Friday, 29 August 2014

Hexer - Hexer LP


The last couple of weeks have been busy, but not the right kind of busy, which makes the time when I can listen to music all the better. Hopefully things will change soon, as I've got so much to catch up on. Whether it be stuff sent to me via e-mail, to the records/tapes I've got recently.  My record player is in need of a serious workout too.

Before that though, I thought I'd dive into another black metal record. Hexer released their self-titled compilation LP (featuring the tracks off their cassette demos I and II) in 2013 via Gilead Media. Hexer began as the solo project of bassist Phlegethon (previously of US black metal bands One Master and Nachzehrer), before he was joined by guitarist and drum programmer Lazarus (of Mutilation Rites!) and vocalist Ansgar (of the awesomely titled Unholy Goatfucker).

Tracklisting:-

1. I:I
2. I:II
3. I:III
4. II:I
5. II:II
6. II:III

Starting at the beginning with the opening track from Cassette I, you’re immediately greeted by true, raw black metal. These songs were taken directly from the cassette’s themselves and have been remastered for this LP. The programmed drums provide an intense backing track, especially the cymbals while the bass guitar rumbles deep within. The vocals sit deep in the mix too and are predominantly rasping growls. The guitar provides menacing melody to proceedings. This is the sound a band starting their life and bludgeoning their way into people’s consciousness. The US seems to have the innate ability of throwing blasting black metal at you when you least expect it. 

As II opens up, you realise that the opener was a mere warm up. If you listen beyond the obvious, you’ll notice swirling melodic tones in the background. It conjures up some hellish visions as it careens through seven-minutes of of apocalyptic-level blackness. To say it’s rousing would be both an understatement and a misjustice.The programmed drums on III give it an industrial feel during the intro. Those vocals form Ansgar have to be the harshest I’ve heard in a long long time and to be honest, the music wouldn’t be right without them. 

The second half of this LP (featuring the three tracks from Cassette II) sounds more ambient as soon as I starts. Hexer lose none of their cold harshness though and at times are trance-like. The ambient diminishes at times, due to the pure chaos that is generated by Hexer’s deep, black tones and their song-structures, which aren’t geared toward anything other than fast and loud. I is the most majestic song on this record and the one will live longest in the memory.

The pure, unholy blasting on II takes you to a whole new place, devoid of life and real feeling. By now you’re numb to everything and with Hexer sitting on your right shoulder, you’re ready to give yourself away to the dark forces currently spinning in your head. The guitar sound on II might as well be the horn sounded by the four horsemen such is it’s resonance. 

The final hedonistic thrashing of III will no doubt finish weaker people off. It harks back to the opening track of the first cassette, but with added layers of guitar that sound akin to a fully laden orchestra at times. In essence, this whole LP is utterly insane. If you like black metal raw and honest, you’ve got yourselves a keeper. If you are venturing into black metal for the first, you’ll find plenty to like as well. It’s strangely infectious and I don’t know how I’m going to get to sleep tonight now with those riffs buzzing through my brain.

You can stream the full compilation here:-




It's also available there as a name-your-price download. 

Physical LPs can be grabbed from Gilead Media here - http://www.gileadmedia.net/store/.

Hexer Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/HEXER
Gilead Media Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/gileadmedia

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