Title: Sielun Tuli
Release: Tape / Digital
Label: Young Guns 2 Records
Self-described as Super Dimensional Hard Core, Finland’s G.A.Z.E. play a driving and explosive strain of hardcore punk that should not remain unnoticed!
Upon my first listen I immediately found myself comparing this record to the likes of Paintbox, Bastard, Acute, and, of course, G.I.S.M. Right out of the gate you are shown how much power, intensity and catchiness they are capable of. The songs are heavily inspired by the Japanese scene, yet they somehow manage to get their own original twist to things.
The record starts off with a 17-second intro that brings back memories of the dial-up internet, more specifically that nasty modem sound when connecting to the world wide web—long before modern day social media and music streaming platforms. “L.K.I.S.” takes off from there with a half-a-minute of Paintbox-esque psychedelic riffs and overdrive fuzz, escalating into a whole minute of blazing fast and frantic hardcore fury with plenty of tempo changes, gang choruses and ‘burning spirits’ awesomeness front to back. The song title refers to “Find your destiny from eternity” and it’s about keeping your head above the surface, while never compromising your principles. This track is an absolute fire!
The title track “Sielun Tuli” (Soul fire) comes up next with a sound that’s very reminiscent to “Endless Blockades for the Pussyfooter”. The vocals also seem to draw most of their inspiration from Sakevi’s manic screams over a heavy metal inspired punk-rock framework, but rather than mere Japacore copycats, they only serve as a point of departure for G.A.Z.E. to create their own artistic production. The lyrics to this song deal with the idea of a phoenix-like rebirth and reclamation of your own autonomous power, which is a central theme to the whole demo.
“Älä Hautaa Sydäntäsi” (Don’t bury your heart) is a blazing fast and furious hardcore punk in the veins of Crude, Bastard, and Judgement. It sends out the message of never bowing down to the corrupt forces of society. It’s about cultivating a sense of empathy and understanding in a world that always tries to divide people against one another. “Mielen Kahleet” (Shackles of the mind) is another classic ‘burning spirits’ ride that goes around mystic and psychedelic metaphors on personal freedom, while the last track, “Pelon Tuuli” (Wind of fear), is a tight and energetic hardcore punk ripper built around a powerful wall of sound and a great deal of emotional intensity to drive you through life.
There might be tons of hardcore punk demos out there, but rarely this fired up and vital, both in delivery and message. After several listens, this demo grows on you, and is really top-notch.