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HOKUM No Escape Red Farm Records (2006)


A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail by a guy called Jonas Fischer, asking me if it would be ok to send me a promo of his band's latest release. Now, I had no idea where he found my e-mail from, nor what the style or the name of his band was, but I am always happy to promote the music of any artist - especially the ones who are not currently enjoying the support of a record label.

Many days later, I received Jonas' parcel in my letterbox. One of the first things that really impressed me was that the young German had actually posted a finished product of his band's EP "No Escape" - quite professional for a band that has been around only for the last 3 years. The artwork looked to be quite similar to the ones used by Primordial and Skyclad, and seeing as the nicely made press release that accompanied this promo mentioned Hokum as a band with a variety of different influences, I rushed to my CD player.

The album kicks off really well, with a nice rhythmical riff and powerful drumming which reminded me a lot of early Cannibal Corpse. This comparison was lost as soon as Michael Vogl's skilful guitar solo appeared on the scene. Both powerful and technical, "Manticore" was a great introduction for this release. The band's German origins are shown in the Sodom-sounding opening guitar riff, which evolves into a rhythmical/technical thrash metal attack, with strong references to Annihilator.

The band is not afraid to blend together many different styles, something that has an obvious affect on the song's rhythm, but this constant transition is quite smooth and pleasurable. One song that easily stands out in my opinion is the six-minute composition "Face The End", which presents some really skilled guitar work, and a riff which sounds quite similar to that of "Chief Rebel Angel" (Entombed). The remaining three compositions of the album are equally impressive, with "The Loving Father" standing out for both it's 80's melodic guitar theme, as well as its quite disturbing lyrics.

I believe that Jonas Fischer and Co should be really proud of what they have achieved in "No Escape". Instead of following the current "trends", this quartet has created quality metal from the heart, and I am sure that it will not be long before they are offered a good contract - hopefully by a big label. If the future of extreme music is in the hands of bands like Hokum, then we have nothing to worry about.


Review by John Stefanis

**** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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