Those songs that are obviously dealing with silly or childish subjects ("Haloo, Haloo!" and "Popkornipulla") are saved by their double bass, cheery choruses, and general good nature.

"Jurahevin Kuninkaat" is a quality slice of heavy metal that's assembled so well that it's also a great piece of children's music (or the other way 'round, take your pick). You can bet your life that most kids are going to dig this a lot more than some random Raffi album or pop sewage that you can pluck off the store shelves, too. Yes it's simple, yes it's redundant, and it definitely shouldn't be overplayed, but this is something that any of us metal fans can proudly play for our kids, all the while confident that they're being exposed to excellent music from a young age. Look out mom and dad, you might end up banging your heads too.

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The Protagonist's Rating: 4.0 out of 5





1 comment:

CanuckFan said...

Eric & I over at HM-FTW have long been fans of these guys, so I'm glad to see you doing a review of them!