Saturday, 22 October 2011

Hexen - Demo1 & Demo2

Demo 1
Self Released 2011

1.The Atrocity At Newchurch 2.The Great God Pan 3.The Moor

 The UK is currently seeing some first class BM bands springing up left right and centre and another newer band with great potential are Hexen. Sat firmly in the raw and uncompromising bracket, ‘The Atrocity At Newchurch’ is a hateful opener based around simplistic riffing and song structures which are all backed up by a sense of melody, albeit a savage ice cold melody. ‘The Great God Pan’ continues this theme, except this time round the vocals are absolutely tortured, bordering on the insane. The sense of melody is retained through buzz saw like guitars. Beginning the track at a slow pace the song then opens up in a barrage of hateful and spiteful lo-fi BM, the drums absolutely blasting. To end the track, the pace is once again slowed, melodic riffing re-introduced alongside spoken vocals. These spoken vocals sound out of place, hateful and scathing spoken passages would have been more fitting, variety not really a word associated to this bleak BM in general.
‘The Moor’ closes this demo and is by far the longest track on the release, clocking in at just less than ten minutes. As with the previous track, the slow crawling pace starts things off, whispered vocals accompanying the song, barely audible, but this time round presented with a bit more malice and hate and working well. The slow and tortured riffs are repeated endlessly, guitars sounding a lot heavier than has previously been seen, mainly due to the composition of the riffs. It’s a rather disappointing end to a demo which showed so much promise in the first track. The Lo-Fi, ice cold and raw sound almost disappearing in favour of doomier BM feel. There’s a definite lack of identity and cohesion between the three tracks on offer. Not that they are bad by any means, they just don’t gel particularly well together. Still worth checking out though

6.5 Out of 10

Self Released 2011

1.Instructions In Medieval Cruelty 2.Funereal (Instrumental)

 Second demo in only two months and ‘Illustrations In Medieval Cruelty’ is already sounding so much better than ‘Demo1’ and it’s only 20 seconds into the song. Hateful, raw, lo-fi and vicious BM blasts straight in, the song absolutely racing along at a furious pace. Vocals are absolutely tortured, drenched in reverb and echo as is so familiar to the genre. The sense of melody has been retained, souding great due to the production which is more fitting with this style of BM being ice cold and raw. Again the pace is varied throughout the track, returning to a slower pace so heavily used in their first demo. The difference this time round though is that when the pace is slowed, the BM edge isn’t lost, the sound remaining firmly BM. A vast improvement! ‘Funereal’ is a seven minute instrumental, melodic guitars introducing the track and the bands suffocating and repetitive sound again on show, illustrating that the band have not lost their ability to repeat riffs endlessly and still keep the song interesting. However, as with their previous demo, there seems to be another lack of clear direction, no cohesion between the two tracks. A third track similar to the opener would have gelled the demo, made it a clear BM release rather than 2 tracks which, to be fair, could have been produced by two separate bands. Again, not bad tracks at all, ‘Illustrations In Medieval Cruelty’ is nothing short of amazing, it’s just a real shame the theme wasn’t continued. Showing real promise, just more cohesion and a greater identity needed. Well worth a listen nonetheless
7 out of 10

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