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Hexis | ‘Abalam’


It’s the minute details that make a difference.

Take the cover. It’s an overused idea, but the colour tones, lighting and crispness of the image more than makes up for it. All these little effects allocate the image with a genuine eeriness that you would only get standing next to Sean Brady.

It’s a shame most bands think slapping a crap logo over a black background is sufficient, as this is a cover that tells you everything you need to know about the music. And yet it doesn’t quite prepare you for the juggernaut evident here.

‘Abalam’ (named after a demon in Christian theology) is the first release from Danes Hexis since their split with Redwood Hill last year.

There’s a strong element of former touring partners The Secret in their sound (the melding of ‘Jane Doe’ era Converge with ‘Filosofem’ era Burzum), but it’s a case where brute force outdoes originality.

A genuinely terrifying opener is always a good way to reel a listener in, and ‘Faciem’ certainly fulfils this criteria.

It consists of a single lyric, “whispering voices in my ears, a dark face in front of my eyes” over a black metal riff and guitar drone. The vocals are almost inaudible, which fits in with the helpless feel of the narrator. This is a cerebral and visceral assault.

The blast beats come thundering in for ‘Tenebris.’ Adding Neurosis style apocalyptic doom into the mix knocks the listener for six.

The lyrics seem to suggest a battle of good and evil within one person, before concluding that they cannot escape until death is imminent.

This really is a perfect example of when music and lyrics match each other perfectly. 



Interestingly, the title track is the only song on here that does not have any lyrics.

There’s a wonderful moment where the guitars pull back, so all you’re left with is bass and drums. Similarly, ‘Immolabant’ has (dare I say it) a bit of groove in the drums, but the onslaught continues through riffs that simply do not let up. 



Both are moments of respite, but they’re elements that add a different feel to the LP. It makes the album a bit more palatable to the first time listener and draws them in for further spins.

‘Timor’ is the shortest song on here, and it demonstrates what a tight and concise unit Hexis are. Not a moment is wasted, as Tobias screams how the narrator has been “abandoned by god, cast into the dust and chained to death” and the rest of the band offer up a blistering soundtrack that does more in a minute than most grind bands go in three albums.

Nearly nine minutes long, ‘Inferis’ piles on the doom and (ahem) post metal. For one minute the sound is reduced to drone and feedback before we get the line ” eaten from the inside like an animal in decay, misunderstood, lost, with the mind burnt away, I am not myself…”

Adding in a climbing and exhilarating riff, it is utterly draining and effective. Ending with feedback is somewhat predictable, but the two note piano line adds a noir element which lifts it from the level of ‘cliché.’

Of course, there are plenty of bands in the underground who do this sort of thing but Hexis have the songs and the atmosphere needed.

They don’t appear to be much of a household name in black metal and hardcore circles as other bands, but I’d say this record will do quite a bit in changing that situation.

This is a non stop, brutal and remorseless album. And one you need ASAP.

3.7 /5 – Christopher Owens ::: 18/01/13



One Comment
  1. Cool song. I don’t really think it sounds anything like Converge or Burzum even if there is a slight BM element to it. If anything it reminds me of Breach’s ‘Venom’. That sort of indefinable darkness.

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