22 Aug 2022 - Knut
Blackened Hardcore/Post Black Metal/Darkwave | Debemur Morti Productions | Release date: 26 Aug 2022
However long or short each fast-blasting Hexis-song is on this album, they always manage to bring on elements of elongated post-metal structures into their songs, even with dips into Darkwave. After numerous EPs, splits, two full-length albums and constant touring (800 shows and counting) since their inception in 2010, the pandemic forced the band and the world to a full stop. Now Hexis comes thundering and screeching back with their third full length and promises of new shows. Brace yourselves, for this is a breathless rollercoaster of an album seeping of urgent desperation and anger that in the end sink into eternal echoing.
The music from these Danes is music that keeps us sane. Already after the first two relatively short songs it itches away the anger and despair one can sometimes feel. Right from the start, ”Letum” shows that for this band, and so many other bands in these genres, the drums are not there to just dispense rhythm. It is much more, it is deeply integrated in the sonics, gives melody, energy, drive, direction and sometimes restrains. In this track and the next, “Divinitas”, the drums come out as the main instrument embraced by the dense heavy riffing guitars that supply melodic themes and structure. The drums vary between D-beat, blasting and diverse other merciless styles. It gives the whole album so much energy.
Saying this, is not demoting the other instruments and vocals. The dense guitars provide the sonics with an undulating swaying impression as they discharge dense, heavy and distorted walls of sound. The urgent insistence of anger, distress and anguish comes from dueling screeching vocals trying to topple each other. The music also becomes a lot “wider“ when they introduce synths to underpin the sweeping vastness of the sonics. They use their experience from the earlier releases to melt all this together to make an outstanding piece of music far beyond the blackened hardcore they originally described themselves as (on the earlier releases you can sense that this was the path the band was on.)
After the two fast hardcore first songs comes “Exhaurire”. It starts as a sequel to the last song on their previous album, the long song called ”Inferis”, with long slow heavy riffs to build expectation. This long third track brings the music well into the realm of Post Metal with its unrushed pace. The guitar slowly allows the drums and cymbals to give space and drive forward. The soundscape opens up when the distorted guitars spurt out tremolo riffs on the edge of a dark abyss. The song steadily turns into a dark synth-based inferno and dips into Dark Ambient with sonics spreading like ripples in calm waters. And in comes the dreamy and wide vocalizing from Marietheres Schneider who uses her voice to give a human touch to the strange dark ambience.
After this we are yanked back in again to the fast blast blackened hardcore with ”Interitus” and ”Tacet” from which emanates a streak of intense urgency. Especially at the abrupt end of the first one. Sometimes the drums are used like timpani as on ”Accipis” and it gives heavy depth to the sound and turns into fascinating shifts when they glide into driving drums above a floating Darkwave synth-scape.
They use the synths on ”Nunquam” to create memorable melodic structures which roll up and down in the background, a pulsating darkness behind the vocals. On the second relatively long song ”Vulnera” the band shows how to write a broad and open song that snails forward with single hits on the drums and cymbals while the dueling vocals fight to drive the song forward towards dark tremolos that lift the bleak sound towards a clearing in the darkness.
If one can use the word “conventional“ for anything related to this band, it might describe the next song before the eternal end of the album. It is fast and desperate and Breach often comes to mind, but also with nods to Celeste. There are sudden shifts and breaks, sometimes a wah-wah takes over. When we reach ”Amissus” we are again back in to the realms of Post-Metal where they develop the melodies within the deep and black end of things and it glides imperceptibly into the last track, ”Aeternum” which is the Latin word for eternal. And this last track gives you a feeling of endlessness, of forever. It is an instrumental Dark Wave track where it seems that they melt all their synth work on previous songs into one long, though foreboding, meditation after the storms on the rest of the album are calmed.
The band uses words from Latin as titles of their songs. The lyric writer picks a central English word from each song and translates it into Latin. That provides song titles that are both shrouded in mystique of an unused language and hint at the ideas behind the album when translated: Erosion, divinity, drain, destruction, silence, accept, receive, never, wounds, lost, eternal. With this as a background they release an album as solid, forceful and heavy as their fellow Danes, LLNN and Møl.